According to multiple reports, the music mogul confused guests at the prestigious Music Industry Trust Awards when he used his acceptance speech to ask who missed Zayn being part of One Direction.
Simon's X Factor co-judge Nick Grimshaw was in the audience and chatted about the incident on today's BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show.
He told listeners: "It was a little bit awkward. There was this really moving film where everyone throughout his career talked about everything he's done. And the first thing he asked was the question about Zayn. The room was like, 'oooh'. It was a bit awkward but he likes doing things like that."
BBC News says the rest of One Direction – Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles – were all in the room at the Grosenvor Hotel, where Simon was being honoured for his contributions to music and charitable work.
Zayn quit One Direction in March, leaving the other band members to continue as a four-piece.
Other guests at yesterday's glitzy bash included Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Louis Walsh, Rochelle Humes, Caroline Flack, Olly Murs, Sinitta and Katie Piper.