Malik took aim at the British hitmaker, real name Shahid Khan, last week (ends17Jul15), calling him a "fat joke" for exploiting their musical partnership and sharing demos without his permission.
In an interview with The Sun newspaper, Naughty Boy has responded, stating, "It sounded like one of the things the little girls who send me hate would say. I can deal with what he said but he knows the hate I've had to endure for him is the bit that upset me. That's not how I know Zayn to speak, even face to face."
He adds, "I definitely thought at first that he had been hacked. The fat joke thing wasn't necessary and he's getting a lot of backlash for that because a lot of his fans don't look like Selena Gomez. At some point as an artist you have to take responsibility for everything you say. That's why I think Zayn did it out of anger.
"I think initially when Zayn had tweeted that he had assumed I had leaked. I have never leaked anything of Zayn's. The cover we leaked together. Nothing has been leaked by me."
Despite the tweet, Naughty Boy insists he still plans to work with Malik in the future and still considers him a friend.