Zayn Malik’s hour-long tears with Harry Styles

Zayn Malik

Zayn Malik cried for an hour when he told Harry Styles he was leaving One Direction.

The 22-year-old singer – who is engaged to Little Mix star Perrie Edwards – announced last week he was quitting the ‘Best Song Ever’ group and insiders say it took some time to persuade his bandmates he was doing the right thing.

A source said: “Zayn felt he needed out of the showbiz world to get his head straight.

“He’s always struggled with the fame and felt it all became too much.

“In the end, he felt it was a choice between the band or Perrie – and he chose Perrie.

“He spent an hour on the phone to Harry crying, trying to make all the boys see it was the right thing.”

Zayn quit the group’s tour due to stress shortly after pictures emerged of him holding hands with 19-year-old Lauren Richardson in Thailand and the singer reportedly decided to leave the band permanently to “fully commit” to Perrie.

The source added: “Zayn promised he’d make Perrie his number one priority. He told her he was ready to leave the band and fully commit to her.

“Perrie was shocked by his choice but he assured her it’s what he wanted. She told Zayn he needed to make it clear him leaving the band wasn’t her fault.”

And Zayn has the full support of the ‘Wings’ singer and the pair are now focused on planning their forthcoming wedding.

The source added to Closer magazine: “She’s nursing Zayn through everything. She knows it’s a tough time for him and appreciates what a big sacrifice he’s made for her. She wants to focus on the positives and start planning the wedding. They’d both love a summer celebration.”