Columbus Short went from being one of TV’s most respected ‘gladiators’ to facing a reality smothered with scandals.
In an exclusive interview with Access Hollywood Monday, the actor opened up about his string of run-ins with the law.
Short admits that the “last three months have been probably the most trying times” of his life.
Reports surfaced over Fourth of July weekend that the actor was arrested in Dallas for public intoxication. During his interview, Short claims that it was all a misunderstanding.
“There’s something visceral that happened inside of me, and yeah, I’ll say it, even as a black man in handcuffs on the ground, for no justifiable reason at all,” he said. “I wasn’t acting intoxicated, I had had a couple of drinks, but whatever, I was angry and I used my vocabulary to kind of fight that.”
Despite his description of the evening, reports of Short’s rebellious behavior became the latest in an unfortunate pattern of controversial conduct. Reports have circulated labeling the actor as an alcoholic, and even Short admitted that he has struggled with “medicating with alcohol.”
“If I want to be truthfully honest, I think dealing with the stress of the situations that I’ve been going through, medicating with anything, I think is dangerous because it becomes a crutch. But it doesn’t change it, the situation,” he said. “That’s the funny part — I’m in a season where that’s not a part of my life — alcohol, drugs, those kinds of things aren’t around me, aren’t in my life, so it was an unfortunate event that happened the other night. Still yet, I think in the past that was definitely a struggle for me.”
Earlier this year, Short was arrested after he reportedly engaged in a bar brawl in L.A. in which he subsequently plead not guilty to felony battery.
Shortly prior to that, he was also served divorce papers by his estranged wife Tanee McCall-Short after reports say a domestic dispute between the two included abusive behavior from Short who threatened to kill both his wife and himself.
Short addressed this too, saying: “Me and my wife, we’re going through problems. Serious, serious problems. However, the domestic part of it… I’m not a physically violent man…. I’ve never put my hands on a woman, physically, ever, and would not. I was raised by women.”
When asked of the likelihood of the couple mending their issues and rebuilding their future, Short responded, “This chapter is closed. There’s a new chapter, and I’m not the author of this, God is…. But I know that chapter is closed, and I’m excited for the next one.”
Following the release of court documents detailing his domestic dispute, Short was fired from the cast of ABC’s hit show “Scandal” — which had arguably been one of his most notable roles yet.
“Let’s talk about ABC and let’s talk about the show Scandal,” he said. “They did not throw me to the curb like trash — that’s my family. They knew that I was going through a tough season and rallied around me and wrapped their arms around me, from Shonda to the craft service man. We’re a family, and I think at a certain point when you’re getting a barrage of stories after stories, ABC justifiably would want to distance themselves…. They did the right thing, but I think it takes time to rebuild.”
Short’s role on Scandal catapulted him to the limelight, which undoubtedly led to a harsh and tragic downfall.
“I think there’s a time when your personal life gets magnified by who we are as celebrities,” he said.
But along with battling his own inner demons, Short claims that one of the tougher parts of his latest run-ins with the law include battling his tarnished reputation in the public eye.
“I lost a lot of things due to these ugly stories. Whether they are true or not, the allegations just put an ugly, nasty taste in people’s mouth and that’s the unfair part that I’ve had to weather.”
Watch the interview here:
Follow Lilly Workneh on Twitter @Lilly_Works.