Perrie Edwards might’ve had the shittest summer of her life (being dumped by your world-famous fiancé over a frigging text doesn’t really lend itself to delirious happiness, does it?), but she’s back on the mend again – as can be seen in these pictures with fit model Michael Mather…
Still, hanging out with hot male models is only ever going to boost your self-esteem. All power to your elbow, Perrie.
Zayn Malik and Perrie Edwards relationship in pictures
Zayn Malik and Perrie Edwards relationship in pictures
Perrie and Zayn first met backstage at The X Factor in 2011, a year after One Direction appeared on the competition and returned to the stage to perform Gotta Be You, just when Little Mix were discovering themselves as a band. But Perrie wasn’t that keen on the boyband singer to start with, later telling an interviewer: “I didn’t really like Zayn when I first met him, because I didn’t know him and he seems a bit cocky and a bit full of himself.”
Things went from strength to strength that summer, with Zayn meeting his girlfriend’s parents. At the time, he said: “I went up to meet her mum and family the other month. I was a bit scared of meeting her brother to be honest – he’s in the navy, he’s a big bloke. I thought he was going to be a bit defensive over his sister but he was cool.”
With a band as big as One Direction, you can only imagine what the tweenage fans would say about any woman encroaching on ‘their’ boys. Perrie ended up deleting her Twitter account due to all the hate messages she was getting, especially after the couple were spotted out on a rare date in London.
But then the first of Zayn’s alleged cheating scandals hit the couple after footage of the 1D singer hitting on a girl in a hotel corridor emerged. Zayn then deleted his Twitter because of the trolls, but more rumours came out in September when someone managed to record audio of him flirting with other girls.
However, despite all the rumours flying around, Perrie sticks with Zayn. Her Little Mix bandmates tell an interviewer in December that they’ve “never seen a boy love a girl as much as he loves her”. Oh, and the couple adopt a dog called Hatchi.
Zayn reportedly asks Perrie to move in together to prove they are as strong as they can be. A source tells Closer that Perrie’s unsure about it. “She’d wanted to take the next step for ages, but now she feels she’s still getting to grips with the situation. She’s still terrified that other girls could come forward with allegations,” the insider says. “Zayn is trying to convince her that moving in will alleviate her fears and says she can put her stamp on the home.”
The couple are still facing hella rumours as Zayn’s reputation as a bit of a player spreads. To prove his commitment to Perrie, he gets a cartoon version of her tattooed on his arm. “It must be love to be honest. When I’m away from him, I guess he can just take a look at his arm and remind him of me,” she told an interviewer. “So it’s a lovely compliment really. I love it, it’s lovely. It’s a cartoon version of me so it’s a little caricature, it’s cool.”
A shockwave runs through the 1D fandom as Zayn takes the plunge and proposes to Perrie with a beautiful diamond ring, which is then spied on Perrie’s finger at the London premiere of the This Is Us documentary. Later he explains how he popped the question in a typically Zayn way. “We were watching a film in the back garden and her mum was there, my mum was there... Erm, my two best mates were there which was quite sick... And that’s it, and she said yeah which is quite sick!” Oh, the romance.
There was a long period of travelling for both of the lovers, with One Direction on tour around the world and Little Mix promo-ing the hell out of their album. In September 2013 Perrie jokes about wearing her signature purple lipstick on her wedding day, but aside from that, there are no plans for their nuptials.
…And then sparks worldwide headlines when a video allegedly shows him and Louis Tomlinson smoking dodgy cigarettes and joking about “chicken in Chile”. Oops.
Rumours about Zayn’s dissatisfaction with life in 1D rumble on, especially when he didn’t show up to a huge appearance in the US with the rest of his band to promote their album.
Perrie is seen without her engagement ring for a couple of weeks. When questioned, she insists that it was at the cleaners. But seeds of doubt had already been planted, leaving many to wonder what was really going on with the couple.
A trip to Thailand unearths the biggest scandal to hit their relationship, when British holidaymaker Lauren Richardson comes forward with pics of her and Zayn looking cosy. Zayn is once again forced to deny the cheating rumours, tweeting: “I’m 22 years old... I love a girl named Perrie Edwards. And there’s a lot of jealous f**ks in this world.” He flew home for ‘crisis talks’ with his long-suffering girlfriend and she was later seen leaving their shared home with her bags packed.
But then he did something no-one saw coming: he quit the band. In his leaving statement, Zayn said he just wanted to pursue a normal life, but distraught Directioners immediately targeted Perrie and branded her the “Yoko Ono” of the band.
The couple fly to Italy for a break from all the media attention, taking Zayn’s sisters with them. Perrie shares a bunch of pictures of the pair kissing and cuddling, sparking speculation that she was putting the Thailand drama behind her.
An interviewer asks Perrie about her wedding plans and she shoots back, “I’ll get married when I’m bloody ready.” A week earlier she’d referred to herself as Perrie Malik in an Instagram video, so obviously the entire 1D fandom has another breakdown. Plus she shares a picture of an enormous white dress, saying it’s her old prom dress – but fans are convinced she and Zayn have secretly got married already.
They buy themselves a £3million north London mansion, but Zayn still doesn’t seem happy – or particularly normal – in his professional life. He has a go at collaborator Naughty Boy on Twitter, calling him a “fat joke” after footage of him appearing in Krept & Konan’s No Type video leaked online. There are no more cheating rumours, although Perrie has to deal with the news that bandmate Jesy Nelson has just got engaged to her Rixton frontman boyfriend Jake Roche. She and Zayn are no longer the golden couple.
News suddenly drops that Zayn and Perrie have broken up after a four-year romance. People magazine confirms the news and further reports claim Zayn dumped Perrie over the phone, calling off their engagement at the same time. Perrie is reportedly furious but has to put a brave face on it as she’s in the middle of a Little Mix promo tour.
Perrie’s Little Mix bandmates gather around her and protect her from the media storm, with Leigh-Anne Pinnock telling one TV host that “we don’t want to talk about it” in response to her probing questions.
But Zayn refused to take no for an answer, and texted her every day to ask her out. Eventually, she agreed.
By April the next year – four months after Little Mix won The X Factor – Perrie and Zayn had become an official item. Both aged 19, many wondered how their increasingly pressured careers would let them have a relationship, but they stayed together against all odds.
Perrie speaks honestly about their relationship, telling one interviewer that the time they spent apart was tough but had its benefits. “It makes it a bit more exciting because you don’t get to see each other, so when you do see each other, you get butterflies. It’s nice. It would be hard if we didn’t feel like they were worth it,” she said. Later that month, Zayn buys Perrie’s mum an actual house…