"For about four months, I went completely numb; I felt dead inside": Mel Greig on the aftermath of the infamous royal prank.

Image via Instagram (@melgreigradio).

When hosts Mel Greig and Michael Christian prank-called the hospital where Kate Middleton was being treated during her first pregnancy pretending to be the Queen, they expected to be hung up on.

Instead, they were given private information about the Duchess’s morning sickness by nurse Jacintha Saldanha. The prank soon made headlines all over the world – and three days later Saldanha took her own life.

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It’s been a tough few years since then for Greig, who has talked about her struggles with endometriosis and IVF. Now, the former DJ has spoken candidly about the effect the event had on her own mental health in an interview with Sunday Style.

“I can’t recall the next six hours, as I went into a deep state of shock. Steven, my boyfriend at the time, tells me I was screaming and crying hysterically, curled up in a foetal position,” she says about the moment she found out Saldanha had died. (Post continues after gallery.)

“My mind couldn’t comprehend, or even begin to accept, what had happened. All I could do was cry.”

Immediately after, Greig and her co-host Christian were subject to death threats so severe that they were put in lockdown with a bodyguard at all times. Her family were also targeted, and her father was admitted to hospital as a result of the stress.

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It was then that things really began to take their toll on Greig’s health.

“It was probably the worst thing for my mental health, but I was living and breathing what was happening. Reading the comments on stories online, it was clear that I had become one of the most hated women in the world, but due to my guilt, I felt I deserved it,” she told Sunday Style.

Image via Instagram (@Melgreigradio)

"For months, I barely functioned. Steven [her boyfriend] wanted to hold me and help me, but I didn't want to be touched and I didn't want to be helped. I wanted just to sit there comatose in my devastation."

After Saldanha's suicide note was leaked - with her name mentioned - Greig said she hit rock bottom.

"For about four months, I went completely numb; I couldn't feel any emotion at all. I felt dead inside," she said.

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Things got so bad, Greig said she even contemplated whether she wanted to live or not.

"I needed to think about suicide and determine if it was an option for me. It wasn't. I wanted to live, but I knew I needed help."


A psychologist diagnosed her with severe depression, prescribed her with antidepressants and referred  her to a psychiatrist. (Post continues after gallery.)

After 12 months on anti-depressants, Greig was finally ready to try and regain a sense of normality.

Determined not be the "shamed blonde girl" that had been plastered over the news, she dyed her brown and made it a priority to lose the 14 kilos she had gained as a result of the antidepressants and stress.

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According to Greig, the real turning point came when Steven proposed in November 2013.

"Our engagement proved he was in it for the long haul. It gave me something to look forward to, something to plan for. It was the one thing I had control of in my life and no one could take that away from me," she said.

When Greig decided she was ready to get back to work, she met another hurdle. She says she was knocked back from "literally hundreds" of radio and communication jobs.

Mel and her now husband Stephen. Image via Instagram.

"I was person non grata - charities didn't even want me in their offices stuffing envelopes as a volunteer," she says.

Meanwhile, her Christian was back on air within months of the prank-call, even winning a Top Jock award the same year.

In September 2014, Greig travelled to the UK to attend the inquest of Saldanha's death, at the request of her family.

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"It was terrifying. There were a lot of people in London that hated me, including my stalker, who had been relentlessly spreading lies about me. As a precaution, the night before I left, I sorted out my life insurance and wrote a document expressing my wishes if I died," she admits.

An emotional experience, Greig says it gave her the closure she needed, confident in the knowledge that she had done everything she could to help.

Now the 33 year-old says she finally feels like herself again. She married Steven in November and was recently offered a job at an advertising agency in Adelaide. (Post continues after gallery.)

Therapy has allowed her to find a way to deal with the guilt, she told Sunday Style.

"I know I'm not a bad person. I'm a good person, who became involved in a terrible situation."

"While I'll never ever forget Jacintha, I've finally allowed myself to move forward and given myself permission to be happy again."

If you're unhappy or need someone to speak to, call Lifeline on 12 11 14 or visit their website.