When Zayn Malik left One Direction, fans were distraught.
Now there is another reason for them to despair.
Malik and his former bandmate, Louis Tomlinson, were engaged in a bitter Twitter spat over British producer Naughty Boy.
It started when Naughty Boy, who is also known as Shahid Khan, posted a photo of him with Malik on Wednesday with the caption "Replace this".
He is said to be working with Malik on his solo career.
Tomlinson fired off a response without mentioning anyone, saying: "Remember when you were 12 and you used to think those Mac filters (Apple computer's Photobooth app) for your pictures were cool haha! Some people still do HA!"
Of course, Khan saw it fit to reply and insinuated that Tomlinson could not sing and relied on auto-tune instead.
Tomlinson's comeback? "Forgot you were such an in-demand producer... How does it feel to be riding on the back of someone else's career ?"
Malik then got into the act.
He replied to Tomlinson, saying: "Remember when you had a life and stopped making bitchy comments about mine ?"
Of course, this created a storm of reactions on Twitter.
Most fans who replied said Malik's comment was unnecessary as Tomlinson's tweet was seemingly not directed at him.
One fan said: "Did you really have to publicly humiliate Louis? Your brother of 6 years? You have his number! Publicity is more important right?"
Malik responded to the outrage over his comment.
He said: "Don't know why I'm being attacked for defending myself. People got it twisted! I love my fans?! Every single one of you."
Tomlinson has previously engaged in petty Twitter exchanges with Khan.
In March, shortly after Malik's departure from the band, Tomlinson slammed Khan for being "inconsiderate" for tweeting a video of his collaboration with Malik, seemingly hinting at the latter's solo career.
Malik announced his departure from the band on March 25.
He said that this came about as he wanted to be a "normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight".
At the Asian Awards in London last month, Malik said: "I'd also like to take this moment to thank four of the best guys I've ever met. Some of the things we did will stay with me for the rest of my life, and I thank you for that."
This article was first published on May 8, 2015.
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