Flack a friend, says 1D's Harry
One Direction's Harry Styles said he is just "close friends" with Caroline Flack but refused to rule out a future romance, adding: "We'll see what happens."
The 17-year-old failed to put an end to speculation about his relationship with the 32-year-old Xtra Factor presenter during a visit to Whiteleys Shopping Centre in Bayswater, west London, to promote the band's debut album Up All Night.
Caroline was pictured with the teenage star on a night out in London last week.
After online criticism of the rumoured romance, she later tweeted to say they were just good friends and she did not deserve the death threats which had been posted.
Asked about the threats, Harry said: "A lot of people write things on the internet and a lot of the time they don't think about what they are writing or how it's going to affect people.
"It's a shame people say that. We are close friends."
Harry added: "We are friends. We hang out sometimes but that's about it for now. We'll see what happens."
One Direction were more than an hour late for their shopping centre appearance but the wait did not put off the crowd of hundreds of screaming girls.
The band, which came third in last year's X Factor, also includes Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne.
The boys said they were closely following this year's X Factor and were backing girl-band Little Mix. "They're just smashing it. If you look at them I think they are the most obvious gap in the market," Liam said. "They can be the top artists I think."