Louis Tomlinson Revealed the Real Reason He’s Not Friends with Zayn Malik Anymore

Zayn Malik Louis Tomlinson
Photo: REX/Shutterstock

It seems two of the One Direction boys might not be on such great terms, though we’re not entirely surprised. Former band members Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson had a fight back after the band broke up, and it doesn’t appear to ever have been fully resolved.

Tomlinson, who lost his mother to Leukemia on December 7, 2016, is hurt and upset with Malik. Tomlinson gave an emotional performance on The X Factor just three days after his mom’s passing. Three of his former bandmates—Harry Styles, Niall Horan and Liam Payne—came to support him but the “I Don’t Want to Live Forever” singer was a no-show.

The Sun’s Dan Wooten recently interviewed Tomlinson and asked him about his relationship with Malik. “Truthfully it never really got better,” Tomlinson replied, speaking about their previously strained dynamic.

“I had a couple of calls with him after I lost my mum and all the boys had agreed to come to that performance and he didn’t show so that really bugged me,” he continued. Tomlinson then talked about how special it was to have his other bandmates there and be able to bond with them again. “I’ve got goosebumps now,”  Tomlinson said about the night. “It was just seeing everyone there—Harry, Niall and Liam—that was what I needed that night, that support.”

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Photo: Wenn.

But Malik was missing, and Tomlinson noticed. “So on the other end of the spectrum it kind of really showed. So, eh, I hope he’s alright, but…”

EEK. They are most definitely not on good terms. To be fair, Malik did send support via the Twitter-verse after Tomlin’s mom passed.

@Louis_Tomlinson love you bro! All of your family is in my prayers. proud of your strength and know your mum is too x”

But as we all know, that’s not quite the same thing as actually showing up. And it was a pretty special performance, the words in “Just Hold On!” hit home.

So where did it all go wrong between these two boys? Back in 2010, all five boy band members seemed like best buds. Horan, Malik, Payne, Styles, and Tomlinson all auditioned as solo performers for the seventh season of the British singing competition, The X Factor. 

Once they were all paired together they were truly unstoppable. With hits like “What Makes You Beautiful” and “Story of My Life,” they melted hearts everywhere. Seriously. We know you’re lying if you didn’t visualize a full movie-like scenario where the One Direction guys were serenading you because they thought you were beautiful and wanted you to be their “last kiss.”

Anyway—in March 2015, Malik decided to leave the band saying he wanted to be a “normal 22-year-old.” This left the other four boys to carry on the 1D legacy. Initially, all the boys were very supportive of one another, and while they didn’t mention Malik by name, the messages were pretty clearly about him. Styles tweeted, “All the love as always. H.” Brief. Succinct. To the point. Tomlinson seemed heartfelt too with his messages. “Been a crazy couple of days but know that we are going to work harder than ever to deliver the best album we’ve ever made for you guys,” he tweeted. Then followed up with, “Your support has been incredible , truly incredible so thank you so much !”

But then things turned frosty. On May 4, 2015, Payne posted this video with the caption, “new fifth member? I think so.”

Shortly after (two days later to be exact), Malik’s music producer and friend Naughty Boy tweeted a photo with the “Pillowtalk” singer writing, “Replace this.” So, it was perhaps a response to the fact that 1D—even jokingly—was considering replacing Malik.

WELL that’s when things really turned icy. Tomlinson got snarky, responding to the photo with a middle-school-esque insult. He tweeted, “Remember when you were 12 and you used to think those Mac filters for your pictures were cool haha ! Some people still do HA!”

Not one to take anything lying down, Malik then fired back, “@Louis_Tomlinson remember when you had a life and stopped making bitchy comments about mine ?”

Naturally, Twitter did it’s usual job of reminding the boys of when they were friends. “Remember when…”

Naughty Boy, whose real name is Shahid Khan BTW, piled on tweeting, “And some people can’t even sing… but who’s complaining when there’s auto tune eh.”

the office gif Louis Tomlinson Revealed the Real Reason Hes Not Friends with Zayn Malik Anymore

20 minutes later, Tomlinson fired back. “Jesus forgot you were such an in demand producer …. How does it feel to be riding on the back of someone else’s career?”

What do we think of all of this?


One Direction announced a hiatus in March 2016—almost exactly one year after Malik left the band. But it really just turned into a full break up. (A hiatus is like saying you’re “on a break” but does that actually ever work for anyone?)

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Needless to say, it’s been a rocky road for the boys and it doesn’t look like it’s on the mend just yet. But hopefully they can reconnect and forgive. We’d love to see a surprise 1D boy band reunion. The JoBros did it—maybe One Direction can too!