Earlier this week, the “Swish Swish” singer, 32, was reminiscing about her time as a guest judge on The X Factor in 2010 when she determined the young singer’s fate on the show. Perry’s deciding vote pushed Horan forward in the competition, where he was later grouped with Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Zayn Malik to form One Direction.
“Niall’s amazing. I love him, and I think we feel very connected in a way because I, like, have helped him get through The X Factor to join his group,” Perry told Australian radio show Fitzy & Wippa on Wednesday, June 28. “He’s become a big star and I’m like, ‘Cool, I guess that means I have taste?’ I don’t know what that means.”
The pop songstress went on to say that the 23-year-old might be romantically interested in her. “I see him around all the time,” she continued. “He’s always trying to like, get my number, to like, maybe flirt with me, but I’m like, ‘I could babysit you. I’m like your mom!’”
Horan responded to Perry’s flirting claims during his appearance on Australian TV show The Project on Thursday, June 28. “Katy, please stop being mean to me,” he joked. “She’s just finding any excuse now to just patronize me and go around spreading rumors about me. I just want to be your friend!”
He added that their age difference — 9 years — isn’t that drastic. “I mean, she is talking like she is about 55 years older than me,” he said. “She is not that much older than me.”
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!