Zayn Malik has opened up once again about his departure from One Direction.
This time, however, the singer has delved into a topic not previously broached before.
And probably a topic he would have been better off leaving alone.
In an interview with the Associated Press (via the BBC), the artist claimed that he suffered from an eating disorder during his final months as a member of the beloved boy band.
“When I look back at images of myself from around November 2014, before the final tour, I can see how ill I was,” Malik said.
“Something I’ve never talked about in public before, but which I have come to terms with since leaving the band, is that I was suffering from an eating disorder.”
In a move that nearly destroyed the Internet forever, Malik left One Direction in March of 2015.
At one point, he said that he made this career move to go and make real music, a comment that did not sit well with fans.
“It wasn’t as though I had any concerns about my weight or anything like that. I’d just go for days – sometimes two or three days straight – without eating anything at all,” the British pop star added in this new interview.
“It got quite serious, although at the time I didn’t recognize it for what it was.”
Perhaps aware that saying you have an eating disorder is a pretty big deal, Malik later tried to walk back his initial comments.
“I don’t think I ever had an eating disorder,” he clarified. “I was never diagnosed with one of them.”
In other words: he was maybe stressed out a bit and didn’t have very good eating habits for awhile there.
That is VERY different than actually having an eating disorder, something that has ruined the lives of millions of people around the world.
Malik did skip several group appearances due to stress prior to exiting One Direction.
He later embarked on a solo career, releasing his debut album, titled “Mind of Mine.”
While Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles released one more album in Malik’s absence, the group is now on an indefinite hiatus to pursue individual interests.
“I didn’t feel like I had control over anything else in my life, but food was something I could control, so I did,” Zayn told the AP in this new Q&A.
He added of his physical condition at the time:
“I had lost so much weight I had become ill. The workload and the pace of life on the road put together with the pressures and strains of everything going on within the band had badly affected my eating habits.”
Over time, Malik said:
“I realized that I wasn’t eating as much just down to the amount of work that we were doing…our schedule was kind of crazy so we were all over the place.
“It was just more down to losing track of, you know, actually eating and being super busy and getting caught up with other things that 17 or 18-year-olds do, which normally entails them going out, drinking or partying, so it was a mixture of everything.”
How does Malik feel now?
Great, he says, explaining why as follows:
“That machine was already going, it was at 100 miles per hour and it was harder to get off that machine… I’m controlling this one.”