Fans of One Direction know that March 25, 2015, goes down in history as one of the saddest and most shocking days ever. And that’s because it was the day Zayn Malik decided to leave the band. In case you forgot, the boys made the announcement in a lengthy Facebook post that pretty much shattered millions of teenage girls’ hearts around the world.

“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,” the “Pillowtalk” crooner wrote in the emotional post. “I’d like to apologize 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.”

After that, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne continued making music and performing as a four-person band. They went on to release one last album, Made In the A.M., before going on a hiatus in December of that same year.

But in the years that followed Zayn’s departure, a lot went down between him and his former bandmates. The singer went on to give multiple interviews about his decision to leave 1D, where he shaded the band left and right. Zayn even admitted that he never wanted to be in the group at all, explaining that their style of music “wasn’t his cup of tea.” Ouch!

But it was when the singer said that he left the band with zero friends that fans’ hearts were truly broken. And his former bandmates were just as hurt. Over the years, they too have been pretty open about their feelings towards Zayn and his decision to leave the band — and it honestly hasn’t been pretty.

Despite all the bad blood, Zayn still has love for the 1D boys. In fact, he called Niall his favorite in a March 2021 interview. When asked which solo tunes he likes the best, Zayn told Sirius XM’s Debatable,  “I don’t think there’s a comparisonBut I’ll tell you what, Niall is my favorite. How about that? Niall makes the best music.”

Scroll through our gallery to see what each member of 1D, including Zayn, has said about Z’s choice to leave the band and where their relationships stand now.

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