What Really Happened Between Zayn Malik And Perrie Edwards?

Once upon a time, Zayn Malik and Perrie Edwards were one of the world's biggest pop music power couples, but a lot has happened since the halcyon days when boy bands and girl groups were making a comeback. Their relationship forged a link between two of the era's most popular groups, One Direction and Little Mix, but the teen dream couple didn't last.

While fans did not get a Zerrie baby, Edwards and Malik are both proud parents now. Malik and his on-again, off-again girlfriend, model Gigi Hadid, welcomed their daughter, Khai, in September 2020. The following October, TMZ reported that Malik and Gigi broke up. Their split took a dramatic turn when Gigi's mother, Yolanda Hadid, accused Malik of hitting her. In response, Malik told TMZ, "I adamantly deny striking Yolanda Hadid and for the sake of my daughter I decline to give any further details and I hope that Yolanda will reconsider her false allegations and move towards healing these family issues in private."

As for Edwards, she and professional soccer player Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain welcomed a baby boy named Axel in August 2021. "I've never felt love like this before!" Edwards gushed on Instagram. The following June, the "Shout Out to My Ex" hitmaker announced her engagement to Oxlade-Chamberlain on the social media platform, sharing photos of the moment that he popped the question next to a seaside sunset. It was the second proposal for Edwards, who had once hoped to marry Malik.

Perrie Edwards and Zayn Malik made wedding plans

Like all great showbiz love stories, Perrie Edwards and Zayn Malik's relationship began with a reality show. In December 2011, The Sun (via the Daily Mail) reported that the star-crossed singers first met when One Direction returned to "The X Factor" for a performance. Little Mix was competing on the show at the time and would go on to win. A source dished that Niall Horan was also interested in Edwards, but Malik clearly won that particular competition.

Malik and Edwards became dog parents to a Pomeranian named Hatchi in 2012, and another sign that the couple was getting serious came when Malik got a massive tattoo of Edwards' likeness on his right arm. "When I'm away from him, I guess he can just take a look at his arm and remind him of me," Edwards said of the ink in an August 2013 interview with Yahoo! Entertainment. "So it's a lovely compliment really." Later that month, Edwards' mother told the Dorset Echo that the couple was engaged.

In a Q&A with One Direction fans, Malik described how he proposed to Edwards during an outdoor movie night at home with a few friends and family members present. "She said yeah which is quite sick!" he recalled, per Sugarscape. In March 2014, Edwards told Us Weekly that she was brainstorming wedding ideas. "I do love Disney so [a themed wedding] would be amazing," she said. Unfortunately, Malik dashed her Disney princess dreams.

Did Zayn Malik dump Perrie Edwards via text?

The end of Perrie Edwards and Zayn Malik's love story was more Tragic Kingdom than Magic Kingdom. Before Malik popped the question, he'd been plagued by rumors of infidelity. In January 2013, an Australian waitress told The Sun that she'd slept with Malik while Edwards was touring with Little Mix. Then, in March 2015, came a sign that Malik was headed in one direction with his band and his relationship: towards the exit. Per the Mirror, he left One Direction's "On the Road Again" tour after he was photographed holding hands with a woman at a club. By the time Malik and Edwards split that August, he was already launching his solo career.

An insider claimed that Malik dumped Edwards in one of the worst possible ways. "He ended their engagement with one text message and in the two weeks since there's been complete radio silence between them. Who does that?" the source dished to The Sun (via Popcrush). 

But Malik claimed that this is not how their breakup went down, telling Fader, "I love her a lot, and I always will, and I would never end our relationship over four years like that." Edwards repeated the text claim in the Little Mix autobiography "Our World," where she revealed another way the split left her devastated. "I had nowhere to go, which was incredibly stressful," she wrote. "I realized I was homeless. I was crying every day." Oof.