Liam Payne knows a thing or two about group departures.
Addressing Jesy Nelson's exit from girl group Little Mix on a TikTok Live Tuesday, the One Direction alum made a comparison to Zayn Malik leaving 1D in March 2015.
"Someone Zayn'd out," the 27-year-old said, before backtracking on the comment. "No, no. Let's be serious about this. It's always sad at this moment in time when bands get into that sort of thing. Having been there myself, I felt that Zayn left for pretty much the same reason in a weird way."
Nelson, 29, announced on Monday that she would be leaving the U.K. girl group — now comprising Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirlwall and Leigh-Anne Pinnock — citing the "constant pressure of being in a girl group" and the "toll" the group has taken on her mental health.
"I wish Jesy all the best. I wish the girls all the best for carrying on as a three," Payne said. "It's a tough time and I do feel for them because everyone is watching in that little fishbowl at the moment and no one really understands what's going on or how it feels for some people."
Then, Payne added, "I'm sending lots of love to Little Mix."
Payne wasn't the only former member of a group to comment on Nelson's departure. Fifth Harmony alum Dinah Jane shared Little Mix's statement on her Instagram Story with a sweet caption. (Camila Cabello left the "Work From Home" girl group in 2016.)
"4ever LM," she wrote as the Little Mix's "Secret Love Song" played in the background.
On Monday, Nelson shared a letter to her fans on Instagram where she opened up about the reasons why she's leaving the group.
"There comes a time in life when we need to reinvest in taking care of ourselves rather than focusing on making other people happy, and I feel like now is the time to begin that process," she wrote in part. So after much consideration and with a heavy heart, I'm announcing I'm leaving Little Mix."
"I need to spend some time with the. people I love, doing things that make me happy," she added. "I'm ready to embark on a new chapter in my life."
Her former groupmates shared a statement of their own, supporting Nelson's decision.
"We love her very much and agree that it is so important that she does what is right for her mental health and well-being," the group added. "We are still very much enjoying our Little Mix journey and the three of us are not ready for it to be over."
As for One Direction, Malik left the group — originally comprising Payne, Malik, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan — in 2015. (1D went on hiatus the following year.)
“My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined,” Malik, now 27, said in a statement then. “But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I’d like to apologize to the fans if I’ve let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.”
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