One Direction’s Zayn Malik has opened up to Now magazine about his love life by saying that now that he’s in a serious relationship with Little Mix’s Perrie Edwards, he’s no longer a “bad boy” and he’s “off-limits” to groupies. He also says that he and Edwards have come to an agreement to mutually trust each other when they have have to spend time apart due to their travel schedules and hectic workload.
Edwards and Malik are both 19 years old. They are both in groups that “The X Factor” U.K. created by putting together rejected contestants who originally auditioned as solo singers. One Direction came in third place on “The X Factor” U.K. in 2010. Little Mix was the winner of “The X Factor” U.K. in 2011. Both groups have had No. 1 hits in the U.K. and Ireland, although One Direction’s popularity is worldwide, while Little Mix isn’t very well-known outside of Europe.
One Direction and Little Mix are also signed to the same management company (Modest! Management) and are signed to the same record company (Syco Music).
Edwards and Malk have been dating since April 2012, and things quickly got serious between them. Within a couple of months of dating, Malik was publicly declaring his love for Edwards and spending as much time with her as possible, even when it meant that he would not be joining his One Direction band mates when the other members of the group socialized together.
As for Malik’s fans and groupies who are jealous of Edwards, he commented to Now: “I guess there’s a sense of jealousy because I have a girlfriend now while I was a bit of a ‘bad boy’ before.”
The interviewer asked, “So the fans know you’re off-limits now? ”
Malik replied, “Exactly. Some of them don’t like it.”
He also said that because he and Edwards have very busy careers, they came to an agreement when they first began dating about how to make their relationship work. He added that because he and Edwards are in similar work situations, it has helped them understand what they have to go through when they aren’t able to spend time together: “When I’m away at work, she understands because it’s the business. Our jobs are full-on every single hour of the day. She gets that because she has to do exactly the same thing. We have a lot of trust and understanding between us. I think that’s why our relationship works …
“We had an understanding from the start. I told her: ‘This is my job, this is what’s going to happen, stories will come out. ‘Do you still want to be with me?’ That was established from the start and after that it was about me and her.”
Edwards isn’t the first singer from “The X Factor” U.K. whom Malik has dated. He was with Rebecca Ferguson, 25, for about three or four months until they split up in July 2011. Ferguson, a single mother of two children, came in second place on “The X Factor” U.K. in 2010. When Ferguson and Malik were dating in 2011, she told the now-defunct tabloid News of the World that Malik pursued her for months before they got together, that they were “in love,” and that they began dating shortly after they completed “The X Factor” U.K. tour that year.
In more recent interviews, Ferguson has hinted that Malik cheated on her when they were a couple. She told the Daily Mirror that she is taking a break from dating because she is tired of all of her boyfriends being unfaithful to her. Ferguson’s single “Backtrack,” which she is currently promoting, is about a cheating lover, and she said she wrote the song based on a real-life boyfriend she had. Ferguson told New! magazine that she will never publicly disclose the reasons why she and Malik broke up because she has “stayed classy” about it.
In interviews, Malik has not commented on rumors that he and Ferguson broke up because he cheated on her. He told Now magazine that his relationship with Ferguson was a “mistake” and a “weird situation” and that it ended “badly.” He and Ferguson have also told the media that they no longer communicate with each other and have no interest in keeping in touch.
And although gossip blogger Perez Hilton has spread rumors that Malik has cheated on Edwards and is the One Direction member who is the most likely to quit the group in a few years, Malik has adamantly denied those claims. He said that he sees One Direction continuing to have a long career, such as Take That: “We want to stick together as a group for as long as people are supporting us and listening to our music. You know, in the future who knows what’s going to happen? Two years ago, if anyone had told me I’d be doing half the stuff I’m doing, I wouldn’t have believed it.”
As for his “bad boy”/troublemaker description that Malik has gotten from Hilton and other people in the media, he said: “I think my reserved personality is sometimes taken the wrong way and that’s why people just perceive me as a bad boy whereas I’m actually just a little bit shy and awkward.”
Malik also commented on his friendship with fellow teen idol Justin Bieber, 18: “He’s very similar to me in terms of the type of music he likes and things he likes to do. We both love skateboarding. It’s really cool because I remember the first time he came to ‘The X Factor,’ when we were contestants, it was hard to even get a photo with him because he has that whole entourage. For him to go out of his way to hang out with us was really flattering. He thinks it’s cool that he’s now got someone of a similar age to hang out with in the industry.”
As for the foot injury that Malik got after partying at Bieber’s house in Los Angeles after the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards in September: “It was a bit crazy, yeah. I had an accident doing a half-pipe [a skateboarding move] and was on crutches for five days. My ankle popped out of place. It was really painful at the time, but it was a good night!”