Thursday, April 23, 2015 4:38am ET by  
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Former JLS star Oritsé: 'Zayn Malik spoke to me about quitting 1D last year'

Singer Oritsé Williams, who found fame as one fourth of JLS, has revealed that One Direction heartthrob Zayn Malik spoke privately with him last year about his desire to leave the group so he wasn't surprised when he announced the decision back in March. 

Speaking to The Mirror newspaper, the star admitted that he had a chat with Zayn back in 2014 about him wanting to quit the boyband: "Zayn spoke to me when we were together in Vegas last year."

"Niall did too. Zayn was talking to me in confidence. I told him he had a great run and to enjoy it. They are very, very blessed guys. It’s a very special thing and not a lot of artists show gratitude for that. But I told him to be himself and to keep going."

Earlier this week, Alan Price, who is a director at employment law firm Peninsula which provides advice on staff rights in the workplace, told Britain's Telegraph newspaper that Malik's departure sparked a flurry of calls from grieving staff members who wanted time off to deal with the news:

"In terms of famous celebrities and their impact on employees, Zayn Malik has to go down as a person that has caused the most upset. Social media has certainly been a factor in this, with employees responding with their thoughts and feelings. The reaction is certainly more significant than when Take That split up or when Robbie Williams left the group."

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Watch Simon Cowell talk about Malik's decision to quit 1D here: