Liam Payne Spent 100 Days in Rehab Following Backlash to One Direction Comments: ‘I Was in Bad Shape’

Around this time last year, Liam Payne set One Direction Twitter on fire when he went on Logan Paul’s Impaulsive podcast and unleashed some loaded comments about his former bandmates, specifically Zayn Malik. The backlash that followed was something of a wake-up call for the singer, who revealed in a recent YouTube video that it was one of a number of incidents that led to him checking into a sobriety treatment program for 100 days.

“My own frustrations with my own career and where I kind of landed, I took shots at everybody else which is wrong. Obviously, I want to apologize for that, in the first instance, because that’s definitely not me,” he shared in the 8-minute video. “One of the biggest remarks I made was about the One Direction thing … and a lot of self-protection, I suppose, in that moment, more than anything. The rest of the boys really stuck by me when I needed them most, they kinda came to the rescue. Even Zayn, as well, which is why I did send him a little thank you online. It came across really big-headed didn’t it?”

Payne released his debut solo album, LP1, toward the end of 2019. Since then, he has shared a few non-project-related singles. His most recent release, “Sunshine” from Disney Pixar’s Ron’s Gone Wrong, arrived in September 2021. During the video, he revealed that poetry and songwriting have been consistent artistic outlets for him, but he also started drawing while in treatment when he realized he didn’t really have any hobbies. In May, when he hit 100 days sober, Payne began teasing a new album and tour. He’ll play shows in South America in September.

He added that the experience as a whole humbled him, but that he also doesn’t fault fans for reacting negatively to his comments. At the beginning of the video, he acknowledged that he became someone he didn’t recognize anymore. “I just kind of feel like I’ve got more of a grip on life and everything that was getting away from me, I just feel like I’ve got more of a handle on it,” Payne said. “I just needed to take a little bit of time out for myself actually because I kind of became somebody who I didn’t really recognize anymore. And I’m sure you guys didn’t either. I was in bad shape up until that point and I was really happy to kind of put a stopper to life and work.”

And it wasn’t just his fans he wanted to show up for more. Payne shared that he reached a point where he didn’t feel as though he had anything to teach his 6-year-old son, adding: “There’s no point trying to be a dad when you’ve got nothing to teach. And I don’t think up until this point I really had much to say to him other than what came from deeply loving and very deeply. Which are obviously the most important things, but I just kind of feel like I’ve got more of a grip on life now. And everything that was kind of getting away from me, I kind of have got more of a handle on.”

Payne said he plans to start making more social media content and hopes his sobriety isn’t impacted when he hits the road later this year. “It’s good to be in this position,” he said. “Yeah, definitely don’t need those things anymore. The party’s over.” It’ll be his first headlining tour and first time on the road since coming out of treatment.


“I have had a lot of time to recollect over those moments. I kinda had to go away to kinda get better. The whole thing up to that point was just a scramble to stay relevant,” he explained. “I kind of got into this position, and not that I’m ungrateful, I absolutely love my life and I love making music. Now that was the most important. It was going back to the roots of it to find out what it is that I liked doing, why I like making music —because who am I? What do I actually want to say to you guys. It’s a really privileged position that I’m in right now and I actually want to make use of it.”