AceShowbiz - %cZayn Malik% is done with %cOne Direction%. After five years, he decides to leave the group roughly a week after he quit the tour. The British boyband announces his departure Wednesday, March 25 on Facebook in a joint statement.
"My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined," he said. "But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I'd like to apologise to the fans if I've let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart."
"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," he explained before assuring that there was no bad blood between him and his bandmates. "I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world."
%cNiall Horan%, %cHarry Styles%, %cLiam Payne%, and %cLouis Tomlinson% responded, "We're really sad to see Zayn go, but we totally respect his decision and send him all our love for the future. The past five years have been beyond amazing, we've gone through so much together, so we will always be friends."
They added, "The four of us will now continue. We're looking forward to recording the new album and seeing all the fans on the next stage of the world tour."
One Direction was formed by %cSimon Cowell% during "The X Factor" in 2010. Of Malik's exit, Cowell said, "I would like to say thank you to Zayn for everything he has done for One Direction. Since I first met Zayn in 2010, I have grown very, very fond - and immensely proud - of him. I have seen him grow in confidence and I am truly sorry to see him leave. As for One Direction, fans can rest assured that Niall, Liam, Harry and Louis are hugely excited about the future of the band."
Zayn Malik left the group's world tour last week after he was caught holding hands with a blonde girl in Phuket, Thailand resulting in rumors that he cheated on his fiancee %cLittle Mix%'s %cPerrie Edwards%.