Simon Cowell hopes One Direction fans "stay loyal" to them following their leaked cannabis smoking video.
The music mogul is standing by the boy band - who he put together on the 2010 series of 'The X Factor' UK - following the video that leaked last week of Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson smoking a marijuana joint while on tour in Peru, something which isn't illegal in the South American country, and is hoping their fans will as well.
He was quizzed on what he thought of the infamous video while attending the Health Lottery Champagne Tea Party at The Savoy Hotel in London on Monday afternoon and said: "I can't really comment on that, what I can say, because I've worked with the boys for a long time, they are the hardest working boys I've ever worked with.
"They still haven't changed, they're really respectful to their fans, they're hard working, a great British export but that's all I can really say."
He added: "I hope the fans stay loyal."
Simon also insists 1D - also made up of Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Harry Styles - have not forgot where they came from and are still appreciative of the fans who have made them a global phenomenon, something he claims a lot of artists do forget.
The 54-year-old star added to BANG Showbiz: "I've worked with a lot of artists, who actually do lose the plot, that do lose respect for their fans and forget about who took them there, but they've never done that. You know they really do love their fans.
"They really do love their fans. I can only talk about my own personal relationship with them and they have been a joy to work with."
But Simon refused to reveal whether he has had a word with the boys about their behaviour, only saying: "It's a private matter I don't want to go into it."
Simon attended the event, held to celebrate the Health Lottery raising £50 million for community healthy projects in the UK, with his girlfriend Lauren Silverman - with whom he has a three-month-old son Eric.
Other guests included The Who frontman Roger Daltrey, Ashley Roberts, Simon's ex-girlfriend Sinitta and former Girls Aloud singer Kimberly Walsh.