Sinitta has opened up about Zayn Malik's shock exit from One Direction. The singer, a close friend of Simon Cowell, was present at Zayn's X Factor audition at the judges houses and has closely followed the band's progress ever since. On Thursday, she spoke about Zayn's decision to walk away after five years.
"I didn't know he was going to be leaving, I knew that there were troubles, but the funny thing is, Zayn, he was always the most reluctant," Sinitta told Good Morning Britain. "Even in the early days when we wanted them to dance and there was choreography… He was always the shy one at the back.
Sinitta has opened up about Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction
"He has an incredible voice, beautiful boy, really sweet, but just very, very shy and introverted so it was hard to get him to even be in the band in the first place."
Sinitta also spoke about recent reports suggesting Zayn had been unfaithful to fiancée Perrie Edwards, and the 22-year-old's need for privacy.
"Zayn was always the romantic, spiritual one, always took his relationships very seriously, was always very gentle. I think the relationship is important to him, he and Perrie, that is a very prominent relationship for him and for that to be threatened in any way – especially when you’re travelling around the world and all the stress and drama of that – you need an anchor, some stability somewhere. So I think that would have rocked him a lot."
Zayn (centre) announced he was leaving the band after five years
She added: "Since they were on the show, they literally haven’t had six months to just be kids… Yes, they've been tremendously successful, I’m sure it's been great fun, but you know, you miss your mum, you miss your dad, your siblings, your dog, your friends, sleeping in your own bed."
The star was asked what she thought the future held for the talented youngster. "(It will be a) big adjustment," she said. "But he's still extremely wealthy so it's not like he's going to suddenly lose all the luxury and all the excitement.
"Also Perrie is still in the biggest girl band in the world, so he'll, I think, probably get a balance. I don't think he'll leave the industry forever but I think he'll take some time out, regroup, be a normal boy like he said for a few years but he's so talented, he's a talented songwriter, he's a brilliant vocalist.
Sinitta said Zayn had always been "the most reluctant"
"I think he'll take time and then come back and he will miss it but at 22 how great to be able to say, 'I want to start my life how I want to now’."
Of Simon's reaction to Zayn's departure, Sinitta revealed: "Simon just said that he's really proud, he's really proud and I think he's always known that this was always a reluctant thing for Zayn to do, so the fact that he's managed to stay this long and done so well. I think he's really proud of him but obviously we're really sad as well."