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Are One Direction fans right about Zayn Malik's substance abuse?

Sarah grew up in Monterey, CA and now lives in Los Angeles. When she's not writing, you can find her enjoying a good book, fine wine, sunflowers and long walks on the beach.

Zayn Malik's absence from the Today show may signal trouble for One Direction

One Direction's public appearance on Monday morning left many fans freaking out, and not in a good way.

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The band dropped in to visit Matt Lauer on the Today show to plug their recently released album, Four, but excitement turned to pandemonium as One Direction lovers began desperately asking, "Where's Zayn?"

"He's got a tummy bug, so he's not very well," said One Directioner, Liam Payne, in the interview on the talk show. "We only found out this morning, so we're really sad; he is as well, that he can't be here for our album release."

While fellow band members stood steadfast behind the reason for Malik's absence, the host didn't seem to be satisfied with their excuse and pressed the boys to see if something more might be happening. "There has been a lot of action on social media about him," said Lauer. "Is it something more serious than a minor illness? There have been rumors of substance abuse. What's going on?"

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"No, he's just got a stomach bug, he's OK," Payne reiterated. "He's just at home. He needs to rest."

Loyal 1Ders and Malik have both jumped all over the accusations. "I'm really angry and upset by what was said on the Today show," Malik said on Monday after the show aired, according to the Mail Online.

But still, some fans aren't feeling so reassured. Speculation about the singer's drug problem has been flying this year after a video surfaced of him smoking marijuana with bandmate, Louis Tomlinson, and the fact that Malik has been missing from other One Direction appearances, while all other members of the band have been steadily present, is only adding fuel to the gossip.

Whatever the reason for his absence, it's safe to say he was deeply missed. "We aren't One Direction without Zayn," said Payne, and fans echoed his sentiments on Twitter.

What do you think? Is all of the gossip overboard, or is One Direction really in trouble?

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