Liam and Leona were first linked last month when they apparently enjoyed a date together, just weeks after his split from dancer girlfriend Peazer.
But the One Direction star has declared he would never hurt Danielle as he moved to pour cold water on rumours linking him to Leona, 27, insisting they only went for a drink.
‘Danielle is great. I really hope we can still be friends,’ he told The Sun.
‘I bought her a car for her birthday, but she really isn’t fussed by money or fame.’
Liam, 19, added that his fortune often made things awkward between him and his ex, as he recalled an incident where she refused to ask him for any help.
He explained: ‘She was talking about dyeing her hair blonde and I said she should. She said she couldn’t afford it – which was mad. She would even ask me for the money for that.’
Liam’s comments contradict rumours that have emerged claiming Leona and him are on the verge of getting serious.
A source says: ‘To call it dating at the moment is a little far down the line.
‘They’ve seen each other a few times.’
The former X Factor winner is said to have bonded with Payne while giving him career advice.
If the rumours are true, it would appear Leona’s German lover, Dennis Jauch, has got the boot.
Leona will make a return to The X Factor to sing her new single Trouble on the first live shows.