by Zach Johnson | Mon., Oct. 17, 2016 5:30 AM
Malik ended his engagement to the Little Mix singer in August 2015 and began dating model Gigi Hadid two months later. In November of that year, the "Like I Would" singer addressed reports that he'd broken up with Edwards via text. "If you could word it exactly this way, I'd be very appreciative. I have more respect for Perrie than to end anything over text message. I love her a lot, and I always will, and I would never end our relationship over four years like that. She knows that, I know that, and the public should know that as well. I don't want to explain why or what I did," the solo artist told Fader magazine. "I just want the public to know I didn't do that."
Edwards is apparently telling a different tale in Little Mix's book Our World, out Thursday. An excerpt leaked on Twitter Sunday and inspired a trending topic: #PerrieExposedZaynParty.
E! News has reached out to Little Mix's rep for comment.
In the passage, Edwards wrote, "I'm single at the moment and in a really good place. I feel like I'm stronger and happier than I've been in a long time. I've bought a house and it's like I've found my independence after going through a really rough time." Describing the end of her relationship with Malik, the 23-year-old British pop star wrote, "It was horrible, the worst time of my life. A four-year relationship, two-year engagement ended by a simple text message. Just like that. Even though things my career were going really well, it was incredibly difficult for me."
Edwards' three bandmates—Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall—banded together to help her heal after the surprise split. "The girls were amazing. We'd have sleepovers and they'd get my favorite desserts and do everything could to cheer me up," she wrote. Even so, it wasn't easy for Edwards to get over Malik. "I surrounded myself with friends and family...I didn't want to be alone because when I was I'd start to think about things and get upset. It should have been a really happy time—my career was successful, 'Black Magic' was doing well, and we were traveling and performing. On the surface I was happy, but inside I felt broken."
Though Malik and Hadid are going strong, Edwards is happy on her own.
Penguin Books Ltd.
"Right now I'm enjoying being single and I know I don't need anyone," the pop star insisted. "Jade was single for a year and she's like, 'Babe, I know it's hard but you've only been single a few months. Why be in a hurry?' I've got plenty of time and I'm not in any hurry, but at the same time it would be nice to meet someone. Hopefully someone will come along eventually."
And when the right man does come along, Edwards will be ready for him. "I'm at the point where I want someone who'll make me laugh, someone like me who's spontaneous and fun, who wants to live life to the fullest," the singer wrote. "I want to be carefree and enjoy myself."
Malik also inspired Little Mix's new single, "Shout Out to My Ex." The uptempo track opens with Edwards singing, "This is a shout out to my ex / Heard he in love with some other chick / Yeah, yeah, that hurt me, I'll admit / Forget that boy, I'm over it / I hope she gettin' better sex / Hope she ain't fakin' it like I did, babe / Took four long years to call it quits / Forget that boy, I'm over it." Asked whether she warned Malik about the song in advance, Edwards flatly told The Sun, "No." Nelson explained, "We don't think he deserves a warning! He'll just have to wait to see."
Little Mix debuted the single on The X Factor U.K. Sunday, taken from the band's album Glory Days, out Nov. 18. The girl group will also join Ariana Grande's Dangerous Woman tour in 2017. Malik, meanwhile, has not commented on the leaked passage or "Shout Out to My Ex". The singer's own autobiography, Zayn, will be published Nov. 1 through Penguin Random House.
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