Liam Payne is walking back some harsh comments he made about former One Direction bandmate Zayn Malik on Logan Paul’s Impaulsive podcast this week. After receiving harsh criticism for airing personal laundry in public — including from former X-Factor pal Cher Lloyd — Payne tweeted early Thursday morning (June 2) that his freewheeling commentary may have been out of pocket.
“Guys – I wouldn’t normally comment on this stuff but when its your family it’s hard to let it slide,” he wrote. “They mentioned a specific incident involving Zayn which I responded to – but listening back maybe I didn’t articulate myself as well as I could have.”
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In the interview, Payne, 28, said there “many reasons” why he dislikes Malik, but also “many reasons” why he’ll “always, always” be on his side. “If I had had to go through what he went through… through his growth and whatever else… my parents are overly supportive to the point where it’s annoying at times… and Zayn had a different upbringing in that sense,” Payne said cryptically.
“You can always look at the man for where he is and say, ‘oh yeah, whatever that guy’s a dick, right?’ But at the end of the day once you understand what he’s been through to get to that point and also whether or not he actually wanted to be there… I can’t sit here and dick on him because of whatever and listen, I don’t agree with any of his actions. I can’t commend some of the things that he’s done. I can’t be on his side for that.”
In a second mea culpa tweet, Payne continued, “I was saying that there will always be things we disagree on but that I will always, always be on his side. That’s family. Zayn is my brother and I will stand by him forever.” Some of the comments on Payne’s walk-back questioned whether he really meant it, with one person writing, “Sorry but cmon now… you said what you said, and you meant it- otherwise you wouldn’t of said it. I mean you said- ‘there are many reasons why I dislike Zayn.’ And now you say he’s your brother? I just don’t understand. I love you, but this is not okay.” Another one opinied, “Have you apologised to Zayn? This tweet is unnecessary, it looks like an attempt to redeem yourself from the grave you dug on your own. We’re just reacting on what you did and said but if there’s no apology to Zayn then this is useless.”
At press time Malik did not appear to have responded to either the original comments or the apology and a spokesperson for Zayn had not returned Billboard‘s request for comment.
Malik left 1D in March 2015 five years after the group was launched into fame and just 6 months before the rest of the band went on what appears to be a permanent hiatus. He later said that he’d never wanted to be in the band in the first place, telling Beats 1, ”I think I always wanted to go, from the first year, really… I never really wanted to be there in the band,” he said.
See Payne’s tweets below.