On Sunday, a photo of the former One Directioner was posted to a fan account that showed him strumming a guitar at the kitchen counter with a cigarette in his mouth. The photo seemed innocent enough, looking fairly similar to many others that showed him shirtless and smoking.
However, not long after that photo was posted, a woman tweeting as @lilpochaco claimed the photo had been leaked without her permission.
"if u gonna expose my business go on and expose all of it uno," she tweeted, following it up with another that read, "I dont need some other b*tch getting credit for my life."
After this, an anonymous Twitter user named @exposezaynmalik shared a series of screenshots that it claims were messages between Zayn and @lilpochaco, who's real name isn't known.
The screenshots show someone purporting to be Zayn telling a woman that he "can't stop thinking about you." Another message implies that they have been together, perhaps romantically. "I've thought about last time a lot," the message says, with another saying, "I'd really like to see you again."
Other moments show him -- or rather the name purporting to be him -- flirting and failing to smoothly wish her a good night.
The anonymous Twitter user, whose account started on Aug. 28 for the specific purpose of this controversy, implied that there is more incriminating evidence, and "they won't be just screenshots." The user also took a shot at the doubters, saying, "keep testing us."
Time stamps on the screen shots show that these conversations occurred in April and June of 2016 when Zayn was dating Gigi.
Many have claimed the screenshots are fake, but the girl who goes by @lilpochaco maintains that something happened, but she's been feeling the affects from rabid Zayn fans.
In a series of tweets, she said, "I feel like I need to say something. There have been instances where people have gotten my address and sent me things/harassed my family. They don't need that nor do I. I'm not seeking attention from the info that was leaked. I have made sure not to say anything in light of the fact other [than] to defend myself. If I wanted attention, I'd have it. It's simple to get. It always has been. That story can go. I'm also not angry with anyone. I care a lot about everyone this affects, probably more so than I should but that's ok. Realistically I'd just... like my friends and family to not be brought into something that was spun as a different situation."