Four months earlier, Malik said he parted ways with the band in order to live a normal life.
"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," he said at the time.
Prior to his departure, he had taken a hiatus from the band's tour, citing stress, amid rumors he had cheated on Edwards. He later tweeted, "I'm 22 years old... I love a girl named Perrie Edwards...And there's a lot of jealous f--ks in this world I'm sorry for what it looks like x."
Following Malik's 1D exit, Edwards was attacked by Directioners who believed the 22-year-old pop star was to blame for their breakup.
"Sometimes you have to move on because you're not enjoying what you're doing as much as you used to," Liam Payne said in May when asked why Zayn left the band. "He wanted to spend time with his family and his missus. That's cool with us."
Most recently, One Direction released their first single since Malik's exit, "Drag Me Down." "Proud of my boys the new single is sick," Malik tweeted Saturday afternoon. "Big love. :) x"
People was first to report news of the split.