Liam Payne’s ex-fiancée Maya Henry reveals she got an abortion

 (Getty Images for BFI)
(Getty Images for BFI)

Liam Payne’s ex-fiancée Maya Henry has spoken out about her decision to get an abortion.

Henry – who was with Payne from 2019 to 2022 – reflected on getting a medical abortion during an interview with People, published on 15 May. Her remarks came as she was promoting her new novel, Looking Forward, which she said was “definitely inspired by true events”.

While describing how her book’s main character - Mallory – decided to get an abortion, Henry also recalled how she had a non-surgical abortion and how emotional it was for her.

“What I went through in real life is very similar to what Mallory went through in the book. I definitely did have some complications, and I did have to go to the hospital alone,” she explained. “It was very lonely, having these men tell you: ‘Oh, it’s going to feel like a heavy period, it’s not going to be that painful, it’s going to be easy.’ But I’m like, you’ve never even gone through anything like [this], so how would you know to tell me?”

She pointed out how her medical abortion encouraged her to write her novel. She also acknowledged how she wants her story to resonate with women who’ve had similar experiences.

“That’s why I wanted to include it in the book,” she continued. “Because I’ve seen so many people online talk about taking the abortion pill and it was the most painful thing for them. It’s just mind-boggling to me that you could tell a woman how they’re going to feel.”

Henry once again reflected on her own abortion, and how she didn’t necessarily want to get it at the time. However, she acknowledged that it was the right decision for the sake of the relationship she was in.

“If it were up to me, I wouldn’t have done it. But then also, if I were to have made a different decision, then I would’ve lost the person that I loved. There were definitely difficult conversations about it. But looking back now, things happen for a reason,” she continued.

While Henry didn’t specify when she got the abortion, she started dating the One Direction alum in 2019, before they announced their engagement in 2020. In June 2021, Payne confirmed their split less than a year after the proposal. However, the pair reconciled two months later, before they had an on-and-off again relationship until 2022.

During her conversation with People, Henry – who was 18 when she started dating then-26-year-old Payne – also opened up about the exciting, early days of their relationship.

“Every time I would tell people the story [of how we met], they would always say: ‘Oh my God, it’s like a fairytale, it’s like a movie,’” she said. “I feel like I had to put that in the book and take that inspiration because it just doesn’t seem real.”

She acknowledged that while didn’t think much about her and Payne’s age gap when they were together, she still felt like she had a lot to learn about dating at the time. Henry also spoke candidly about her feelings during the romance, after initially getting engaged at an early age.

“I was very mature for my age and could live on my own, but I think I was very naive in relationships because I hadn’t been in a real adult relationship,” she explained. “And then to be engaged in your first real adult relationship was a lot. I don’t know if it was a power imbalance, [but] I feel like maybe my love was taken advantage of in a way.”

She also expressed that she “definitely chose to forgive a lot of things” during her relationship with Payne – who revealed in July 2023 that he was six months sober after confessing to issues with alcoholism and substance abuse.

“When you love someone so much, you have those rose-coloured glasses. You’re in denial, so you think those things will stop, and they don’t, and that just becomes an issue among other issues,” she said.

She pointed out that when issues arose while she was dating Payne, it just “became normalised in [her] head”. With that in mind, she said it ultimately took her some time to bring her relationship to an end.

“I just became so desensitised to everything going on that I was like: ‘OK, this is my relationship, and this is how it’s going to be.’ And I feel like once you get out of [it], you’re really like: ‘Oh my gosh, what was I doing, and why was I there?’” she added.

Before their split, there were multiple reports in May 2022 that Payne had been unfaithful, after he was pictured with another woman, Aliana Mawla. However, when one fan on Instagram mistakenly thought that Payne was posting with Henry – not Mawla – the actor went to the comments to clear up that confusion.

“I love all the fans so much but please stop sending me these pictures of my fiancé wrapped around another woman,” the model commented. “This is not me and it’s hard enough knowing this has happened without seeing it. Enough now”.

At the time, Payne’s then-girlfriend, Mawla, later denied claims that she started dating him when he was with Henry.

“Aliana is very taken back by the accusations that have been made regarding a relationship with Liam while he was still engaged or involved with his ex-fiancée,” her representative told E! News in June 2022. “Under no circumstances would Aliana have involved herself in a public relationship as such if there was any truth to the comments that have been made.”

The Independent has contacted a representative for Payne for comment.