Simon Cowell breaks silence on One Direction drugs incident

Record label boss and mentor says the band haven't changed

Simon Cowell has spoken about One Direction for the first time since band member Zayn Malik was filmed appearing to smoke a “joint” in the back of a car.

It is claimed that the video was filmed on April 27 while Malik, along with band mate Louis Tomlinson, were being driven through Lima, Peru on their way to a gig at the Estadio Nacional. The five-minute video appears to be filmed by Tomlinson, who is heard saying, “So here we are, leaving Peru. Joint lit. Happy days!”

Speaking to Digital Spy yesterday (June 2), Cowell said the video was a “private matter” but defended Malik and his bandmates, stating that they have not changed and still care for their fans.

“What I can say is that they’re the hardest-working boys I’ve ever worked with,” Cowell said. “They still haven’t changed. They’re really respectful of their fans [and] they’re a great British export… they’ve been a joy to work with.”

The X Factor judge continued: “I’ve worked with a lot of artists in the past who do lose the plot, who do lose respect for their fans, they’ve never done that.”

Since the incident there has been a 79 per cent surge in tickets for One Direction shows being listed on resale site Viagogo.