Many One Direction fans were devastated today when heart-throb Zayn Malik announced he was quitting the band with immediate effect. Inquisitr readers will be aware that rumors were rife that One Direction were likely to be reduced to a foursome when Malik flew back from Thailand last week leaving his One Direction band-mates to continue their world tour without him.
Malik left the One Direction tour after pictures emerged on the internet that appeared to show Zayn getting close to a blonde tourist who was most definitely not his fiance, Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards. Over the weekend the remaining members of One Direction continued to the Philippines without him.
Numerous news outlets including the Telegraph are reporting that Zayn Malik has today announced that he is to leave One Direction immediately and permanently. The Guardian report that One Direction have confirmed that Zayn has left the band saying that he wants "to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time."
It has been widely reported in recent months that Zayn Malik and other members of One Direction have struggled at time to cope with the pressures that international stardom has placed upon. It should be remembered that One Direction were brought together on Simon Cowell's reality TV show in 2010 when they were just 16 and 17 years old. Since then One Direction have been almost constantly on tour and under the media spotlight. Reports have suggested that pressures of constant scrutiny and the demands of obsessive fans have weighed particularly heavily on Malik.
As you would expect Malik's departure from One Direction sent Twitter into meltdown. Within minutes an announcement on Twitter had been re-tweeted over 50,000 times and the hashtag #ByeZayn was trending as were the hashtags #ZaynMalik #OneDirection and #Zayn.
In a much more sinister development the hashtag #Cut4Zayn began to trend as sick fans urged others to self harm and post pictures of their injuries online. This was quickly picked up and pictures were posted online of people having cut themselves, in one case a One Direction fan carved the words "I Love Zayn" into her arm and posted pictures of the still bleeding wounds on twitter.
The actions of those One Direction fans who encourage others to cause self harm surely marks a new low for One Direction fandom. Thankfully more sensible fans picked up on the sick hashtag and tweeted their disgust.
Even TV personality Piers Morgan stepped into the fray urging One Direction fans to stop.If you are a One Direction fan who is upset by today's events please speak to your parents or in the UK contact the self-harm helpline on 01708 765200.
In the U.S. call 1-800-448-3000 for help.
[Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images ]