The gossip rags are telling a different story about Zayn's departure from One Direction tonight; suggesting that Zayn didn't quit the band at all -- he was fired.

It stems from Zayn's drug and alcohol problem and his refusal to get help -- apparently he was issued an ultimatum from the band, 'get help or get out,' and he...uh... indirectly opted for the latter, according to Radar Online.

This is certainly a developing story but is a lot more believable than choosing to leave the band at the height of fame to experience life as a "normal 22 year old."

But you won't believe the other rumors that are flying.  BlindGossip.com suggests that Zayn will be replaced, and that this is only the beginning of a planned cycling out of current members to be replaced with younger, less "worn" faces; the "Menudo Strategy."