No, Zayn Malik says, he was not fired from One Direction for drug use.
With fans remaining in shock, rumors swirling around the Internet and Malik's now-former colleagues crying over his departure, the artist spoke to The Sun yesterday and expounded on his reasons for leaving One Direction.
Malik said he feels "quite interesting" in the wake of this decision, but he has no regrets over it.
"It is crazy and wild and a bit mad," With said. "But at the same time I've never felt more in control in my life. And I feel like I'm doing what's right – right by myself and right by the boys, so I feel good."
In a statement on Wednesday, Malik apologized to fans, saying he felt it was time to live as "a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight."
Over the past few months, he had been accused of hard drug use and also accused of cheating on girlfriend Perrie Edwards.
But he confirmed via this Sun discussion that he is still with Edwards and that she is "very supportive" of his One Direction departure.
He also credited Harry, Liam, Louis and Niall with understanding that he "wasn't happy for awhile" and things did not feel "real to him."
There's just one thing Zayn feels badly about.
"I feel like I've let the fans down but I can't do this anymore," he said. "It's not that I've turned my back on them or anything, it's just that I just can't do that anymore because it's not the real me."
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