One Direction's Zayn Malik arrives with bandmates to the iHeartRadio...

One Direction's Zayn Malik arrives with bandmates to the iHeartRadio Music Festival, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Credit: AP / Andrew Estey

One Direction's Zayn Malik shot back Tuesday at "Today" host Matt Lauer, who had asked whether substance abuse was behind the singer's absence at the band's appearance on the morning show Monday.

"I'm really angry and upset by what was said," Malik told the UK newspaper The Sun. "I was really ill at the weekend; that's why I couldn't fly to America." Saying he "was gutted" to miss the release day of the boy band's new album, "Four," he vowed that, "As soon as I'm feeling better I'm going to join the guys and carry on with the promotion for the album."

Lauer had inquired of the missing Malik in an interview with One Direction members Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida before a live performance there.

"Yeah, he's got a tummy bug so he's not very well at the moment, so he couldn't make it over," Payne replied. "We only found out this morning so we were very sad, and he is as well, that he can't be here for our album release day."

Following up, Lauer said, "There's obviously a lot of concern, a lot of fans have been tweeting overnight, there's been a lot of action on social media about him. Is it something more serious than just a minor illness? There have been rumors of substance abuse. What's going on?"

"No, he's just got a stomach bug," Payne insisted. "He's OK. He's just at home. He just needs to rest."

Asked when Malik would rejoin the band, Payne said, "We're not sure yet; we're just waiting for a phone call."

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