Shades of Yoko Ono? One Direction fans angrily took to social media on Wednesday to blame Zayn Malik’s fiancee, Perrie Edwards, for his decision to leave their beloved boy band.
“My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined,” Malik said in an announcement that sent the Internet into convulsions.
“But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. 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.”
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
When Malik announced last week that he was taking a break from the group due to stress, fans assumed he was recovering from rumors about whether he had cheated on Edwards in Thailand.
He flew straight home from the tour for what were described as “crisis talks” with Edwards after he was photographed holding hands with a 19-year-old mystery blonde.
He lashed out at the cheating rumors, angrily tweeting: “I’m 22 years old… I love a girl named Perrie Edwards. And there’s a lot of jealous f***s in this world. I’m sorry for what it looks like.”
Within hours of his announcement Wednesday that he was leaving the band for good, fan reaction turned ugly online.
Some compared Edwards to Yoko Ono, John Lennon’s wife who was famously accused of breaking up the Beatles.
Other fans, however, were more kind.