Actress Janina Gavankar, who says she has been a friend of Meghan Markle for 17 years, has sent Twitter into a frenzy with her latest interview about the Duchess of Sussex.

Gavankar was invited to ITV's "This Morning" to talk about Meghan Markle, following her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, but the actress herself gave awkward answers to the questions posed to her by hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield. At one point, a frustrated Schofield asked her about when she found out that Harry and Meghan would be leaving as senior members of the British royal family, to which she replied evasively: "I found out late."

"They had already had discussions well before I saw them in Canada for Christmas," the "Vampire Diaries" actress added.

When asked about why the "Suits" alum said she felt she had no one to talk to when she was struggling with suicidal thoughts despite having her and other friends, Janina said she "believed she said that she had no one to talk to in the institution" and that Meghan had spoken to friends about her mental health. She was also asked whether the royal family and the palace staff knew about Meghan's mental health, to which she said: "I don't know who knew," adding: "I know that the family and the staff knew."

When asked how that make Meghan feel, she said: "Well, I think she spoke very well about how she felt." When Willoughby asked about Meghan's claims that her son's mixed-race heritage affected his position in the institution, Gavankar gave the same response that Meghan has herself spoken about it in the Oprah interview.

The awkwardness in the interview was palpable as Schofield told Gavankar she "didn't know what her role was" in appearing on the show and asked her whether she had spoken to Meghan about coming on the show. "Oh yes, absolutely. I talk to them all the time. We watched the special together actually," she replied.

"So what is your role today?" asked Schofield amid increasing awkwardness, but in response, Janina laughed saying: "I'm surprised by your questions. I'm very excited that this is a new era - things are different. They can tell the truth, we can tell the truth and we can finally say the things that they have."

"We can validate them and it's been a strange week," she continued before saying that three ITV shows had tried to get in contact with her this week.

Further asked about whether there were any more truths to come out about Harry and Meghan's feud with the palace, she fumbled: "Yes, I think that we're—I mean I feel, I didn't plan to say this so much, but I really do feel like we're in a new era."

When pressed again whether Meghan has approved her appearance on the show, Gavankar said: "I—We're all happy that we're in a new era. You know, we get to tell the truth. Things are different now, yes. But I will say, I don't speak for them. I speak for myself."

The uncomfortable interview soon became the talk of the town on Twitter, with viewers dubbing it "painfully frosty." Some even questioned the friendship between Janina and Meghan. A user tweeted: "Well that should get an award for the most awkward pointless interview with the most obnoxious person ever!#Meghanssocalledfriend," while another commented: "#thismorning Who is this woman who has come on the show and said absolutely nothing ? What is the point of giving her airtime for goodness sake."

One Twitter user dubbed Janina "the most pointless, most passive aggressive guest" in a long time, while another pleaded to cut the interview short calling it "painful."

Some, however, defended Janina and said she is only trying to defend her friend. "#ThisMorning Janina is a lovely person and would have wanted to defend her friend - they have been friends for many years. Of course she can't give away too much she'd be seen as betraying her friend or giving a 'tell all'. She just wanted to back up her friend," one wrote, while another said: "What do you want to know that Meghan hasn't already told you? Janina is too clever for you #thismorning #Meghan #janinagavankar."

There was, however, one of Janina's revelations that has been making headlines. The 40-year-old claimed that Meghan has "many emails and texts" to corroborate her claims that a member of the royal family raised concerns over the skin colour of her baby.

Janina Gavankar
Janina Gavankar REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni