Speaking to British publication The Sun, Zayn said, "I'm really angry and upset by what was said. I was really ill at the weekend, that's why I couldn't fly to America."
Rest assured, One Directioners! Zayn said that he would join the promotional tour as soon as he is feeling better.
The "Steal My Girl" singers appeared on the morning show Monday to promote their new album's release, but noticeably absent was Zayn. Fellow 1D member Liam Payne said that Zayn couldn't make it because he had a "tummy bug, so he's not very well," but Lauer persisted with the tough questioning.
"Liam, there's obviously a lot of concern, a lot of fans have been tweeting overnight, there's been a lot of action on social media about him," Lauer said. "Is it something more serious than just a minor illness? There have been rumors of substance abuse. What's going on?"
Not expecting the Today host to mention substance abuse, a shocked Liam responded, "No, he's just got a stomach bug. He's OK. He's just at home. He just needs to rest. He's okay."
Upon the big reveal of Zayn's mystery illness, zealous fans turned to Twitter to express their concern for the beloved singer, making #GetWellSoonZayn trend on the social medium.
After the heated interview, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Liam performed "Steal My Girl," which appears on their new album, Four, along with other fan favorites such as "Best Song Ever" and "Little Things."
The guys have a lot to be proud of with this new album, as it's already No. 1 on the iTunes top albums chart, followed by Taylor Swift's 1989—what a close call! There must be some tough competition there, with Swift having dated Harry in the past. Rumor has it that her hit "We Are Never Getting Back Together" was penned about the One Direction heartthrob!
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)