“Someone Zayn’d out! Which, you know…No, let’s be serious about this,” the former One Direction-er declared during a TikTok Live. “It’s always sad at this moment in time, when bands get into that sort of thing. And, I mean, having been there myself, I feel like Zayn had left for pretty much the same reasons, actually, in a weird way.
“But, you know, I wish Jesy all the best. I wish the girls all the best with carrying on as a three,” he continued. “It’s a tough time; I do feel for them because everyone’s watching in that little fish bowl at the moment, and no one really understands what’s going on or how it feels for some people…Sending a lot of love to Little Mix.”
In her Dec. 14 statement, Nelson cited the “toll” being in Little Mix took on her mental health as her primary reason for leaving the group; similarly, Zayn quit One Direction back in March 2015, less than two months after the band kicked off its On the Road Again Tour.
Coincidentally, Zayn was engaged to Nelson’s now-former bandmate Perrie Edwards at the time he left One Direction, though the couple would break up several months later. (Little Mix’s hit 2016 single “Shout Out to My Ex” has long been rumored to be a kiss off directed at Zayn — he later moved on with supermodel Gigi Hadid, who gave birth to the couple’s first child in September.)
Watch Payne weigh in on Nelson’s departure and check out the full Live (both fan-captured) below.
— zom-b²⁸ (@dothelouishake) December 15, 2020