It’s been three years since Zayn Malik left One Direction. In that time, he’s released a solo album, become one-half of a power couple with Gigi Hadid and built a career for himself outside of his four former bandmates. Still, there remains one question on every directioner’s mind: Is Zayn Malik still friends with One Direction?
The 25-year-old made it very clear that he isn’t in his recent interview with British Vogue, where he talked about the band’s fallout and why he isn’t friends with a single one of them. One reason is that Malik considers himself “a bit of an island,” who has always been somewhat on his own. “I have always been a bit like that, though—always a bit of an island. I don’t like to confer with too many people,” he said.
The other reason is “snide things” his band members—Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson—have said about him since he left in 2015. Malik didn’t specify what his band members said, but he suggests that it was enough for him to cut ties from them permanently. “I ain’t spoke to any of them for a long time, to be honest with you. That’s just the way it is,” he said. “There’s things that happen and things that were said after I left… Snide things. Small things that I would never have expected.”
But Malik asserts that he was never really that close to the foursome. He explained that their relationship was mainly through work, so there was “never any sort of bridge” built. “We went from theaters, to arenas, to stadiums. There was never any sort of bridge between. Just boom, boom, boom. I guess that kind of progression to any mind—but especially when you’re 17, 18—it kind of affects you a little bit,” he said. “People take it different ways—especially when there are five different personalities. The relationships had broken apart.”
However, there is one relationship in Malik’s life that remains strong: his relationship with Gigi Hadid. The two split earlier this year, but have since reunited, and right now, they’re going strong. “Everything is great,” Malik said. “She’s super-organized and I’m really not. It helps that she can get things together for me a little bit. I lean on her a lot.”