Zayn Malik speaks for first time since leaving One Direction: ‘I feel like I’ve let the fans down’

Malik quit the group on Wednesday (March 25)

Former One Direction member Zayn Malik has spoken out for the first time since he quit the group earlier this week.

Malik departed the band on Wednesday (March 25), after he had previously pulled out of the group’s Asian tour with stress.

Speaking to The Sun, Malik said that he was worried he has hurt One Direction’s famously passionate audience, but that he cannot continue to be a member of the band. “I feel like I’ve let the fans down but I can’t do this anymore,” he said. “It is crazy and wild and a bit mad 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.”

“You know, I did try to do something that I wasn’t happy doing for a while, for the sake of maybe other people’s happiness,” he added. “And that was mainly the fans. And I only ever tried to do it for the fans, and it was only ever for them.

“I’m only upset [because] I feel like I may have let them down in some sort of way. 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 real to me.”

Meanwhile, Malik suggested that while One Direction will continue without him, it may not be for long. “They still want to do it for a while,” he said. “So they’re going to carry on doing what they want to do and I think they’re going to do okay for a while.”

Rumours about Malik’s future in the band were abound after he recently pulled out of the group’s Asian tour (March 19) so he could fly back to the UK to be with his family after pictures emerged of him with a mystery girl in Thailand. Malik is currently engaged to Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards.