Liam Payne admits controversial comments about Zayn Malik 'came from the wrong place', as he completes a stint in rehab for becoming someone he 'didn’t really recognize anymore'

The star had a lot of apologizing to do

Liam Payne admits controversial comments about Zayn Malik were wrong as illustrated by a picture of Liam Payne and Zayn Malik
(Image credit: Associated Press/Abaca Press/Alamy/Future)

Liam Payne admits controversial comments about Zayn Malik were wrong, and weighs in on completing a stint in rehab after some unrecognizable behavior.

Not long after revealing claims that son Bear's arrival 'ruined' his relationship with Cheryl, Liam Payne has spoken out over previous comments made about his ex-bandmate Zayn Malik. 

The former One Direction star has also spoken honestly about why he felt spending time in rehab for a 100-day stay became necessary, due to behavior he reflected on and found unrecognizable.  

Payne made the comments about Malik during his appearance on Logan Paul’s Impaulsive podcast - hosted alongside Mike Malik and George Janko, in May 2022. As well as detailing a fight that happened with another One Direction member, Payne said he disliked Malik for a number of reasons.

The reasons he gave, included the drama Malik was going through with ex-girlfriend Gigi Hadid, and the similar issues he was having with her mother, Yolanda - just a year after Gigi Hadid and Zayn shared news of their daughter's birth, they announced their separation.

According to US Weekly, Payne said of his comments about Malik "I think for me, a lot of what I said just came from the wrong place. I was so angry at what was going on around me that instead of taking a look inwards I decided to take it outwards at everybody else."  

In a video uploaded to his YouTube channel discussing his behavior on Impaulsive,  Payne suggested the anger he referred to, came from frustration around the success of his own solo career. Feeling disappointed at where career 'landed' when One Direction came to an end in 2016, the singer admitted to being in self-preservation mode when he made the negative comments.

"The rest of the boys really stuck by me when I needed them most," he said, adding "They kind of came to the rescue, even Zayn as well, which is why I did send him a little thank you online."

Detailing the fight he said happened during a One Direction gig during the podcast, Payne said an argument backstage had broken out between him and another band member. He recalls being thrown against a wall, and having to tell his bandmate "If you don’t remove those hands there’s a high likelihood you’ll never use them again."

One Direction during filming of the Graham Norton Show at the London Studios, in central London

(Image credit: PA Images/Alamy)

It was looking back on the podcast that made Liam realise something had to change - the backlash he received also made him see the impact his words had on those around him. 

Finding it hard to watch the podcast footage, Payne took full responsibility for his actions, suggesting nobody was responsible for his words but him. "I kind of became somebody who I didn’t really recognize anymore," he said, adding "And I’m sure you guys didn’t either."

The feelings had had about his behavior spurred him to check into a Louisiana rehab facility, where completed a 100-day program - he has struggled with mental health and addiction issues for man years. With a return to social media and news of new music to come, Payne shared the happy news he has been sober for six months.

In further celebrity news, TOWIE's Ferne McCann has given birth to her second baby, featuring daughter Sunday in the sweet gender reveal. Naomi Campbell has announced the surprise birth of a son at the age of 53. There's interest in how many kids Joe Swash has, with he and Stacey Solomon now having a beautifully large brood. 

Lucy Wigley
Parenting writer - contributing

Lucy is a mum-of-two, multi-award nominated writer and blogger with six years’ of experience writing about parenting, family life, and TV. Lucy has contributed content to PopSugar and In the last three years, she has transformed her passion for streaming countless hours of television into specialising in entertainment writing. There is now nothing she loves more than watching the best shows on television and sharing why you - and your kids - should watch them.