Zayn Malik is finally opening up about his infamous confrontation with Yolanda Hadid a couple of years ago ... and firmly believes he handled the aftermath nearly perfectly.
The singer chatted with Alex Cooper on Wednesday's episode of the "Call Her Daddy" podcast -- saying he usually keeps quiet when folks online go after him, and he'd decided to take the same approach when he was charged with harassment for the 2021 altercation.
He admits the last thing he wanted was to have an explosive back-and-forth publicly between Yolanda and him, because he wouldn't want his 2-year-old daughter, Khai -- whom he shares with Yolanda's daughter, Gigi -- to see that later in life.
Zayn said he recognizes every family has issues, but believes it should stay within the family ... of course, being a celeb almost always throws that possibility out the window.
TMZ broke the story, sources told us Zayn struck Yolanda in the Pennsylvania home he shared back then with Gigi, and he was charged with 4 criminal offenses of harassment. He eventually pled no contest.
During the altercation, Zayn allegedly called Yolanda a "f***ing Dutch slut," told her to "stay away from [my] f***ing daughter" ... and shoved her into a dresser. He denies it got physical.
Zayn was fined and handed 360 days of probation. He also had to go through an anger management class and a domestic violence program ... and had to stay away from Yolanda.