Zayn Malik breaks silence on Yolanda Hadid altercation claims

‘I believe I dealt with it in the best word,’ he says

Amber Raiken
New York
Wednesday 12 July 2023 17:31 BST
Zayn Malik speaks out on 2021 incident with Yolanda Hadid in first interview for six years

Zayn Malik has broken his silence on the alleged dispute between him and his ex-girlfriend Gigi Hadid’s mother, Yolanda Hadid.

Malik, 30, addressed the reports of the alleged 2021 incident with Yolanda during a new episode of Alex Cooper’s Call Her Daddy podcast, which marked his first interview in six years. In October 2021, Yolanda had reportedly claimed that Malik had “struck her” during an altercation. Malik later denied these claims, before pleading no contest to four counts of harassment charges.

Speaking to Cooper, the “Pillowtalk” singer said he’d opted not to say anything when people were talking about the alleged altercation on social media for the sake of his own “time”.

“I don’t tend to get involved when people say things online, whether it’s got something to do with me or whether it doesn’t,” he said. “Because, for me, my most valuable thing that I have in life is time, and that takes so much time in a toxic environment, to explain yourself to people and justify this so I just kind of keep to myself.” 

Malik specified that his biggest concern in the situation was the “people involved,” not what was being said on social media. He also noted that he didn’t want to get into an online argument with Yolanda at the time.

“If anybody of a sane mind would look at the situation, I believe you could respect that I just didn’t want to bring attention to anything, you know?” he added. “I wasn’t trying to get into a negative back and forth with her.”

The former One Direction member also said that he didn’t want to get involved in a “narrative” that his now two-year-old daughter, Khai, who he shares with Gigi, would eventually see.

“Any sort of narrative online where my daughter was going to look back and read that and be able to read into it and it would just be something that was…There was no point,” he continued, adding that he believes he dealt with it in “an amicable, respectful” way, and “that’s all that needs to be said”.

He emphasised that, when “something happens in the family,” he would rather keep it between them, before adding: “You don’t need a whole audience of people and opinions because it’s hard enough to manage between two.”

Malik acknowledged that, regardless of what’s been written about him and his ex online, he’s remained focused on co-parenting his daughter with the supermodel.

“I’m super full-on. I’m hands-on with my child every chance I can be. If I could get 60 per cent [custody], I would have it,” he said. The former couple splits custody of Khai evenly.

According to citation documents viewed by The Independent in 2021, Malik allegedly told Yolanda to “stay away from [his daughter]”. The documents also stated that Malik allegedly called Yolanda a “f****** Dutch s***” during the exchange.

Malik went on to plead no contest to four counts of harassment charges, which, in the US, means a defendant does not admit guilt but accepts the punishment. According to the documents, Malik was required to spend 90 days on probation for each count, amounting to a total of 360 days. He also had to complete an anger management class and be screened for a domestic violence supervision programme.

In addition to denying the claims about striking Yolanda in a statement to TMZ at the time, the singer also posted a statement on social media. “As you all know I am a private person and I very much want to create a safe and private space for my daughter to grow up in. A place where private family matters aren’t thrown on the world stage for all to poke and pick apart,” he wrote.

“In an effort to protect that space for her I agreed to not contest claims arising from an argument I had with a family member of my partner’s who entered our home while my partner was away several weeks ago,” he continued. “This was and still should be a private matter but it seems for now there is a divisiveness and despite my efforts to restore us to a peaceful family environment that will allow for me to co-parent my daughter in a manner in which she deserves, this has been ‘leaked’ to the press.”

He concluded: “I am hopeful though for healing for all involved with the harsh words shared and more importantly I remain vigilant to protect Khai and give her the privacy she deserves.”

Elsewhere during his interview on Call Her Daddy, Malik issued a rare comment about raising his and Gigi’s daughter, who they welcomed in 2020.

“Since I’ve had my daughter, the main thing in my mind is trying to be a good example to her,” he said. “That’s why I’m even doing this interview, you know? I used to get a lot of anxiety around having a conversation like this. And I want her to be able to look at me and be like: ‘My dad’s doing this.’”

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