Malik, 22, shocked One-D fans around the world when he quit the band in the middle of the Southeast Asian tour.
Simon revealed that the handwriting had been on the wall for some time, and he did his best to persuade him to stick with Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson.
The music mogul, who pulls all the strings behind the scenes said he “kinda knew this was coming.”
“We’d had a few conversations; he wasn’t happy,” he explained. “I was trying to say to him, ‘Look I think you should stay around a bit longer.'”
And then,” he said, snapping his fingers, “Something inside him said ‘No, I’ve had enough.'”
The breakup unfolded in March while the band was touring. When Malik left the band, the initial reason was attributed to “stress.” But within a week, the real reason was revealed.
Malik clearly suggested that the constant pressure from fans and paparazzi, social media and the burdens of touring and recording with the band had taken their toll.
“Once the decision was made, you know, I dealt with it, and made sure the guys were okay, because, you know, they were shocked,” Cowell revealed. “Once someone has made their mind up, they’re going to go.
“He was a bit stressed, and he needed some time off. So, I had to respect his decision.”
He said the band members were “incredible” for working out everything so quickly and continuing with the tour without missing a stop. He added that the band is set to release its best album ever.
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