Simon Cowell Defends One Direction After Weed Smoking Video

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One Direction attend The BRIT Awards on February 19, 2014 in London, England.

“What I can say is that they’re the hardest-working boys I’ve ever worked with”

Last week, a video of One Direction's Zayn Malik smoking marijuana with bandmate Louis Tomlinson surfaced, sparking quite the outrage, and causing some fans to even burn their 1D tickets.

But according to One Direction's mentor, Simon Cowell, there's nothing to be worried about.

“What I can say is that they’re the hardest-working boys I’ve ever worked with,” Cowell told Digital Spy at the Health Lottery tea party.

"They're really respectful of their fans (and) they're a great British export… they've been a joy to work with… I've worked with a lot of artists in the past who do lose the plot, who do lose respect for their fans, they've never done that."

Cowell also stressed that he is often on the phone with the One Direction boys.

On May 31, One Direction's Liam Payne tweeted an apology on his bandmates' behalf, saying, "We are only in our 20's we all do stupid things at this age… We all have a lot of growing up to do in an extreme circumstance I'm not making excuse but it's fact we are gunna fall short somewhere… Hopefully we stand the test of time an get it right in the end I don't take this for granted and im extremely grateful to be here doing this."

One Direction signed to Cowell's Syco Records after forming under his supervision during the 2010 run of the British "X Factor." On Aug. 1, they kick off a lengthy North American stadium/arena tour at Toronto's Rogers Centre.