One Direction's Zayn Malik quits world tour over stress days after Hong Kong gig
One Direction star Zayn Malik quit the world tour of the British-Irish pop phenomenon due to stress, a spokesman for the band said, a few days after the band played a sold-out show in Hong Kong.
Malik, 22, is to return home to Britain as the band goes on to play shows from the Philippines to South Africa, through Europe and the United States.
“Zayn has been signed off with stress and is flying back to the UK to recuperate,” a spokesman for One Direction said yesterday.
“The band wish him well and will continue with their performances” in the Philippines and Indonesia.
The announcement came after pictures of Malik, who is engaged to marry Little Mix popstar Perrie Edwards, were widely shared online showing him close to another woman.
One of the pictures showed him holding hands with the blonde, while the two posed with his arm around her stomach in another.
Malik spoke out against speculation about their relationship by declaring his love for his fiancée.
“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” Malik wrote in a Tweet to his 14.1 million followers.
One of the world’s biggest pop music acts, One Direction is to continue its world tour, which has dates through the summer before finishing with a string of sold-out dates in Britain.
Malik, who is from Bradford in northern England, was picked to be in One Direction after each of the band’s five members auditioned separately to be on reality TV show X Factor in 2010.
His fellow band mates have not explicitly addressed the events on social media, though Liam Payne tweeted “What a day”.
Zayn seemed "apathetic" during a recent concert in Hong Kong, where a Post reviewer noted he "struggled to smile" and his lack of engagement was a crack in an otherwise polished performance.
Yesterday, he and bandmate Louis Tomlinson were also asked by the Philippines to post bonds worth nearly US$5,000 each as a guarantee they will not use drugs while in the country for a concert, after a local anti-drug group cited a video allegedly showing Malik smoking marijuana before leaving Peru.
The allegation was never proven, though the band apologised over the stir caused by the video.