One Direction's controversial GQ U.K. cover story has officially arrived, and guess what? The fans were right—it's salacious and unfairly portrays the boy band, especially iconic singer Harry Styles, as sex-crazed rock stars, even as their own quotes prove they're young, relatively harmless and polite lads.
Earlier this week, the British mag unveiled the five covers for their upcoming September issue, featuring each member of 1D along with very sexually provocative titles: "He's up all night to get lucky," read Harry's cover, along with this gem hinting at the number of women he's bedded: "It's definitely less than 100."
A barrage of fan backlash online followed, aiming at GQ's editorial staff for their inaccurate portrayal of the band, especially Styles—"Harry is a cupcake, not a whore," one fan wrote to Twitter. After reading the issue, which hit newsstands this morning, Fuse can confirm that, yes, the story is more akin to a profile by a rumor-driven, sensational tabloid, not a prestigious men's magazine. It's a back-handed slap at the band, focusing on Harry's not-at-all scandalous sexual travails. Clearly GQ wants to boost sales by any means necessary.
"Harry Styles wears, presently, One Direction's only pair of visible cojones," writes GQ scribe Jonathan Heaf. "The rest of them might as well be eunuchs." Ouch.
Heaf focuses on Styles' life outside the band, even cornering him on his rumored relationship with Radio 1 host Nick Grimshaw, who Heaf calls "Styles' enabler so far as cool London is concerned, and for a period they seemed inseparable, swapping clothes or staying out all night together. At times, rumors circulated that the pair were indeed more than friends."
"What do you make of the rumors about you and Nick Grimshaw?" Heaf asks Styles.
"What rumors would they be?" Styles responds.
"That you're an item."
"Oh really? I didn't even know. We're not dating, no. We're just friends."
"So you're not bisexual?"
"Bisexual? Me? I don't think so. I'm pretty sure I'm not," Styles responds.
Heaf also writes that Harry "seems to be, quite frankly, working his way through his fair share of pretty young things," including Taylor Swift, Rod Stewart's daughter and a cast member of Made In Chelsea. But later, when asked about the number of women he's slept with—the same controversial quote falsely teased on the cover—Styles is far more conservative than the GQ cover suggests.
"Do you know how many people you've slept with?"
"I know the number of people I've slept with, yes," Styles says.
"What is that number?"
I'm definitely not telling you!"
"Can you give me a rough, ballpark figure?"
"Say 'yes' or 'no.' Less than 100?"
"So higher than 100?"
"No, it's definitely less than 100...
"Lower than 50?"
"Yes, lower than 50."
"Lower than 30?"
"I'm not doing this! You're cornering me."
And Harry is absolutely correct—he was cornered. GQ should expect the fan backlash to increase as the magazine hits newsstands across the globe. Still, the U.S. GQ Social Media editor is standing by the story in a recent interview with Huffington Post.
1D have yet to respond to the controversy.