At the height of One Direction stardom, Liam Payne’s face was on every billboard, moving vehicle, bus shelter, and music chart. The singer, along with the other members of One Direction, suddenly went from being an unknown hopeful auditioning for X factor to a star with he kind of global fame and success that was previously only ever seen since the likes of the Beatles and Rolling Stones. Having to navigate that kind of fame at such a young age is already challenging, but given the intense media scrutiny the boys of One Direction were subjected to, you have to wonder how any of them made it out of that situation relatively unscathed.
In a recent interview on The Diary of a CEO podcast with Stephen Bartlett, Payne discussed a range of topics from his recent split from Maya Henry to his son Bear and his relationship with the other members of One Direction. But perhaps most revealing and poignant of all was Payne’s vulnerability and openness when it came to discussing his mental health and the suffering he experienced during those darker parts of his life. As he told the podcast host, his own struggles with alcoholism saw him hit “rock bottom” as he considers himself “lucky to be here.”
Liam explained, “Yeah, there is some stuff I have definitely never, never spoken about,” before adding, “It was really, really, really severe. And it was a problem. And it was only until I saw myself after that, I was like ‘Right, I need to fix myself.’”
It was until Liam saw a picture of himself, notably one of him on a boat, that he came face to face with his struggles with addictions. “I was all bloated out…I call it my pills-and-booze face. My face was just like 10 times more than it is now. I just didn’t like myself very much and then I made a change,” he said.
For Liam, a lot of his issues stemmed from the height of his fame, where the inability to go out in public without causing a frenzy saw him stuck in hotel rooms while on tour and often led to him drinking alone. “The problem was…the best way to secure us, because of how big it got, was to lock us in a room. And, of course, what is in the room? A minibar,” he said.
“At a certain point, I just thought, ‘Well, I’m going to have a party for one,’ and that just seemed to carry on throughout many years of my life.”
Now, Liam has been a month sober and he also revealed on the podcast that he recently received a lovely call from old pal, Harry Styles. “I had a lovely phone call from Harry the other day. He was checking in on me. It’s almost as if some people have got a sixth sense about when you’re going through something and want to check in,” said Liam. “He’s very much like that. He’s a lovely, lovely boy. I love him to pieces.”
To hear the full interview, you can watch the podcast below.