As may celebrities can attest a combination of overwhelming fame, drinking and drugs will usually bring you unstuck. For One Direction alum, Liam Payne, it was his time with the boy band that eventually led him to hit rockbottom. Speaking on The Diary of a CEO Podcast, the artist revealed he was very good at hiding his problems.
“I was worried how far my rock bottom was going to be. Where’s rock bottom for me? And you would never have seen it. I’m very good at hiding it,” Payne told host Stephen Bartlett. “No one would ever have seen it.”
When asked if he had suffered from suicidal thoughts, he replied, “Yeah. There is some stuff that I have definitely never, never spoken about. It was really, really, really severe. It was a problem. And it was only until I saw myself after that I was like ‘Right, I need to fix myself.'”
“There were a few pictures of me on a boat and I was all bloated out,” Payne continued. “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.”
Payne believes it was teen stardom that he struggled with the most, citing at times that he and his bandmates, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Zayn Malik were unable to leave their hotel rooms.
“So, 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. And then you look back at how long you’ve been drinking and it’s ‘Jesus Christ, that’s a long time,’ even for someone who was as young as I was,” he said. “It was wild but it was the only way you could get the frustration out in the day.”
“As a teen, the one thing you need is freedom to make choices and freedom to do stuff,” he added. “We were always locked into a room at night. And then it would be car, hotel room, stage, sing, f-ed. So, it was like they pulled the dust cloth off, let us out for a minute to go ‘Woohoo’ then it’s like ‘Get back underneath here!'”
Payne added that he struggled with alcohol during England’s lengthy lockdown.
“Having a lot of time at home – I think a lot of people had this same sort of thing: alcohol. It was just getting earlier and earlier and earlier. Easier and easier to go to,” said Payne. “What I’ve found more than anything with the alcohol is boundaries. If you’re on Zoom you can probably get away with being a bit tipsy, when you’re not supposed to be.
Payne recently split from his fiancée of 10 months Maya Henry.
Payne’s story follows a similar tune to Demi Lovato who developed a life-threatening drug addition as a result of childhood fame. As seen in documentary trailer, Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, the actress revealed a lack of freedom led to her eventual overdose.