Zayn Malik, who broke the hearts of a slew of One Direction fans when he announced Wednesday that he would be leaving the British boy band, finally broke his silence over his decision to leave.
Rumors circulated that he quit after refusing to give up the partying; however, Zayn Malik said he left One Direction simply to pursue a solo career.
Zayn Malik said the reaction to his departure has been "crazy and wild and a bit mad," but says he wouldn't change a thing.
"I've never felt more in control in my life," said Zayn Malik. "And I feel like I'm doing what's right – right by myself and right by the boys, so I feel good."
— HELLO! (@hellomag) March 30, 2015
Zayn Malik denied there was any lingering bitterness from his former One Direction buddies, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Moran.
"My band has been really supportive," he said. "They've been cool about it. And they understand that, you know, [One Direction is] not real to me anymore.
— MTV Asia (@mtvasia) March 30, 2015
Most importantly, Zayn Malik said he was much happier now because he is pursuing his own dreams and not those of others.
"I did try to do something that I wasn't happy doing for a while, for the sake of other people's happiness," he said, noting that his only regret is the pain it has caused his One Direction fans.
— PopCrush (@PopCrush) March 30, 2015
"I feel like I've let the fans down but I can't do this anymore," Zayn Malik admitted. "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."
— billboard (@billboard) March 29, 2015