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Malik woman 'targeted by 1D fans'

Published 04/06/2015

Lauren Richardson is one of the contestants for this year's ITV2 reality show, Love Island (ITV/PA)
Lauren Richardson is one of the contestants for this year's ITV2 reality show, Love Island (ITV/PA)

The woman who was pictured with Zayn Malik shortly before he quit One Direction has said she received death threats from the band's fans.

Lauren Richardson, 26, who will take part in ITV2 dating series Love Island, said the p hotograph in March of the community sports officer holding hands with Malik in Thailand was "innocent".

Online rumours prompted Malik, who has been engaged to Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards since 2013, to tweet: "I'm 22 years old, I love a girl named Perrie Edwards. And there's a lot of jealous f***s in this world I'm sorry for what it looks like x."

Richardson told the Daily Star: "It got so bad at one point. There were death threats and people saying I'm a homewrecker and 'I want to find you'.

"There was a lot of hate behind everything. I was so scared. You think: 'Are they actually going to find me?'

"It was just an innocent picture. Nothing else happened. He is a handsome lad but it is not something I would dive into."

Malik flew home from the boyband's world tour in March with "stress" before suddenly quitting the group, saying he wanted to be a "normal 22-year-old".

His former bandmates admitted they were angry when they found out but have since mended their relationship.

Love Island, which sees a group of 12 single men and women sent to a Mallorcan villa, launches on ITV2 on Sunday, June 7 at 9pm.

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