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Zayn Malik Slams Matt Lauer, Drug Rumors After Absence From One Direction’s Today Show Appearance

Zayn Malik, Matt Lauer
 FameFlynet; Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Don’t believe the hype! One Direction’s Zayn Malik spoke out on Monday, Nov. 17, to quiet some serious rumors surrounding him. 

The British singer, 21, was a no-show for a highly publicized appearance by One Direction on the Today show on Monday. The gig was in promotion of the release of the band’s new studio album Four

Malik’s four bandmates performed in his absence, and fielded questions from Today‘s Matt Lauer as to why the star was not joining them in Orlando, Fla. for the special show from Universal Studios. 

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“Where is Zayn?” Lauer, 56, questioned. Liam Payne gave an explanation for his pal, saying “He’s got a tummy bug so he’s not very well at the moment so he couldn’t make it over.” 

The Today host pushed further, saying, “There’s obviously a lot of concern, a lot of fans have been tweeting overnight. There’s been a lot of action on social media about him. Is it something more serious than just a minor illness? There have been rumors of substance abuse. What’s going on?” 

one direction
Matt Lauer and One Direction appear on NBC’s Today Show Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images

Payne, 21, stuck to his guns, telling Lauer, “No, he’s just got a stomach bug. He’s okay. He’s just at home. He just needs to rest. He’s okay.”

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While members of 1D looked visibly taken aback by Lauer’s suggestion, Malik himself addressed the insinuation head-on. 

“I’m really angry and upset by what was said on the Today show,” the pop star told The Sun. “I was really ill at the weekend, that’s why I couldn’t fly to America.”

“I was gutted to have to miss album release day, but I’m going to be back as soon as I can,” he added. “As soon as I’m feeling better I’m going to join the guys and carry on with the promotion for the album.”

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Lauer, who received some serious backlash on social media for his line of questioning, has yet to comment on Malik’s rebuttal. Watch One Direction’s interview here.

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