Liam Payne Compares Jesy Nelson's Little Mix Exit to Zayn Malik's Departure From One Direction

Kaitlin Reilly
·3 min read

Sometimes, you need to head in a new direction.

Fans have compared Jesy Nelson's exit from British girl group Little Mix earlier this month to Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction in 2015 and now, Zayn's former bandmate Liam Payne is weighing in.

On a Dec. 16 TikTok Live, a fan joked that Jesy had "Zayn'd out" of Little Mix. Liam responded to the comment in the video, saying, "Let's be serious about this. It's always sad at this moment in time when bands get into that sort of thing. Having been there myself, I felt that Zayn left for pretty much the same reason in a weird way."

He added, "I wish Jesy all the best. I wish the girls all the best for carrying on as a three. It's a tough time and I do feel for them because everyone is watching in that little fishbowl at the moment and no one really understands what's going on or how it feels for some people."

Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik: Romance Rewind

In a Dec. 14 Instagram post, Jesy, who is one of the original four members of the girl group, shared the reason she decided to leave the band after nine years.

"The truth is recently being in the band has really taken a toll on my mental health. I find the constant pressure of being in a girl group and living up to expectations very hard," she shared. "There comes a time in life when we need to reinvest in taking care of ourselves rather than focusing on making other people happy, and I feel like now is the time to begin that process. So after much consideration and with a heavy heart, I'm announcing I'm leaving Little Mix."

Zayn shared similar sentiments when he chose to exit One Direction, one of the most successful pop groups of all time.

Liam Payne, Jesy Nelson, Zayn Malik
Liam Payne, Jesy Nelson, Zayn Malik

"My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I'd like to apologize to the fans if I've let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart," the new dad shared on the group's official Facebook page in March 2015. "I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight."

However, in a 2016 interview with the Associated Press, however, the star opened up about how his busy life of touring with the band led to him developing an eating disorder, as well as issues with anxiety.

"It wasn't as though I had any concerns about my weight or anything like that. I'd just go for days—sometimes two or three days straight—without eating anything at all," Zayn shared. "It got quite serious, although at the time I didn't recognize it for what it was."

Since leaving One Direction, Zayn embarked on a thriving solo career. Meanwhile, fans will be eager to see what's next for Jesy.