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Zayn Malik drops out of One Direction tour

High drama in Asia as Zayn Malik drops out of One Direction’s world tour, citing stress as the cause. The group’s publicist confirmed the singer is returning to Britain as the remaining four bandmates continue on to Manila and Jakarta. There is no word on when Malik will rejoin the tour.

Malik’s exit follows something of a tabloid scandal as a photo hit social media of him holding hands with a girl other than fiancee Perrie Edwards of Little Mix. That led Malik to turn to Twitter Wednesday night to insist he and Edwards are still deeply in love.

Malik’s departure is not the first time One Direction has had to perform without him. In November, he did not make an appearance on the “Today” show, claiming a stomach illness. That led host Matt Lauer to ask the other band members about rumors Malik was battling substance abuse — which were denied by the other Directioners, as well as Malik.

Earlier, the Philippines government had demanded both Malik and bandmate Louis Tomlinson post $5,000 bond apiece — due to rumors about the two musicians’ alleged use of marijuana. While Malik’s departure from the tour, his bond will not be posted, but Tomlinson will be required to do so in order to enter the Philippines. This issue came up following complaints from a very active anti-drug group in Manila.