One Direction star Zayn Malik quit the world tour of the British-Irish pop phenomenon due to stress, a spokesman for the band said yesterday.
Malik, 22, is to return home to Britain as the band goes on to play shows from the Philippines to South Africa, through Europe and the United States.
â€œZayn has been signed off with stress and is flying back to the UK to recuperate,â€ a spokesman for One Direction said.
â€œThe band wish him well and will continue with their performancesâ€ in the Philippines and Indonesia.
The announcement came after pictures of Malik, who is engaged to marry Little Mix popstar Perrie Edwards, were widely shared online showing him close to another woman.
One of the pictures showed him holding hands with the blonde, while the two posed with his arm around her stomach in another.
Malik spoke out against speculation about their relationship by declaring his love for his fiancee.
â€œIâ€™m 22 years old… I love a girl named Perrie Edwards. And thereâ€™s a lot of jealous f****s in this world Iâ€™m sorry for what it looks like xâ€ Malik wrote in a Tweet to his 14.1 million followers.
One of the worldâ€™s biggest pop music acts, One Direction is to continue its world tour, which has dates through the summer before finishing with a string of sold-out dates in Britain.
Malik, who is from Bradford in northern England, was picked to be in One Direction after each of the bandâ€™s five members auditioned separately to be on reality TV show X Factor in 2010.
His fellow band mates have not explicitly addressed the events on social media, though Liam Payne tweeted â€œWhat a day.â€–AFP