Bad blood? One Direction fans remember March 25, 2015, as the day Zayn Malik left the band. The singer made his shocking announcement in a lengthy Facebook post at the time, thanking fans for their support and sharing his decision to leave the group.

“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. “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.”

Despite his departure, the remaining members — Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne — continued making music and performing. 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 seemingly threw shade at his time in the group. Zayn even admitted that he never wanted to be in One Direction, revealing that their style of music “wasn’t his cup of tea.”

Despite all the rumored bad blood, Zayn still has love for his fellow bandmates. 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.”

Since then, Liam has also spoken out about his time moving on from the band and shared his real feelings about Zayn.

“There’s many reasons why I dislike Zayn and there’s many reasons why I’ll always, always be on his side,” the “Strip That Down” singer shared on the “Impaulsive” podcast with Logan Paul in May 2022. “If I had had to go through what he went through, through his growth and whatever else. … My parents are overly supportive to the point where it’s annoying at times. Zayn had a different upbringing in that sense. You can always look at the man for where he is and say, ‘Oh yeah, whatever, that guy’s a d–k.’ But at the end of the day, once you’re understanding what he’s been through to get to that point — and also whether or not he wanted to be there.”

Scroll through our gallery for everything Zayn and the other One Direction band members have said about him leaving the band. 

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