Liam Payne Reveals he Struggled With Alcohol And Drugs During His Time in One Direction

Published June 8th, 2021 - 09:05 GMT
Liam also confirmed his split from fiancée Maya Henry, saying he needed to 'work on himself' but that he felt upset 'hurting people'
Liam also confirmed his split from fiancée Maya Henry, saying he needed to 'work on himself' but that he felt upset 'hurting people'
The group, formed of Liam, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Zayn Malik were the biggest boyband in the world before their split in 2015

Liam Payne has revealed he suffered with 'severe' suicidal thoughts.

The singer, 27, gave fans a candid insight into his life as he discussed his wild 'pills and booze phase' during his One Direction days. 

Speaking with Steven Barlett on the Diary of CEO  podcast, Liam - who recently called off his engagement to American model Maya Henry - also revealed he is unable to carry out basic everyday tasks and still 'feels like a child' despite his £500 million net worth.  

Liam admitted that during his time in One Direction he struggled with addiction and mental health issues that he has kept secret, until now. 

The group, formed of Liam, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Zayn Malik was formed on The X Factor in 2010, and they went on to become the biggest boyband in the world before their split in 2015.

Yet Liam struggled to stay sober on tour, confessing: 'There were a few pictures of me on a boat and I was all bloated out and I call it my pills-and-booze face.

'My face was 10 times bigger than it is now. The problem was, the best way to secure us was to lock us in our rooms, and what is in the room? A mini-bar.

'So I had a party-for-one that seemed to carry on for years. It was wild but the only way you could get frustration out.' 

He also struggled with his mental health, and when asked about 'moments of suicidal ideation', Liam confessed: 'Yeah. There is definitely some stuff I have never spoken about to do with it. It was really, really severe. '


A post shared by Liam Payne (@liampayne)

Liam - who was just 16 when he joined One Direction - also spoke about how finding fame at a young age meant that he was unable to care for himself, as he had all basic tasks carried out for him.  

He explained: 'I was a director of a half-a-billion pound industry at 22. But if I am trying to pay car insurance I am useless. Picking up my post? I am the worst person in the world. You are deluded in your growth.'

The Strip That Down hitmaker added: 'I still feel like a child in so many ways. There is no link between money and happiness. It is a myth. Money is the ability to relax on certain things.' 

Liam went on to reveal that he slipped back into bad habits during lockdown, and became reliant on alcohol, which led to him putting on weight. 

He explained: 'I did worry up until the last few months. I think a lot of people had this same sort of thing, alcohol. It was getting earlier and earlier and easier and easier to go to.

'What I’ve found more than anything with the alcohol is boundaries. If you’re on Zoom you can probably get away with being a bit tipsy, when you’re not supposed to be.'

Detailing the impact it had on his waistline, he continued: 'I put on so much weight, I was eating badly and describing it as a bulking period — "I’m doing it for a movie role! It’s all good!" That’s the best excuse if anyone asks if you’ve put on weight. Say it’s for a role, coming out 2022.


A post shared by Liam Payne (@liampayne)


'I put a lot of weight on. What got me, I did one performance on TV with the BAFTAs and I was disappointed with myself. I didn’t look how I wanted to look.

'In your own self you know how you feel about it. Obviously they say the camera adds ten pounds and it definitely did. I realised I’ve let myself go in this.'

Elsewhere on the podcast, Liam revealed why he called off his engagement to fiancée Maya.  

The couple confirmed their engagement in August 2020 after Liam popped the question during lockdown with a £3 million ring.  

The pair were first linked back in August 2018 shortly after Liam's high-profile split from Cheryl, 37, with whom he shares son Bear, three.  

Confirming that he is now single, Liam said on the podcast: 'I feel like more than anything at this point, I'm more disappointed in myself that I keep on hurting people. 

'That annoys me. I've just not been very good at relationships. And I know what my pattern of things is with relationships at this point.

'I'm just not very good at them so I just need to work on myself before I put myself on to somebody else.' 

The Strip That Down singer continued: 'That's where I got to in my last relationship. 

'I just wasn't giving a very good version of me anymore, that I didn't appreciate and I didn't like being. I can honestly say I feel better out of it.

'I didn't feel good doing what I did but it had to happen. Just a corny way to say it was the best for us both.' 

The split will come as a shock to their fans, as although the pair haven't been photographed together since September 2020, the couple still follow each other on Instagram and have kept their pictures up with each other.  

Liam popped the question to Maya last year with a dazzling diamond ring that set him back an eye-watering £3 million.

MailOnline exclusively broke the news of their engagement in August, the singer then confirmed he had popped the question over the first lockdown. 

The pair were first linked back in August 2018 shortly after Liam split from Cheryl. 

However, they first set eyes on each other three years earlier, when they were

It wasn't until September 2019 that Liam publicly spoke about his blossoming romance, while promoting his single Stack It Up.

Prior to dating Maya he is said to have enjoyed a four-month whirlwind romance with supermodel Naomi Campbell, which ended in April 2019. 

He said during an appearance on Capital Breakfast with Roman Kemp: 'We're fairly happy at the moment. I'm just past the point of where I'm bothered or not.

'It's not worth my happiness; I'd just rather go out and do what I want. I've got nothing to hide.'

That same month, Liam made things Instagram official, when he took to the image-sharing platform to upload a heartwarming snap of him laughing and hugging Maya.

Captioning the snap, he wrote: 'Sometimes I don't recognise this happy guy… sure glad you brought him back though.

'This has been the most amazing release week to date! Massive thank you to all my team for helping setting it all up and making it run smooth.

'Then last but not least this one @maya_henry for always keeping the biggest smile on my face through all the stress and making me realise how perfect my life really is. Love you all let's stack this sh** up.'

Brunette beauty Maya wrote in response: 'So proud of you and so glad we can be happy together. Stack it up biisshhh.' [sic]

Model Maya is the daughter of Thomas J. Henry - a Texan lawyer who amassed his wealth running his own personal injury firm.  

The company is described on its website as 'one of the biggest plaintiff's firms in Texas', with Maya the heiress to the multi-million pound fortune.

The beauty has still been reaping the benefits of her father's success during her youth - with her Quinceañera, the Spanish coming of age party at 15 years old, costing a whopping £4million. 

Despite her privileged background, the beauty is driven to succeed on her own - having revealed her desire to be a human rights lawyer 'like Amal Clooney' to the Business Insider.

Not only successful in the classroom, with her favourite subject algebra, the brunette is also interested in fitness, and was a competitive tennis player in her youth. 

She even set up her own charity, Maya's Corner, as a child, which provides school supplies and now education opportunities to underprivileged kids across the US.

Liam's most high-profile romance was with singer Cheryl, who is 10 years his senior.

Cheryl was 24 when a then 14-year-old Liam first auditioned for the X Factor back in 2008, but despite his tender years, cheeky Liam was full of confidence as he gave his future love a cheeky wink.

In a clip of their first meeting, Cheryl calls the musician 'really cute,' some seven years before they struck up their relationship.

Liam and Cheryl came initially face-to-face two years before he returned to the show as a solo singer in 2010 and was one of the finalists chosen form one fifth of the boyband 1D.

In the clip, Cheryl is seen turning to the panel with a nod of the head and raised eyebrows as her future beau sings Fly Me To The Moon, before Liam looks at her and accompanies the lyrics 'In other words, baby kiss me' with a confident wink.

Seemingly impressed by his potential when he first sang for the judges, Cheryl's feedback gushed: 'I think you're really cute, I think you've got charisma, you know you give us that little cheeky wink.'

Liam reached the Boot Camp stage of the competition, before being kicked out of the competition by Boys' category mentor Simon just ahead of the Live Shows.

During Cheryl's third stint on the singing competition, in 2010, a familiar face returned, this time as a 16-year-old Liam, who wowed the judges with his performance of Julie London's Cry Me A River.

After listening to his first-round audition that year, Cheryl gushed again: 'You've definitely got it, whatever "it" is, you've got it. I thought your voice was really, really powerful.'

Cheryl ran in the same circles ever since, with Liam going on to achieve international stardom with bandmates Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik but returning regularly for visits to the show that made him famous.

The pair's romance is said to have started in December 2015 when they got reacquainted at the X Factor final, which he attended with Harry, Louis and Niall.

Cheryl and Liam went public with their romance in February 2016 after being spotted together in a supermarket in Guildford, Surrey - welcoming son Bear in March 2017.

They went their separate ways in July 2018 following a two and a half year romance.

The pair are said to have remained civil since their split, with the hunk even insisting he would be not sure what he and son Bear would do without single Cheryl in a sweet Mother's Day post.

Back in April, Liam also spoke about his strong bond with his ex, stating: 'Cheryl is literally the best person to co-parent with. No stress involved. It's very, very relaxed, and we spend a lot of time on FaceTime.

'And it's been really lovely, and I'm closer to them than I've ever been before, actually, which is really, really nice.

'But bedtime FaceTime can go really well sometimes. Or I bought him some toys yesterday that I showed them on the FaceTime and it was like I had to go and travel over and hand the toys over the fence!'


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