Priyanka Chopra Says Criticism Of Meghan Markle Is Rooted In Racism

But she knows her friend can handle it.

CHANEL Dinner Celebrating Our Majestic Oceans, A Benefit For NRDC
Rich Fury/Getty Images

Meghan Markle is no stranger to making headlines, good or bad, and now her friend Priyanka Chopra is coming to her defense. The longtime friend of the Duchess of Sussex , said in a recent interview with the Sunday Times that the negative rumors and gossip about Markle are the result of racism. Per E!, Chopra called the backlash against Markle (from tabloid reports of a feud with Duchess Kate Middleton to nasty Instagram comments), “really unfortunate,” and added, “Of course it has to do with racism, it’s an obvious reason. But the beauty of Meg is that she’s been herself through all of this. A lot of people got to know her after everything…but I knew her before and she’s the same chick.”

Chopra praised her friend’s resilience, saying that “if there’s anyone who can handle it, it’s her,” and noted that the Duchess is using the spotlight on her to continue making a positive difference in the world: “”Now that she’s got a real platform, she talks about the same things she always did…We spent hours speaking about the difference that influence and dialogue can make to the world before this whole thing happened, so what you see now is authentically her. She’s always been the girl wanting to move the needle.”

In related news, Chopra recently clarified on Twitter that she and her husband have not (yet) visited the new royal baby, Master Archie. Responding to an article in UK tabloid The Sun, she wrote, “While these are great gift ideas… this story is untrue, and I was actually in town for work. I hope whoever this “source” is starts checking their facts more often.” The headline in question implied that Chopra had gone to England to visit Archie and also end the feud between her and Markle, or end the rumors of the feud, or something. Apparently all that is nonsense: Chopra was in town for work, and it would seem from her Sunday Times interview that there’s nothing but respect between her and Markle.

Related: Is President Trump Really Trying to Start a Feud With Meghan Markle?

Priyanka Chopra’s Gunmetal Eyeshadow Tops the Week’s Best Beauty Looks

Priyanka Chopra pairs gunmetal eyeshadow with deep rose lips. Photo courtesy of Instagram.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley wears soft matte shades. Photo courtesy of Instagram.

FKA twigs shows off golden ringlets. Photo courtesy of Instagram.

Taylor Hill sports side swept locks. Photo courtesy of Instagram.

Sonny Turner shows off glowing skin. Photo courtesy of Instagram.

Raquel Zimmermann goes all-natural. Photo courtesy of Instagram.

Alexa Chung rocks a matte red lip. Photo courtesy of Instagram.

Jasmine Tookes matches her lips to her fuchsia jacket. Photo courtesy of Instagram.

Nina Dobrev sports middle-parted waves. Photo courtesy of Instagram.

Kehlani rocks curly bangs. Photo courtesy of Instagram.

Josephine Skriver goes for two french braids. Photo courtesy of Instagram.