On-again, off-again couple Liam Payne and Maya Henry appear to be off-again after Payne was seen “wrapped around” another woman on Instagram. The former One Direction member and his recognizable tattoos were spotted embracing model Aliana Mawla in a photo posted on Mawla’s Instagram story on May 22. The photo was then reposted to a fan account on May 23. Mawla was mistaken for Henry, leaving Payne’s ex-fiancée to clarify she was not the woman in the photos. Suffice to say, Payne and Henry’s breakup drama is messy.
“I love all of the fans so much but please stop sending me these pictures of my fiancé wrapped around another woman,” Henry responded to the post. “This is not me and it’s hard enough knowing this has happened without seeing it. Enough now.” While Payne’s rep confirmed that he and Henry broke up last month, her use of the word “fiancé” has some fans believing they were still together. Confused? Me too. So let’s get into it.
Following the Instagram drama, a source claimed to the Daily Mail, “Liam and Maya are no longer together and split up for good over a month ago. Maya’s comments referring to Liam as her fiancé are untrue and very misleading.” Not to mention, Payne isn’t exactly hiding his connection with Mawla. The duo were photographed together arriving at London Heathrow Airport on May 24 — only two days after the drama started.
To be fair, the timeline here is a little confusing. As of March 24, Payne and Henry were still engaged and seemed to be in a good place. “She's still my fiancée," Payne told People at the time. "We're still here together, and we're very, very happy at the moment. Probably the happiest we've been." Ouch. No wonder Henry appeared so caught off guard after seeing the pictures.
In typical fandom behavior, the internet is divided on Payne and Henry’s breakup. On May 24, the hashtag #IStandWithLiamPayne began trending on Twitter. Their argument? Some fans believed that Payne and Henry did break up, so he was not in the wrong for moving on and didn’t deserve to get called out. However, others are suspicious of his story and believe there is more to the story than Payne and his team is letting on. Either way, this split is bound to get messy. The couple has a history of shady breakup behavior, after all.
A little backstory on this duo: They first crossed paths in 2015 when Henry met Payne at One Direction’s On The Road Again tour. Then, in August 2018, Henry, a model and star of the short-lived YouTube reality series Hangin’ With Los Henrys, lived every One Direction fan’s dream when she began dating Payne. The couple kept things on the DL for a year until Payne confirmed their relationship on Capital FM’s Breakfast Show in September 2019. Unfortunately, five months later in February 2020, breakup rumors hit social media. But fans let out a sigh of relief when Henry posted a picture with Payne at the release party for his Tings Magazine cover a few weeks later.
From then on, the couple remained together in romantic bliss, and in August 2020, they confirmed their engagement after Henry was spotted with a *massive* rock on her finger. That bliss, however, was short-lived. Less than a year after Payne popped the question, they called off their engagement in June 2021 when Payne cryptically admitted that he “keep[s] on hurting people [he loves]” on The Diary of a CEO podcast. The pair fortunately found their way ~through the dark~ and got back together a month later. Phew, crisis averted… until now.
While Directioners were rooting for the fan-turned-wife trope, it appears that Payne and Henry couldn’t agree on which direction to go in. Here’s hoping they both find closure soon.