London — One Direction is one man down on its world tour.
The boy band’s publicist says a stressed Zayn Malik is flying home to Britain.
Publicist Simon Jones said Thursday that “Zayn has been signed off with stress and is flying back to the U.K. to recuperate.”
He said the band will continue with upcoming performances in Manila, Philippines, and Jakarta, Indonesia, as part of the “On the Road Again” tour.
It was not clear whether Malik would rejoin the tour for three scheduled dates in South Africa starting March 28.
Malik’s departure comes a day after he hit back on Twitter at rumors of trouble in his relationship with fiancee Perrie Edwards of the band Little Mix after he was photographed with another woman. He tweeted: “I’m 22 years old … I love a girl named Perrie Edwards.”
Man fans in the Philippines were heartbroken Malik would not be in Manila.
Patrisha Yacob, a 14-year-old high school student who spent 15,000 pesos ($335) — more than the country’s monthly minimum wage — for a concert ticket, told The Associated Press on Friday that she cried when she found out Malik will not be performing.
“My sunshine is not complete. I thought I will see them all but now I will only see only four members,” added Yacob.
Another fan, Rachel Marcelino, a graduating college student who could not afford a ticket, believes concert producers should give ticket buyers a discount because the band is incomplete. She also expressed disappointment with Malik’s “shallow” reason for not coming to Manila.
“Some artist when they get sick, they still perform,” she added.
The Philippines earlier this week imposed a $5,000 “weed bond” on Malik and fellow band member Louis Tomlinson, with the money to be forfeited if either of them was caught using or promoting illegal drugs while in the country.
A video that circulated online last year appeared to show Malik and Tomlinson smoking cannabis and joking about drug use.
Christine Ching, spokeswoman of the local Anti-Drugs Advocate group that petitioned authorities to strictly scrutinize the band’s concert permits because of the video, said “we were very disappointed and saddened” that Malik is not arriving. But she said that he’s skipping Manila may be more likely due to issues with his girlfriend, not the drugs controversy.
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