Lawyers for One Direction are threatening legal action against the Mail Online after it published what they said was a “stolen” video appearing to show two of the bandmates smoking drugs.
The Mail website, which revealed the video in a world exclusive this week, has been accused of breaching the privacy and copyright of band members Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik (pictured with their band, Reuters).
And other publishers have been warned against using the video, which was filmed in a car in the Peruvian capital of Lima.
A notice sent by Lee and Thompson LLP to news organisations said: "This video is a private ‘home’ video (filmed in a private vehicle) which has been stolen and the copyright in which is owned by our client Louis Tomlinson.
"Any publication of the video is unauthorised and unlawful and legal steps are being taken against the parties involved.”
The Mail Online, which still has the video on its website, declined to comment.