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Zayn Malik leaves One Direction tour

Zayn Malik of One Direction, pictured in November 2014.
Zayn Malik of One Direction, pictured in November 2014. Jason Merritt / Getty Images

TORONTO — Zayn Malik, one-fifth of the UK pop group One Direction, has pulled out of a tour of Asia.

A spokesperson said in a statement that Malik, 22, is returning to the UK to deal with “stress.”

“The band wish him well and will continue with their performances in Manila and Jakarta,” the statement read.

On Wednesday, Malik tweeted: “I love a girl named Perrie Edwards. And there’s a lot of jealous f***s in this world I’m sorry for what it looks like x”

The message is in response to rumours of infidelity after Malik was seen out in Phuket, Thailand with a woman who was not Edwards, his fiancée.

Malik made headlines last year when he chose not to join bandmates Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson on Today. Host Matt Lauer mentioned rumours of substance abuse, which Malik later denied in an interview with a British newspaper.

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“I was really ill,” he said, “that’s why I couldn’t fly to America.”

He also took heat from some fans last year after video surfaced allegedly showing him smoking marijuana.

Last month, Malik walked off stage during a concert in Australia due to illness.

One Direction has concerts in Manila this weekend and one in Jakarta on March 25. The tour continues March 28 in South Africa before hitting Dubai and Europe.

The group is scheduled to play in Vancouver, Edmonton and Winnipeg in July and then in Toronto on Aug. 20 and in Montreal and Ottawa in September.

One Direction’s latest album is called Four.