Liam Payne has revealed the real reason why Zayn Malik left One Direction. The singer said his former bandmate chose to leave because he wanted to spend more time with his family and fiancé Perrie Edwards.
"Sometimes you have to move on because you're not enjoying what you're doing as much as you used to," Liam told Lisa Snowdon during an interview on Capital FM on Wednesday. "He wanted to spend time with his family and missus. That's cool with us."
Zayn announced that he was leaving One Direction after five years in March, saying that he wanted to be a "normal 22-year-old". At the time many fans speculated that Perrie was behind the decision, with many describing her as the "Yoko Ono of 1D".
If Liam's explanation is true, Zayn has fulfilled his promise by spending lots of time with Perrie in recent weeks. The pair were spotted house hunting together in March, and also jetted away for a holiday with Zayn's family at the start of April.
The couple have also been keen to show that their relationship is as strong as ever following frequent claims of Zayn's infidelity, and have shared several loved-up photos for their fans on Instagram.
While Perrie may have felt the wrath of devoted One Direction fans, it seems she has still won over Zayn's family, with his older sister Doniya Malik recently saying she sees Perrie as a sister.
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One Direction have vowed to continue without Zayn
"It's pretty cool," Doniya told BBC Asian Network of her brother's relationship. "Perrie's a really nice girl, she's really friendly, very easy to get on with, down-to-earth, so I'd say just how it is with my sisters."
Liam's confession comes just days after he paid tribute to his former bandmate as they collected the Top Group/ Duo prize at the Billboard Music Awards.
"This one is for the fans," he said during their acceptance speech. "But there is one more person we want to share this with and that's our brother Zayn."