One Direction's Liam Payne has responded to the controversy over a video showing two members of One Direction apparently smoking marijuana. Payne (who is 20) tweeted an apology for his band mates' behavior and thanked One Direction fans for their support.
As previously reported, a five-minute video has surfaced of One Direction's Louis Tomlinson (who is 22) and Zayn Malik (who is 21) smoking what they admit in the video is marijuana. The news broke on May 28, 2014, when the Daily Mail published the video, which was filmed by Tomlinson. The Daily Mail did not reveal how it obtained the video.
According to E! News, One Direction released this statement in response to the video being leaked: "This matter is in the hands of our lawyers."
The video was apparently filmed on April 27, 2014, when One Direction performed at a sold-out concert at the Estadio Nacional in Lima, Peru. Tomlinson and Malik are shown being driven to the concert in a van.
Marijuana is illegal in Peru but possession and personal use are not punishable if the marijuana is eight grams or less.
On May 31, 2014, Payne posted this message on his Twitter account: "I love my boys and maybe things have gone a little sideways I apologise for that. We are only in our 20s we all do stupid things at this age. We all have a lot of growing up to do in an extreme circumstance I'm not making excuse but it's fact we are gunna fall short somewhere. Hopefully we stand the test of time an get it right in the end I don't take this for granted and I'm extremely grateful to be here doing this. Thank you to everyone who has stuck with us through this just know that we love you guys for it and it means the world."
In the video, Tomlinson and Malik are seated in the back of a minivan, while four other men (who are much older and appear to be working with One Direction) are also in the car. One of the men is seen sharing a smoke with Tomlinson, who is holding the camera.
A talkative Tomlinson mentions that they are in Peru. The minivan is being escorted by police on motorcycles, and Tomlinson notes the irony as he films the police and calls them "po po." He then says sarcastically as he points the camera at a police officer who is riding outside the van: "He’s having a look. He’s thinking, 'I'm sure I can smell an illegal substance in there.''
Tomlinson says, "Here we are leaving Peru, joint lit, happy days." He then exclaims, "Smokescreen, baby!" as he apparently blows smoke that can be seen on camera.
He then says, "One important factor to Zayn's warm-up is Mary J herself." (Mary Jane or Mary J is slang for marijuana.)
Malik then sings, "Mary J. Blige" as Tomlinson passes him what looks like a joint. Malik smokes it and blows smoke at the camera.
"How is it, Zayn?" Tomlinson asks.
Malik pauses and says, "Nice."
One of the men in the car then announces that they have "chicken in Chile" and Tomlinson expresses delight. People have speculated that "chicken" is code for something illegal.
"That's the po po," Tomlinson says as he points the camera to the police escort outside the minivan. Tomlinson seems to be fully aware that the video is scandalous. He says, "I'm wondering if this will come back to me. Maybe, maybe not."
Earlier in the video, Tomlinson is asks Malik, "What do you think about that kind of content?" Malik answers, "Very controversial."
The video ends with the minivan entering a building, with the sounds of screaming fans outside.
As a result of this controversial video being leaked, some conservative groups and former One Direction fans have called for a boycott of One Direction. Some of the people who are offended by the video are going as far as to demand that One Direction concerts get cancelled, but their efforts are in vain, since One Direction concerts are not going to be cancelled over this video. The protesters seem to be in the minority, compared to the number of people who want One Direction's concerts to continue as planned.
One Direction's 2014 "Where We Are" world tour launched with a slew of concerts in South America, from April 25 to May 10. The tour is Europe from May 23 to July 13 before heading to North America from Aug. 1 to Oct. 5.
Rumors have been swirling for about two years that members of One Direction have been indulging in illegal drug taking.
Malik has been the subject of most of the drug rumors, ever since The Wanted's Max George got into a Twitter argument with him in November 2012, when he told Malik: "Stay off the bud ... It clearly makes u cranky." George's comments sparked debate among One Direction fans about whether or not Malik is a pothead.
On June 13, 2013, paparazzi photos surfaced of Malik and Tomlinson smoking on a yacht in Miami. And what they were smoking looked like marijuana joints, not store-bought cigarettes.
On Aug. 23, 2013, Radar Online reported that Malik (when Malik was an underage 20 years old) partied with Rihanna (who is 25) and several other people at a pre-MTV Video Music Awards party at the Stage 48 nightclub in New York City in the early-morning hours of Aug. 23, and he was "hung over" during One Direction's live performance on NBC's "Today" show later that morning. In the United States, the minimum legal age to drink alcohol is 21. In the United Kingdom and most other countries in Europe, the minimum legal age to drink alcohol is 18.
According to Radar Online: "After heading out to the party shortly before midnight, Zayn stayed at the bash for several hours, and was not spotted returning to his hotel before the 'Today' show wake-up call around 4:30 am, says the source. Once at the show, Zayn appeared and acted slightly under the weather. Opening the boys’ hit song 'Kiss You' with his solo, Zayn forgot the words, singing 'baby be mine tonight' twice instead of 'baby I’ll take you there.' The first time, band mate Louis Tomlinson stood in the background, laughing in disbelief, and confronted him minutes later. But Zayn repeated the error again later in the song, and it was especially noticeable when he did so just before bandmate Niall Horan sang Baby Be Mine Tonight as a refrain, as he was indeed supposed to do."
Radar Online reported that all of Malik's interviews for the rest of the day were cancelled. He was supposed to do an interview on Radio Disney's "Morgan and Maddy Show" at 10 a.m. EDT, but the show announced that Malik had cancelled because he wasn't feeling well, by tweeting. “Bad news guys. @zaynmalik had to cancel all of his interviews for today. He’s not feeling well. Hopefully he feels better soon.”
Malik has partied with Rihanna and Justin Bieber, two celebrities who have been photographed smoking what is widely believed to be marijuana. (Bieber and Rihanna have never denied that they were smoking pot in those photos, which were widely circulated in the media and on the Internet.)
Fans also wondered if drugs were the cause of Malik's shocking weight loss in 2013. Paparazzi photos from June 2013 showed that Malik lost so much weight within a few months that he became dangerously skinny, with bones protruding from his body.
An unnamed "insider" commented to Us Weekly about Malik: "He's lost a lot of weight. He started to eat healthy a while ago and working out to get in shape as he had never trained before. He wanted some definition. He's always been the slimmest of the band members, naturally, but I think he's running around a lot, getting stressed, and not putting health first."
Malik has not commented on whether or not he uses drugs or why he has lost so much weight in so little time. Fans have speculated that the reasons for Malik's dramatic weight loss could be stress, drugs and/or an eating disorder.
In several interviews, the other members of One Direction have described Malik as the one in the group who has the most difficulty coping with fame. Indeed, Malik is the most "reclusive" member of One Direction, and he often skips social gatherings where the other members of the group are hanging out together in their free time.
Meanwhile, Tomlinson has a reputation for being the most volatile member of the group and the one most likely to get in feuds with people on Twitter. Many fans on the Internet have also told stories that Tomlinson is the member of One Direction who is most likely to be rude and impatient with fans.
As far back as 2012, Malik hinted that he and Tomlinson were the "bad boys" of One Direction. In a "Good Morning America" interview that was televised in June 2012, Malik said that Tomlinson is his "partner in crime."
According to the Daily Mirror, Payne has stepped in to act as peacemaker as relations between the boys become strained.
A source told the Daily Mirror: “Liam is a calm head and he believes everything can be sorted out. Lots of bands go through these moments, but he knows everything will be fine ... Liam has stepped in to try to pull everybody back together. He knows the damage that can be done by letting these things fester, and is determined to get the group back on track. It won’t be easy and a lot of issues need addressing."
The Daily Mirror also reported that Tomlinson's mother Johannah was extremely upset over that he son's partying and the leaked video as apparent proof. According to the Mirror, Tomlinson apologized to his family and promised he would “never do it again." (Never smoke pot again or never allow himself to be filmed smoking pot again?)
A source told the Daily Mirror: “Johannah is very concerned about Louis and thinks that his inner circle could do more to protect him. She realizes though that they can’t be with him 24 hours a day and thinks he is stupid for doing what he appears to have done ... The boys insist the footage has been stolen from them.”
One Direction's management has been in "crisis mode" over the scandal and has launched an investigation over how the video was leaked, according to the Mirror, which also reports that One Direction has split into two social factions: smokers Tomlinson, Malik and Payne and non-smokers Harry Styles and Niall Horan. The members of One Direction even travel on separate planes, based on who smokes and who doesn't.
Styles has becoming increasingly distant from the other members of One Direction and sees the group as a launching pad for a future solo career, according to the Daily Mirror.