Love Island’s Lauren Richardson on THAT Zayn Malik photo: “It just went absolutely mental”

The 'mystery blonde' finally explains the picture behind the huge furore


by Emmeline Saunders |
Published on

Love Island contestant Lauren Richardson was catapulted to front page news earlier this year after a photo of her with now ex-One Direction star Zayn Malik leaked on the internet.

The image showed her and Zayn hugging like they'd known each other for years – which prompted Zayn to tweet an apology to his fiancée Perrie Edwards and was thought to be the last straw before he quit the band.

However, Lauren has sworn there was nothing seedy going on in the photo and insists it was blown out of proportion.


Speaking ahead of the launch of Love Island, Lauren explained: "I went into the nightclub where he was, not knowing he was in there. I went in there because it was a free bar for three hours. So that was the reason I was in there.

"They were in the VIP section and I managed to get in there. I even told my friends I didn't know how I got in there because I looked like an absolute tramp. Wearing a pair of shorts worth three pounds from Dagenham market, hair scruffed up in a bun, no makeup on and we, the people that I was with, went over."

She then asked nicely for a picture and said there was "no problem" – until she decided to share the image herself.

"It just went absolutely mental," Lauren said. "So there's no juicy story behind it which I think everyone was dying to hear. It's just a picture."

But that didn’t stop certain Directioners from going after her – she said there was so much abuse that her boss sent her home when news broke that Zayn has quit, because he was worried Lauren would get the blame for that, too.

"You try not take it to heart because it's not my fault he left the band. You try to not let the comments bother you," added Lauren.

Catch the brand new series of Love Island, Sunday night at 9pm on ITV2.

Love Island 2015 - meet the contestants!


Love Island 2015 - ALL the contestants

Caroline Flack1 of 8

Caroline Flack

Cazza Flazza's back and presenting her own show for the first time ever. She reckons the best outcome of Love Island would be "weddings and babies" and is really looking forward to getting some match-making done.

Chris Williamson, 27, from Newcastle2 of 8

Chris Williamson, 27, from Newcastle

Weirdest fact: "I went on Take Me Out three years ago which probably marked the worst date I've ever been on. We went deep sea fishing, which is not the most exciting date in the world, and she was so dull and boring. You know when she's talking about crabbing with her dad when she was 11, the conversation's dried up. In the end I took my top off and dived into the sea to get away from her, but the people on the boat pulled me back in."Maddest quote: "I have quite high standards and Newcastle doesn't always provide what I'm after. The girls here are highly amused and easily confused."

Danielle Pyne, 23, from London3 of 8

Danielle Pyne, 23, from London

Weirdest fact: "I spend a minimum of two hours getting ready: more, if I have to fake tan first. I wash my hair, curl it, do my make up, then find an outfit, which generally takes 45 minutes."Maddest quote: "One of my best friends is Toff from Made In Chelsea and Alex Mytton DJs in my club."

Joshua4 of 8


Weirdest fact: "I was on Stand By Your Man. I was seeing a girl when I went on it. She was just a friend with benefits though so it wasn't cheating. A few of my mates are Burnley footballers. I don't like freeloading off them but sometimes we go to a VIP club. I know Helen who won Big Brother last year. She slept with one of my mates."Maddest quote: "I don't struggle with women. I don't have a chat-up line, I just say to them, 'Wanna bang?', and that works."

Lauren Richardson, 26, from London5 of 8

Lauren Richardson, 26, from London

Weirdest fact: "I met Zayn Malik in a nightclub in Thailand. It got blown out of all proportion. But that's a long story...."Maddest quote: "My dream date? An activity – paintballing or jumping out of a plane. And it's always good if you can beat a boy at a sport."

Luis Morrison, 20, from Sweden6 of 8

Luis Morrison, 20, from Sweden

Weirdest fact: "I've had beautiful girls come up to me and say literally, 'Come to my car now', and it's hard to say no…"Maddest quote: "Celebrity crush? Kim Kardashian. I wouldn't bother taking her to dinner, I'd just go straight to a hotel. She's one of them, isn't she? I wouldn't bring them back to mum and dad, they'd be horrified!"

Rachel Christie, 267 of 8

Rachel Christie, 26

Weirdest fact:"Before I got pregnant, I was a 400m athlete and heptathlete, and my goal was to get to the 2012 Olympics."Maddest quote:"My uncle is Linford Christie. I was also the first black Miss England and went to lots of high profile events at the time. But I never really went up and talked to any of the celebrities there. I'm humble like that."

LOVE_ISLAND_018 of 8


Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us