Zayn Malik has reportedly left One Direction's On the Road Again World Tour due to "stress."
The 22-year-old singer pulled out of a commercial recording in Hong Kong yesterday, March 19, and has flown back to the United Kingdom due to the stress of media speculation on his private life.
A spokesman for the band told The Sun newspaper: "Zayn has signed off with stress and is flying back to the UK to recuperate. The band wish him well and will continue with their performances in Manila and Jakarta."
His departure comes just hours after the "Steal My Girl" hitmaker was forced to assure fans he had not cheated on his fiancé Perrie Edwards of Little Mix, having been spotted getting close with another woman while on a night out in Phuket, Thailand.
Taking to his Twitter account on Wednesday evening, March 18, he said: "I'm 22 years old... I love a girl named Perrie Edwards. And there's a lot of jealous f**ks in this world I'm sorry for what it looks like x."
Zayn—who was to pay a P200,000 bond in order to enter the Philippines this weekend following his previous rumored drug use—will now be absent from the band's next three performances in Asia, but is expected to rejoin Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Niall Horan for their show in Cape Town, South Africa, on March 28.
One Direction is scheduled to have a two-night concert in the Philippines this weekend, March 21 and 22, at SM MOA Concert Grounds.
ULTIMATUM. Zayn's decision to leave his bandmates in Asia was reportedly the direct result of an "ultimatum" given by Perrie.
A source told HollywoodLife.com: "She was furious about the pictures of him holding hands with an attractive blonde fan, and delivered an ultimatum to leave the tour and fix their relationship.
"Zayn's been away on a world tour and it's difficult for them to maintain their commitment when they aren't together. Perrie reiterated, 'Get home if you want to sort this mess out, or we're done.'"
Speaking about the reasons for his temporary departure from the tour, a source said: "Zayn finds it tougher than the rest of his bandmates dealing with fame.
"Having his every movement scrutinized causes great anxiety and the pictures which surfaced with the fan yesterday was the final straw.
"He did nothing wrong but the amount of criticism he received was simply too much. He needs to get away.
"The band's management accept he needs some time off so he's been sent home with their blessing."
1D MEMBERS UNDERSTAND. On the other hand, One Direction members are "fully understanding" of Zayn's decision to take a break from the band's tour.
Harry, Liam, Niall, and Louis are said to be "stunned" but fully "supportive" of Zayn's decision.
An insider shared: "The boys fully understand Zayn's desire to leave their current tour.
"They were a little stunned at first, but realize it's for the best with everything he's going through with Perrie and the long-tour commitment, which really takes it out of you.
"It's up to them now to carry the torch while Zayn does what he needs to do, and they're up for the challenge of becoming a four-piece, instead of five.
"Harry, Liam, Niall and Louis are very supportive of Zayn's need to recuperate and get his life back on track. They're like brothers and will do anything they can to help."