On Tuesday, he shocked fans when he revealed that his high-profile romance with Gigi Hadid had come to an end after more than two years together.
And Zayn Malik was spotted for the first time since the headline-grabbing announcement later that day, looking forlorn has he relaxed solo on the grounds of the palatial Miami holiday home he’s been holed up in over the past several days.
However, while the 25-year-old singer stepped out shirtless in the Florida sunshine, it was hard to miss that he was still sporting the inking of his supermodel ex’s eyes on his heavily tattooed chest – a fact which hasn’t escaped his fans.
Wearing just a pair of black shorts, the former One Direction heartthrob was seen puffing on a cigarette as he wandered around by himself, stepping in and out of the intense sun as he cut a downcast figure.
He also took a seat at the edge of the property’s expansive veranda, and was seen scrolling through his phone during his day of mostly solitary relaxation.
And while he took some time to himself, fans of the star flocked to Twitter in droves to mock him for tattooing 22-year-old Gigi’s eyes on his chest – especially as he’d previously inked the image of his ex Perrie Edwards along the length of his arm.
Wrote one fan: ‘So Zayn got a tattoo of Perrie and then they broke up, then he got a tattoo of Gigi’s eyes and now they broke up… Will this man ever learn?’
‘Zayn unfollowed Gigi on [Instagram] but I’d love to see how he’s gonna unfollow that giant tattoo he has of her eyes on his chest,’ stated another social media user.
Going their separate ways: Zayn Malik and his supermodel girlfriend Gigi Hadid have split after more than two years together. Pictured in April 2017
Noted a third: ‘Zayn needs to think more about some of his tattoo choices though,’ followed by another, who tweeted to Zayn: ‘I bet you regret that eye tattoo now huh?’
During Zayn’s day of solo relaxation, he found time to be on his social media accounts, posing for selfies and releasing a statement confirming the split.
His post on Twitter read: ‘Gigi and I had an incredibly meaningful, loving and fun relationship and I have a huge amount of respect and adoration for Gigi as a woman and a friend. She has such an incredible soul.
‘I’m grateful to all of our fans for respecting this difficult decision and our privacy at this time, we wish this news could have come from us first. We love you all. xZ.’
Just 11 minutes after Zayn put out his post, Gigi released her own statement on the micro-blogging site, writing: ‘Breakup statements often seem impersonal because there is really no way to put into words what two people experience together over a few years.. not only in the relationship, but in life in general.
I’m forever grateful for the love, time, and life lessons that Z and I shared. I want nothing but the best for him and will continue to support him as a friend that I have immense respect and love for. As for the future, whatever’s meant to be will always be. xG.’
Earlier in the day, he raised eyebrows when he shared a shirtless selfie on Instagram along with a cryptic caption which read: ‘When Life throws you lemons , catch em so they don’t hit you in the f*****g face.’
Later that day, he returned to the image-sharing app to post a selfie which showed him looking forlorn as he peered down toward the camera lens.
MailOnline has contacted representatives for Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid for further comment.
News of the split comes just a handful of months after Bradford-born Zayn took to social media to share a boomerang of himself and Gigi sharing a passionate kiss as they celebrated two years of being together.
Pillowtalk singer Zayn captioned the brief clip: ‘2 yrs w my favorite human.’ [sic]
Grown apart: A source told The Sun that the couple had simply ‘grown apart’ toward the end of their relationship, but remain friends
Statement: On Tuesday evening, Zayn took to Twitter to release a heartfelt statement in which he confirmed the split
Speaking out: Just 11 minutes after Zayn’s post, Gigi put out her own statement on Twitter
Spotted: The last time the photogenic twosome were seen out in public together was in New York City back in January – weeks before Gigi kicked off fashion month
Raising eyebrows: As news of the shocking breakup came to light, Zayn raised eyebrows when he took to his Instagram account to share shirtless selfie along with a cryptic post
Feeling blue? Later that day, he returned to the image-sharing app to post a selfie which showed him looking forlorn as he peered down toward the camera lens.
The former lovebirds recently spent a lot of time apart – and were last pictured together in January – as Gigi walked the world’s runways for fashion month and Los Angeles-based Zayn jetted off to Miami to work on new music.
Zayn had been dating the supermodel since January 2016, six months after he broke up with Little Mix singer fiance Perrie Edwards, 24.
Back in September 2016, Gigi – who began dating Zayn within weeks of splitting from Joe Jonas – gushed about her then fledgling romance with the British singer.
When asked by ES magazine what she found most attractive about her handsome beau, she said: ‘I would say his brain. For the first time, we are both in a relationship where we have very similar interests outside of work and that is really important.
Coordinated: They famously stepped out in coordinated style as they made their red carpet debut as a couple at the Met Gala in New York City in May 2016
Fashionable: They made a string of eye-catching appearances on the fashion scene, thanks to Gigi’s career as a supermodel and Zayn’s own status as something of a style icon
‘We cook a lot together and do art together and we’re each others’ best friends. We both feel we can talk about anything and learn a lot from one another.’
She also revealed that the heartthrob had influenced her tastes in food, adding: ‘I’m also getting super into British foods. I’m loving Heinz baked beans in the morning, yeah and Z cooks a lot.
‘He makes a brilliant curry. Butter chicken is his signature dish. Don’t worry – he’s representing good for the British boys!’
In January, Gigi’s mother Yolanda spoke of her joy of seeing her daughter so in love -adding that she vowed to be there to support the millennial power couple.
Affectionate: The stars were rarely shy about publicly showing their affection for one another
Rise to fame: Gigi rose to fame as one of the new crop of supermodels, while Zayn found success as a member of chart-topping boy band One Direction, before going solo
She told MailOnline: ‘When you raise your children, I hope I instilled the best in them to make the right choices and turn to me and say “I love this man” then I’m going to love them too.
‘This is their journey and I’m just here to support both of them as long as they make each other happy, working through things then I’m happy.’
Adding that she embraced him like a son, Dutch beauty Yolanda said: ‘He’s a beautiful human being from Bradford, England. He’s from the same background that I’m from, him and I get along great and he’s like a son to me. It’s all good.
‘He has no family here and he’s so far away so I understand that life because I lived that life. I think that I’m just a momma to him.’
Ex factor: The former lovebirds had been one of Hollywood’s most high profile young couples