Learning the details surrounding Zayn's sudden departure from One Direction continues to be devastating to this day. Although it's been four years since Zayn left the group in March 2015, fans are still trying to piece together exactly what happened, and apparently, so are the One Direction alumni themselves. Liam Payne's quote about how Zayn quit One Direction shows there was never any real closure between Zayn and 1D. If you're a die-hard Directioner, what Payne had to say about Zayn will absolutely break you.
On Nov. 4, GQ Hype revealed its latest issue with Payne gracing the cover in nothing but boxers, revealing his bare chest and ink on his arms. If his cover photo hinted at anything, it's that Payne's interview was going to be honest and vulnerable, which it turned out to be, because Payne got so real about Zayn leaving One Direction.
Payne told GQ Hype, “I think with Zayn’s particular exit and the way he chose to go, we haven’t really heard from him since he left. He didn’t even say goodbye, if I am being honest. It was a really sordid scenario, from our side certainly. A bit strange. It’s difficult.”
Although Payne is a bit hurt over Zayn's departure, what he said next about his former bandmate is nothing but praise.
"For Zayn, he loves music and he's an amazing talent. He genuinely was the best singer in One Direction, hand on heart, out of all of us," Payne said. "But for him to get to a point where, you know, he can't step on a stage? It's a lot. I mean, he's doing great. His streaming numbers are ridiculous, but I do think he misses out on the performance side a bit, you know. He can't seem to get past that part."
Following Zayn's exit from One Direction, the "Pillowtalk" singer was scheduled to perform solo in Dubai in October 2016 to promote his debut album Mind of Mine, but unfortunately had to cancel due to his anxiety. At the time, Zayn released a statement that read, “I’ve been working over the last three months to overcome my extreme anxiety around major live solo performances. I feel I am making progress but I have today acknowledged that I do not feel sufficiently confident to move forward with the planned show in Dubai in October."
Since then, Zayn hasn't toured, and Payne empathizes with him. He feels that no one can truly understand Zayn's fears and insecurities like he and the rest of the 1D members can. "We're the only people who know what you're going through," Payne told GQ Hype.
In the end, Payne hopes Zayn is doing OK. He said, "I hope he has good people around him, but I don't at this stage think it's anything the rest of us can solve."
So there you have it. The former bandmates aren't on speaking terms, but there's also no bad blood between them. Hopefully, all of the 1D members can get some real closure one day, because if no goodbyes were ever exchanged, that's absolutely heartbreaking.