One fan video making the rounds does a pretty great job at explaining why Zayn's departure may have all been a publicity stunt.
YouTube user Queen V explains: "I believe this whole event was planned for the sake of the band's attempt to rebrand and boost publicity. Let's have the conversation."
While she admits she might sound crazy, Queen V does have some solid ideas about the whole shakeout. First up, she talks about the On The Road Again tour not doing that well and how 1D's management felt that creating a scandal was their best approach to increase interest in the band.
She also points to Zayn and Naughty Boy (and Simon Cowell) striking up a relationship and their cryptic tweets last year. She brings up the 1D guys' relationships making headlines and Simon's comment about it being okay that the guys take on side projects.
This fan notes all the headlines and attention that Zayn's cheating scandal got, plus the pics following his departure from the band (of him at the recording studio, him and Perrie house hunting, hanging out with family). And then there was the whole Naughty Boy and Louis Tomlinson Twitter feud and Naughty Boy dropping Zayn's demo, "I Won't Mind." Was it all a set up?
See what Queen V thinks is ahead for One Direction and how this was all a way of re-branding their image.