Liam Payne Says 'Toxic' One Direction Fame Drove Him To Drink

In a new cover story with Men’s Health Australia, Liam Payne is opening up about his struggles dealing with fame as a member of One Direction, revealing that he used alcohol to cope with the group’s grueling performance schedule.

"It’s almost like putting the Disney costume on before you step up on stage, and underneath the Disney costume I was drunk quite a lot of the time because there was no other way to get your head around what was going on," he says. "I mean, it was fun. We had an absolute blast, but there were certain parts of it where it just got a little bit toxic."

"It’s difficult when you have the level of fame that we had in the band," Liam explains. "There have been a lot of people in trouble with mental health that aren’t really getting the help that they need, and I think that’s a bit of a problem in our industry."

The singer, who joined the group when he was just 17, adds, "It’s the same sh*t that happens to everyone, that’s been happening since the ‘70s. You know what the traps are and if you are lucky enough, like me, to be able to get out of that scenario and back into a sense of normality, then you know it’s a bit different."

Liam is now a father to two-year-old son Bear, who he shares with his former partner Cheryl Cole, and is busy with his solo music.