Love Island’s Lauren Richardson: ‘Zayn Malik’s too young for me’

Lauren spoke exclusively to heat about all that Zayn business...

Lauren Love Island

by heatworld |
Published on

Lauren Richardson was propelled from normal 26-year-old girl to One Direction fan’s public enemy number one after a picture of her with Zayn Malik in Thailand emerged online in March. After he quit the band, she was left on the receiving end of death threats, so the community sports officer has decided to go on Love Island to set the story straight. Speaking for the first time about her ordeal, she tells heat exclusively what really happened with Zayn, why she’s gone on the show and why Perrie Edward’s hasn’t been in touch…

How are you finding being on the Love Island?

“It's been really weird here but it’s been quite nice, I haven't had to think about anything. It clears your head.”

What’s it like making headlines all over the world?

“My feet haven’t really properly hit the ground. It was just really surreal.”

How did you find out that you were being described as Zayn’s other woman?

“I was still in Thailand when it started going crazy. I was out on the piss and all my friends were ringing me and I thought, ‘something’s wrong’. When I answered my friend said 'Lauren the picture you put on Instagram is absolutely blowing up.’ I’d put it up then gone out so when I turned my internet back on, it was a bit like… oh dear!”

So you had no idea it would get the response that it did?

“Oh no, definitely not. I only had about 300 followers.”


What really happened with Zayn?

“You're gonna be so disappointed. It was a picture. I was in the nightclub and I'd gone into the VIP [bit]. I don't know how I got in because I looked like an absolute tramp. We’d gone over near their table. I was dancing and joking around and I asked if I could have a picture then I posted it and it just went absolutely mental. Nothing else happened.”

Did you have a chat to him?

“No, because we were all dancing. Example was playing so we were more focused on watching him than having a full-blown conversation in a nightclub.”

What was he like?

“He seemed nice enough. I didn't really talk to him much. You can't really tell from meeting someone for half a night, if they’re a really nice person.”

What about the picture of you holding his hand outside the club?

“Yeah I saw them. With that picture, it's been blown out of proportion. In Phuket, there are so many people trying to get you in their bar and I hate being touched. I had a little moment. All he did was [demonstrates touching arm] say, ‘are you ok?' That was it. We weren't holding hands running down Phuket Road going, 'look at us two! We're so in love!' It wasn't that. It was literally just, 'are you ok?' and someone took a picture of it.”

**Did you fancy him?

“No, they're not my type. I don't follow them. They're too young for me!”

What did you do afterwards? Did you go to an afterparty?

“No, me and my friends went our own way and they went their way.”

Did he get in touch after everything kicked off?

“No, no contact at all. I haven’t heard from anyone and there's nothing to apologise for. It was just a picture.”

What was it like having death threats from the fans?

“Horrible. I was scared. There were people putting gun and knife pictures up. You never know if someone is serious. They are hardcore fans. It wasn't nice. They'd say, ‘you're ugly’ or, ‘you're fat’ and compare me to Perrie quite a lot. You try to act like it doesn’t hurt you, but it does a little bit.”

Did Perrie get in touch to ask you what happened?

“No, I had no contact from Zayn or his management or any of Perrie's – no one from that side at all.”

How did you feel when days later he quit the band and you were blamed for the split?

“When he left the band, I just thought, ‘here we go again’ and there was another flux of hate. When it happened I was at work and my boss rang me and said he’s left the band now and told me to go home but I went down to the pub instead. [laughs]”

You have remained silent. Why did you wait so long to speak out?

“Because there's no story behind it. I have to speak about it now as I’m going on the show. I didn't post that picture for fame or money, It was just to say, ‘look who the f**k I was partying with last night!’”

You must have been offered some big money though?

“I got offers but I never knew how much. I'd rip them up and straight in the bin.”

Was there any part of it that was quite exciting?

“It was exciting, but there are lots of different emotions. It was more like, ‘oh my god, this is how the other half live!’ But I was getting all this aggro and getting nothing from it!”

Do you wish Zayn had spoken out and said ‘nothing happened with this girl’?

“Yeah, I would say that.”

Are you looking for love on Love Island?

“Yes, I’d love to find love on Love Island. I’ve been single quite a while and it would be nice to find a nice dishy man.”

What’s your type?

“I don’t have a type. When I was younger I’d say my type was tall, dark and handsome like everyone says.”

So a Zayn look-a-like then?

“No no. You’ve got to have a good body on you. I quite like tattoos, and be taller than me in a pair of high heels because I like really really high heels.”

Did you ever consider going into the Big Brother house?

“No. I never got approached by Big Brother.”

Why did you decide to do this?

“I’m looking for love! And I’m more likely to find love on Love Island than in Big Brother!”

Love Island returns to ITV2 on Sunday at 10pm.

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