Meghan Markle's Friend Says She Has Proof The Royals Knew Of Her Struggles

by Valerie Williams
Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese/Jason LaVeris/Getty

Actress Janina Gavankar tells a British TV show that she has texts and emails to support Meghan and Harry’s claims from Sunday’s explosive Oprah interview

The statement released by Queen Elizabeth yesterday in response to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s damning interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday seems to suggest that the couple’s struggles as revealed on primetime TV were relatively new information to the Royal Family. Not so, says a close friend of Markle who says she has receipts in the form of emails and texts from the time of certain incidents that back up Meghan and Harry’s side of the story.

During an appearance on Britain’s This Morning to support Meghan and Harry, actress Janina Gavankar, who has known Meghan for 17 years, calls the Queen’s bluff when it comes to her statement that reads as though the bombshells revealed by the couple were brand-new revelations.

The statement reads, “The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. 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.”

Gavankar says as far as stories varying? Not so much.

“One side, I thought: I am so thankful that they are finally acknowledging the experience,” she says. “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.”

PHEW. The best BFFs always bring receipts.

Though Gavankar admits she doesn’t know who Meghan asked for help regarding suicidal thoughts she was having in the wake of abusive treatment by the British press, she maintains that “the family and the staff knew.” She also shares that Meghan “turned to all of us. She turned to her husband,” for the help she needed.

“We watched as a wall was built around her,” Janina says of witnessing her friend’s struggles. “[Meghan] was very isolated – and even though that wasn’t her choice she was being completely slaughtered for it.”

On that same note, Gavankar says Meghan is no bully, as some Palace aides claimed in the days leading up to the much-anticipated Oprah interview. “I have known her for 17 years and I have seen the way that she regards the people around her and I can say she’s not a bully,” Gavankar said. “But I can also say that I am personally glad that 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,” she says. “There are plenty of emails and texts about that. 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.”

In response to the host suggesting Meghan and Harry’s claims were an effort to “nuke” the Royal Family, Gavankar says, “I don’t think the intention was to ‘nuke’ them. I think it was just finally a chance to tell their truth,” Gavankar said. “Meghan’s always been a very open person. She’s always shared parts of herself in the way we always do. But that all changed when she joined the family. We watched as a wall was built around her. She was very isolated.”

As a friend, that was hard to watch. “I can personally say that made me very angry,” she said. “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.”

How close are the couple to Gavankar? “We watched the special together actually,” she tells the program. She also reveals that now, Meghan and Harry feel free and “can get back to what they really were focused on.”

“We’re all happy that we are in a new era. You know, we get to tell the truth. Things are different now,” she said, “It is nice to see them feel free.”