In recent weeks there’s been a lot of speculation as to whether Malik would be leaving the band or not, and he’s dealing with some personal drama, too, having been accused of cheating on fiancée Perrie Edwards. He appeared to deny this on Twitter last week, saying, “I’m 22 years old… I love a girl named Perrie Edwards. And there’s a lot of jealous f***s in this world I’m sorry for what it looks like x.”
Taking to the band’s official Facebook page on Wednesday, he confirmed the news of his departure, and revealed that his life would be going in a different direction.
“My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I’d like to apologise to the fans if I’ve let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight,” he wrote.
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But just because Malik has decided to leave the boy band does not mean that it’s all over. The band confirmed that they would be continuing as a four-piece and look forward to the forthcoming concerts.
Malik then went on to praise his four bandmates and close friends Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson.
“I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world,” he said.
The statement also includes comments from the band as a whole who said, “We’re really sad to see Zayn go, but we totally respect his decision and send him all our love for the future.” Their manager and mentor Simon Cowell also thanked Malik for everything he has done for the band, and gushed about how proud he is.