There are a few templates for a celebrity breakups: the joint statement (“we move forward as best friends”) or the surprise file (most recently Kaley Cuoco) and the nuclear breakups (Halle Berry and Gabrielle Aubry and Brad and Angelina – both took years to resolve and the latter isn’t over yet). What separates the gossip-y splits (like Brad and Jennifer) from the oh-sh-t-this-is-ugly splits (like Brad and Angelina) are the allegations of something physical happening. Now, as we’ve evolved in the way we talk about public relationships, understanding that abuse comes in different forms, physical abuse still holds a different level of seriousness because it’s tangible and can involve other parties (like Child Protective Services or the police). 


Hours before it was reported that Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik had split, TMZ dropped a bombshell story about Gigi’s mother, Yolanda Hadid, alleging that Zayn “struck” her (I use quotes because that is the exact phrase used). The TMZ story also included this detail: “Our sources say Yolanda's inclination is to file a police report, but we checked and so far there's nothing on file.”

Zayn almost immediately took to Twitter with his first statement: 


This is a major family crisis. For Gigi, for her future relationship with the father of her child, for her relationship with her mother – all of them will be affected by this. In Zayn’s statement he wrote in part “in an effort to protect that [private] space for her (Khai) I agreed to not contest claims arising from an argument I had with a family member of my partner’s” which I read as this happened and the use of “my partner” is present tense. The wording, to me, reads as if they were working through a discussion “to not contest claims” – contest to whom? Who is checking on the claims?

Shortly after, Gigi’s publicist released a short statement to PEOPLE, “Gigi is solely focused on the best for Khai. She asks for privacy during this time” because obviously, who wouldn’t want privacy. What else is she to do? It was also confirmed by PEOPLE that Gigi and Zayn broke up and a source said they’re both good parents. (TMZ said the breakup happened more than a month ago, before Gigi would have left for work at various fashion weeks). 

Zayn also released another statement to TMZ, with very strong language: 


"I adamantly deny striking Yolanda Hadid and for the sake of my daughter I decline to give any further details and I hope that Yolanda will reconsider her false allegations and move towards healing these family issues in private."

This is sad and I’m not going to speculate on Zayn or Yolanda (yes, I watched her seasons of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and yes I’ve seen the video of Zayn shirtless and fighting on the streets of NYC) or this family crisis. What the story is here, as it is oftentimes with celebrities, is how the story got out. Gigi and Zayn clearly would never leak this (it makes him look bad and she is not one to court this kind of attention). No one on their teams would leak it for the same reasons. It does not say if this happened in NYC or in Pennsylvania, where they spend a lot of time on the family farm. Either way, it doesn’t seem like a law enforcement leak because nothing has been officially filed at the time of this writing. 


So who leaked this to TMZ and why? The POV “considering charges” seems to be from Yolanda’s orbit. Someone close to the family (like another sibling, stepsibling, parent) who knows could have let it slip – but that’s a BIG thing to be loose-lipped about. Or it was purposefully handed over to TMZ. There are a bunch of possible scenarios: someone thought the story was going to leak and wanted to get ahead of it. Or it’s relevant to custody negotiations (if so, Yolanda will need to follow through with filing a report for a paper trail). Or maybe someone was fearful of the environment and wanted to encourage a split by going public with what allegedly happened. 

There are lot of scenarios and we will probably never know what exactly happened and we shouldn’t know. We wouldn’t know if someone hadn’t involved TMZ. Having a leak like this isn’t on the same level of emergency as your ex allegedly getting physical with your mother but one day, Gigi may need to sort out who went to TMZ and why. Judging by his statement, it seems as if Zayn has his suspicions. Considering the care they both go to protect their baby from photographers, this breach is a sh-tty addition to an already sh-t situation and now they’ll have to work on containing it on top of what they were already going through – finding a way to move past the damage and heal.  

Also attached - Yolanda out in NYC yesterday before news broke.