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Liam Payne Says Zayn Malik 'Didn’t Even Say Goodbye' When He Left One Direction

Come for the Zayn tea, stay for the Liam nudes.
PHOTO: Getty Images
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Just when you thought One Direction, aka your favorite boy band of the 2010s, was done talking about how toxic their lives were while they were in the group, spoiler alert: They’re not! Liam Payne just went on the record in (his very nude appearance in) British GQ and admitted that being in One Direction was hard, but Zayn Malik—who infamously left the group first, in case you forgot—probably took it the hardest out of all the guys.

After Liam described his own issues with alcoholism, depression, and anxiety, the interviewer brought up Zayn. Liam claimed that signing up for The X Factor, the show that launched One Direction’s career, gave the contestants little way of knowing if they’re built for fame or not.

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“For Zayn, he loves music and he’s an amazing talent. He genuinely was the best singer in One Direction, hand on heart, out of all of us. But for him to get to a point where, you know, he can’t step on a stage? It’s a lot,” Liam said. “I mean, he’s doing great. His streaming numbers are ridiculous, but I do think he misses out on the performance side a bit, you know. He can’t seem to get past that part. We all have it.”

Following Zayn’s departure, Liam confessed that he did want to reach out to Zayn, but it got to a point where it was so overwhelming that he didn’t know where to begin. Liam also struggled with approaching Zayn because he didn’t want Zayn to feel like everyone in the band was ganging up against him or like he was going through his anxiety by himself.

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“We’re the only people who know what you’re going through. The only five people who know what you are going through were all in a room together once, and you left—fair enough—but you don’t want anyone going through such evils for no reason,” Liam said. “But it got to a point with me where I wouldn’t know where to begin with Zayn. I hope he has good people around him, but I don’t at this stage think it’s anything the rest of us can solve.”

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While the guys in One Direction had their grudges, Liam tried his best not to hold on to those feelings anymore. “Now we are older, for me certainly there are things that I am just not as bothered about,” Liam said. But with Zayn, Liam felt it was difficult to move on because Zayn left One Direction without formally saying goodbye to anyone.

“I think with Zayn’s particular exit and the way he chose to go, we haven’t really heard from him since he left,” Liam added. “He didn’t even say goodbye, if I am being honest. It was a really sordid scenario, from our side, certainly. A bit strange. It’s difficult.”

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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.