Gavankar has been a close, personal friend of Markle’s for 17 years. During an appearance on Britain’s “This Morning” Wednesday, she revealed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are “feeling free” after speaking out about the negative experiences they had as working senior members of the royal family and their decision to ultimately step down from their roles.
“We’re all happy that we are in a new era. You know, we get to tell the truth. Things are different now,” she told the hosts (via People). “It is nice to see them feel free.”
Among the most shocking allegations Markle made during her interview with Winfrey was the reveal that she was experiencing suicidal thoughts prior to stepping back as a senior royal. She alleges that she sought help from the palace’s human resources department, but was allegedly told by a “senior” member of the institution that her receiving mental health care would reflect poorly on the family.
Gavankar says Markle then “turned to all of us. She turned to her husband.” She further alleges that her friend’s struggles with royal life and her mental health were well known among the family and staff.
Meghan Markle’s friend Janina Gavankar described helping the Duchess of Sussex while she was struggling with her mental health.
She claims a noticeable change happened in Markle’s demeanor at that time, describing how “a wall was built around her” and feeling like she was “very isolated” and that it “wasn’t her choice.”
“I can personally say that made me very angry,” she told the morning show’s hosts. “I wanted to defend her, but she was told to tell us never to make a comment because the institution would protect them. And years later we see now that was not the truth.”
The allegations made by Markle in her interview were addressed in a statement from Buckingham Palace provided to Fox News.
“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan,” the Palace said on Tuesday. “The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”
“Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members,” the statement concluded.
Gavankar addressed the brief statement issued by Buckingham Palace during her appearance.
“You know, after reading this short statement that came out from Buckingham Palace today, I felt two things,” Gavankar said. “One side, I thought: I am so thankful that they are finally acknowledging the experience. But on the other side, I know that the family and staff were well aware of the extent of it, and though their recollections may vary, ours don’t, because we lived through it with them. And there are many emails and texts to support that.”
In a clip shared by “This Morning” on Twitter, Markle’s friend also addresses allegations that came out in a report from The Times accusing her of bullying staff that led to the Palace announcing an investigation.
“I have known her for 17 years and I have seen the way that she regards the people around her and the people she works with, and I can say she is not a bully,” she explained. “But I can also say that I am personally glad people are doing their due diligence because I also know why someone had to leave, and it was for gross misconduct. The truth will come out. There’s plenty of emails and texts about that.”
She concluded: “I’m not going to get into the details of it. I don’t feel like that’s my place. I’m just happy that it’s actually being looked into because the truth really does set you free.”