Los Angeles - Zayn Malik "couldn't handle" being in One Direction.
The 22-year-old singer announced his decision to quit the band on Wednesday, with an insider revealing he grew tired of the pressures fame brought.
A source explained: "Zayn simply had enough and couldn't handle it. The lads respected his decision and although it was a tough call, Zayn feels it was the right one.
"He couldn't cope with the scrutiny of his private life."
Last week, Zayn left the band's On the Road Again Tour due to stress and is reportedly relieved to have told the remaining members - Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Liam Payne - and their fans of his decision to quit for good.
The insider told The Sun newspaper: "Zayn's been struggling for months and the high level of intensity had taken its toll.
"The decision is still fresh but he can sense the weight will eventually lift off his shoulders. Although he acknowledges that he faces an incredible amount of scrutiny over the next few days."
In an official statement on One Direction's offical Facebook page, Zayn said: "I feel like it's the right time. I'd like to apologise to the fans if I've let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right."
He added: "I want to be a normal 22-year-old."
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