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A certain webloid known for playing up a supposed rivalry between Zayn Malik and Harry Styles is at it again. According to this latest made-up story, Malik didn't want to receive "birthday wishes" from his former band mate. Gossip Cop can bust the tall tale.

Ever since Malik quit One Direction in 2015, HollywoodLife has periodically peddled faux "exclusives" about an ongoing feud with Styles. This manufactured saga now hinges on Malik's birthday, which took place on Friday. That night, when it was already almost Saturday in the U.K., the site claimed to have "EXCLUSIVE details on why he won't be hearing" from Styles.

A so-called "source" was quoted as saying, "Zayn doesn't expect any sort of birthday wish from Harry and he doesn't really want one either because he knows it would be fake." The use of the word "fake" is ironic since it could be used to describe this article, in which the outlet's almost assuredly nonexistent insider went on to assert, "Zayn didn't show Harry any birthday love last year either, for the same reason. He doesn't feel they were ever really friends and they definitely aren't friends now."

Here's what's really going on: HollywoodLies, as it's nicknamed, wanted to capitalize on it being Malik's birthday and made up a sensational storyline to attract fans. By publishing the piece at close to 7 p.m. Eastern in the U.S. and nearly midnight in the U.K., the blog was obviously confident at that point that if Styles hadn't publicly acknowledged Malik's birthday by that time of day, he wasn't going to. And because the pair haven't exchanged "birthday love" in the last few years, it wasn't a big leap to assume Styles wouldn't be reaching out now. On the contrary, it was a fairly safe guess.

This purported insight did not come from an "insider." It's merely statements that even a casual fan could have concluded on one's own. Why would Malik "expect any sort of birthday wish" from Styles? Why would he want one? By Malik's own admission just a couple of months ago, he and Styles "never really spoke" even when they were working together in One Direction. He confessed, "So I didn't really expect that much of a relationship with him when I left. And I haven't [had one]."

It doesn't take an "insider" then to realize that Malik would not be expecting to hear from Styles on his birthday and that he wouldn't even care about such a thing. This was only concocted to stir the pot at time when there's increased interest in Malik due to his milestone. Even HollywoodLies' own commenters aren't buying the narrative, as Gossip Cop noticed one particularly astute comment.

The reader wrote, "This is obviously a fabrication and attempt to cause drama to increase your readership. Why couldn't you just write something positive about Zayn and leave Harry Styles alone. This is disrespectful and not necessary." The fan went on, "Just because Zayn and Harry are public figures, doesn't mean they are fair game to have stories made up about them. This type of tabloid writing is why you see a lot of artists taking a break from social media. Come on! Be more responsible and treat others with more respect!"

Gossip Cop couldn't agree more. And it's worth noting that Malik's own rep has previously confirmed to us that the blog's reporting on him is illegitimate and often inaccurate. Just like its baloney about a Malik-Styles "showdown" in 2016, this is another work of fiction.

Our Verdict

Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.


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