AceShowbiz - %cSimon Cowell% has spoken out candidly for the first time since %cZayn Malik% departed %cOne Direction% last month. In an interview with U.K.'s Sugarscape, the music mogul shared his opinion on the 22-year-old hearttrob's decision which left millions of Directioners heartbroken.
"He's a fantastic singer," Cowell said on the red carpet of the launch of the season 9 of "Britain's Got Talent". "Look, he's got to get his head together a little bit. He needs some time on his own, as he said, to be a normal 22-year-old, which he's gonna have."
Cowell, who signed One Direction to his record label Syco Records after the dudes finished third on the U.K.'s "The X Factor" in 2010, went on expressing his support for Zayn and the remaining One Direction members.
"I've always said to all of them, the future's bright depending on what you want to do," he continued. "We've always hoped that One Direction would stay together for a long time and my hunch is it still will. They're just too good for everything to stop now."
After leaving One Direction, Zayn has been reported to be planning a solo career. In another interview, Cowell was asked if he would sign the singer as a solo performer, but he only said, "I can't give anything away."
Last week, the four remaining 1D members gave their first interview without Zayn. Speaking to The Sun, they admitted to being "gutted" by their pal's abrupt exit, but they assured fans they'd continue working together as a four-piece.