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Liam Payne Airs His Biggest Feuds With One Direction — Details On Which Members Are Still Friends

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Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Harry Styles

Former One Direction member Liam Payne has offered a rare insight into friendships and feuds within the famous boyband.

Payne, 28, candidly described his relationships with his bandmates during an episode of Logan Paul’s "Impaulsive" podcast on Tuesday. 

Fans of Payne, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson were surprised to see Payne speak so candidly about fallouts and near-fistfights between members.

But what does this mean for friendships between the members now? 

Here's a look at Payne's recent revelations and the long history of drama between band members.

Which One Direction members are still friends?

Liam Payne

While speaking to Paul, Payne focused on his uneasy relationship with Zayn Malik, saying in part that there are “many reasons why I dislike Zayn.” However, he later added that he would be willing to patch things up in the future.

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“Listen, I don’t agree with any of his actions,” Payne said. “I can’t commend some of the things that he’s done. I can’t be on his side for that.

“What I can say is I understand and your only hope is that at some point in their life, the person at the other end of the phone wants to receive the help that you’re willing to give them.”

Beyond his feud with Malik, Payne has seemingly remained distant from his bandmates following the breakup.

In a December 2019 interview with Sunday Brunch, Payne revealed that he viewed his relationship with the other members as more professional than it was personal.

“The thing I always describe it as is if you imagine an office – and One Direction was my office – there’s one person you don’t really get along with, one person you don’t know very much about, one person you hang out with all the time and someone you’re sort of friends with,” Payne said.

“That’s a little bit what it was like and I think people have a misconception that we were all friends, but that’s not the case but there’s no bad blood between anyone.”

Payne described his relationship with specific band members more in-depth in a December 2019 interview with The Face Magazine. He shared that he is on good terms with Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan, but his relationship with Harry Styles is not as close.

“I speak to Louis quite regularly,” Payne said. “And I feel like I know where I stand with Niall. But with Harry there's so much mystery around who he's become. 

“I was looking at some pictures of him the other day, and I just thought: 'I don't know what more I'd say to him other than, 'Hello' and 'How are you?' I mean, look at the stuff I put out and the stuff Harry puts out. Polar opposite. I'm like the anti-christ version of what Harry is."

Harry Styles

Styles, the One Direction member with arguably the most successful solo career, has not made many public comments about his relationship with his former bandmates. On the rare occasion he has talked about those relationships, Styles has kept it largely professional. 

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He has spoken only broadly about his relationships with his fellow members, reflecting positively on his time in the band and noting that he has a "deep love" for his bandmates.

The one member who Styles has commented on is Malik. In a 2017 profile for Rolling Stone, the Watermelon Sugar singer responded to Malik’s comments that One Direction’s music was “uncool.” 

"I think it's a shame he felt that way ... but I never wish anything but luck to anyone doing what they love,” Styles said.

“If you're not enjoying something and need to do something else, you absolutely should do that. I'm glad he's doing what he likes, and good luck to him."

Louis Tomlinson

Tomlinson appears to have remained close to all of his fellow bandmates, except for one. 

Like the other One Direction members, Tomlinson is not on good terms with Malik. Their relationship was reportedly already strained beforehand, but the final straw came when Malik did not attend Tomlinson’s performance on X Factor shortly after his mother’s death.

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"Truthfully, it never really got better, to be honest," Tomlinson said in a March 2019 episode of The Dan Wootton Interview podcast. "I had a couple of calls with him after I lost my mum, and all the boys had agreed to come to that performance and he didn't show, so that really bugged me."

Tomlinson has said in other interviews that he still keeps in touch with his other bandmates, but isn’t closer to one of them than any of the others.

“I think all the boys would agree with this,” Tomlinson told Cosmopolitan in January 2020. “There’s been moments in all our lives where naturally some of us speak to others more than others.

“I wouldn’t say I’m closest to any of the boys. Recently, I’ve probably spoken to Liam 10 times as much as I spoke to the other lads. Six months ago, that was Niall.”

Niall Horan

Much like Tomlinson, Horan has kept in contact with most of his former bandmates. He wishes they could see each other more, but they are on good terms nonetheless.

“We don’t get to see each other as much as we’d like to, but we try,” Horan told GQ in March 2020. “I talk to Louis a lot. It’s the lads with the kids that you try to keep in touch with especially, just to see how they are.”

The one band member that Horan doesn’t keep up with is, unsurprisingly, Malik. In the same interview with GQ, Horan said they had a “falling out,” and haven’t talked since.

“As long as I’ve known him, Zayn’s been the hardest man to stay in touch with,” Horan said. “Then we had a falling out a few years ago and, to be honest, that’s just the dynamic: you have people you are friends with and people you are not.”

Zayn Malik

As the one who caused the band’s hiatus by making his shocking exit, Malik is easily the most disconnected with the other members of One Direction, and has even clashed with them on occasion.

It didn’t take long for Malik to put his time in the band behind him. In his first interview since his departure, Malik told Fader that One Direction’s music was “generic as f—,” and later said he wouldn’t listen to it and implied that it wasn’t “real.”

Beyond the music, Malik said that he never wanted to be in the band in a 2016 interview, and said in 2017 that he “never really spoke to Harry” while he was in the group.

Perhaps the most indicative quote at all came in a 2018 interview with GQ, where he said he didn’t make a single friend while in One Direction, contradicting the Facebook post where he announced his departure and said that he had “four friends for life.”

“I just didn't do it,” Malik said. “It's not something that I'm afraid to say. I definitely have issues trusting people."

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Jonathan Alfano is a writer who focuses on news and entertainment topics. Follow him on Twitter to keep up with his content.

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