Zayn Malik is "angry and upset" after being accused of having a drug problem. Kinda understandable given the "chicken" incident, but sure people can change.

The 21-year-old is "gutted" to have missed a promotional trip to America to plug One Direction's new album Four after falling ill at the weekend and was horrified when his bandmates were quizzed on live TV about the unsubstantiated allegations.

He told The Sun: "I'm really angry and upset by what was said on The Today Show. I was really ill at the weekend, that's why I couldn't fly to America. As soon as I'm feeling better I'm going to join the guys and carry on with the promotion for the album. I was gutted to have to miss album release day. But I'm going to be back as soon as I can."

Zayn spoke out after host Matt Lauer - who should really read his audience - queried his absence, asking the rest of the group: "There have been rumours of substance abuse, what's going on?"

As watching fans booed their heads off, Niall Horan shook his head in indignation, while perennial voice of reason Liam Payne replied: "No, he's just got a stomach bug, he's OK. He's just at home. He just needs to rest. He's OK. We only found out this morning, so we're really sad, he is as well, that he can't be here for our album release."

One of the many tweets now doing the rounds from Directioners can be encapsulated with the below offering...

Malik - who was the subject of a leaked video earlier this year in which he appeared to be smoking a marijuana - recently missed another group commitment, leaving Liam, Niall, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson to shoot acceptance speeches for the three MTV Video Music Awards they won earlier this month without him.