RJ ShaughnessyZayn Malik says he doesn’t regret his decision to leave One Direction.
In an interview published Friday in the U.K. newspaper The Sun, the 22-year-old admits being surprised by the reaction to his announcement this week but he feels good about the decision he made.
“It is crazy and wild and a bit mad, but at the same time I've never felt more in control in my life,” says Zayn. “And I feel like I'm doing what's right -- right by myself and right by the boys, so I feel good.”
In the interview, Zayn rejects reports that he left the boy band because of bad blood between him and the other members: Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Niall Horan.
“My band has been really supportive. They've been cool about it,” Zayn tells The Sun. “And they understand that, you know, it's not real to me anymore.” He said the reports of tension “couldn't be more wrong.”
Zayn also tells the newspaper that he's still with his fiancée, Perrie Edwards, and she's "very supportive" of his decision.
Zayn acknowledges that many fans are upset by his departure, but he hopes they understand. “I feel like I've let the fans down but I can't do this anymore,” he confesses, adding, "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.”
As for his future, Zayn tells The Sun he's been working on his own music for some time.
The four remaining members of One Direction have vowed to continue. They have concert dates booked through October and are recording a fifth album that is due out later this year.
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