Liam Payne is certainly finding his way into the headlines lately. Just a week after the 28-year-old British musician went public with a new romance after calling it quits with on-again-off-again fiancé Maya Henry, 22, he has made a stunning statement about Canadian musician Justin Bieber, 28. During his May 31 appearance on Logan Paul‘s podcast, ImPaulsive, he said he does not think he would fight Justin in a celebrity match because Justin “wouldn’t do it.” He added, “For the same reason I wouldn’t fight [rapper] Trippie Redd, I’m not on his level.” However, the father of one did admit he thought Justin would be “very skilled.”
Host Logan, 27, asked Liam to elaborate on his statement, but he instead did an impersonation of Captain Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp‘s notorious character. Co-host Mike Majlak called him out on it. “See he’s pretending to be someone else again. He said he does that when he gets in certain situations, he just pretends,” he laughed. Liam then did another impersonation and continued to avoid the question about not being on Justin’s level.
While the meaning behind his statement remains a mystery, Liam did address his beef with Justin, which started in March 2015 when Liam responded to an apparent Ariana Grande fan on Twitter who asked him if it was “depressing” that he would never be as successful as the “Baby” singer. “How many times have I been arrested,” he responded. Months later, One Direction released their album, Made in the A.M., on the same day Justin released Purpose. Justin went on to post a Snapchat video of himself making a face after saying, “That face you make when you come out with an album on the same day as Justin Bieber.” Both incidents caused a major feud between Justin’s fans, called Beliebers, and One Direction’s fans, called Directioners.
Liam admitted on ImPaulsive that he was “absolutely wasted” when he made the statement regarding Justin’s troubled past and didn’t mean anything by it. “Someone compared, someone said something about Justin Bieber to me or whatever and I wasn’t even meaning to offend him, I wanted to offend them, and this is where this can go wrong if you start fighting people online for no reasons,” he explained. “So then it started some beef thing about whatever…I’m a smooth criminal I don’t get arrested for anything. And so, it started this thing, so then everybody started getting a bit like, you know you see each other at award shows and obviously we’re boys in a band and you’re a boy not in a band, so it makes sense that we should hate each other right?” He then blamed their fan bases for pushing the feud narrative.
However, Liam revealed that at some point after his Twitter comment, he cleared the air with Justin when they were at the same show. “So, I knocked on his door and went in and had a chat with him. … I said, ‘Number one. I’ve done all the things that you’ve done and I’ve never been caught for any of them. So that’s number one,'” the “Get Low” singer recalled. “Number two, I said, ‘You know what I’ve always really felt for you mate and I think in our situation, we all suffer from the same disease. And as I said, and when I look at my boys and I turn left and right, I’ve got someone who’s going through exactly what I’ve gone through. I know in your camp, you’re you and there’s no one like you. You can’t turn around and have that shoulder.'”
After that, the two global superstars were cool with each other. And even though Liam said he doesn’t think Justin would agree to a fight, it seems like he has respect for the singer. In fact, when Logan said he would like to see a Justin vs. One Direction “brawl,” Liam said Justin “could hold his own.” Justin has not publicly responded to Liam’s remarks as of this writing.