An eyewitness tells ET, “Selena and Zayn went out in SoHo in New York City last night at around 10:30 pm. They walked in holding hands and were kissing. Most restaurant staff and restaurantgoers didn’t notice them. It seemed like they were comfortable together and it was clear that it was a date.”
ET has reached out to both Gomez and Malik’s reps for further comment.
Speculation about the two began when TikTok user @klarissa.mpeg shared a text exchange with a friend of hers who claimed she was the pair’s hostess at an unnamed restaurant in the city.
The TikTok user explained that she and her friend work at hot spots frequented by celebs, before sharing a screenshot of their conversation in which the friend wrote: “Tell me how Selena Gomez and Zayn just walked into [restaurant] hand in hand making out and I seated them.”
Gomez’s romantic life has been a hot-button topic in headlines lately, after reports and rumors began to surface earlier this year that she and The Chainsmokers’ Drew Taggart were an item. The Only Murders in the Building star and “Paris” singer were first spotted bowling together in New York City, where an eyewitness told Page Six that the two were “making out” during their time on the lanes, while Gomez also took time to snap photos and sign autographs with some fans.
A source told ET the following day that the 30-year-old singer-actress and 33-year-old “Closer” artist “are dating and things are still new.” The source also said the two “met through mutual friends in a friendly, low-key way, but had an instant connection and liked each other as people.”
Shortly after, Gomez seemingly shot down those speculations with a message she posted to her Instagram Story, saying, “I like being alone too much,” adding, “#iamsingle.”
Days after she deleted that post, Taggart and Gomez were seen together again as they strolled out of the Torrisi Bar & Restaurant in SoHo, hand in hand.
“Selena and Drew are having a lot of fun together,” a source told ET a few days after they were seen. “Drew is really happy around Selena, and Selena is into Drew too. They have connected over their love of music, being in the same industry, and their strong work ethic.”
The source continued, “Drew appreciates that Selena understands his life. Things are going well between them.”
Meanwhile, Malik, who welcomed a daughter, Khai, with ex-girlfriend Gigi Hadid in 2020, has mainly kept out of the spotlight as he works on various projects, including speaking out on behalf of causes he’s passionate about.
In November, the musician penned an open letter to British Prime Minister Rushi Sunak, calling attention to the students who are from underserved communities that cannot afford school lunches, and asking the head of the U.K. to act on their behalf.
The “Vibez” singer shared the letter on his Instagram account. “No child should have to suffer the trauma and stigma of hunger & poverty. We want every child to grow up healthy to lead productive lives. I am calling on @10DowningStreet to expand #FreeSchoolMeals to every child in poverty in England,” he wrote next to a copy of the letter.
In the letter, the “PillowTalk” singer asked for the prime minister’s help in ensuring that “no child living in poverty misses out on a hot nutritious meal at school especially since that school meal may be the only hot meal they receive all day.”
Malik addressed the four million children who live in homes that have been experiencing food poverty, due to the cost-of-living crisis in the United Kingdom. Malik noted that there are 800,000 children in England who do not get a hot meal as a result of not qualifying for the free meal program.
The singer shared that the kids who aren’t able to access the program “are suffering from lack of concentration, some even resorting to stealing food from school canteens because they are so hungry but can’t afford to buy lunch. They are also feeling shame which is directly impacting their physical and mental health,” he wrote.
For Malik, the situation is personal as he shared that he lived the same life, as a young child, and had to face the embarrassment of being hungry at school.
“I know what that shame feels like, I have seen it first-hand, as growing up in Bradford, I relied on Free School Meals,” he wrote. “I personally experienced the stigma surrounding food insecurity. My hope is that in writing this letter we can all ensure that no child ever has to experience this hunger and stigma again as my experience is not unique; it is a struggle that many children in England are sadly going through right now.”
Malik ended his letter urging the prime minister to offer monetary government support toward the Free School Meal program by adding it to the budget.