Actor Columbus Short, 32, has made headlines in the past year for all the wrong reasons after being charged with misdemanor spousal battery in February after which his wife, Tanee McCall-Short, filed for divorce and only month later he was arrested once again for battery, this time on another patron in a restaurant he was at.
The issues in his personal life then led to his exit from ABC’s hit show Scandal which he now admits was due to substance abuse.
When asked by Access Hollywood what has been the biggest problem when he looks back on his tumultuous year, Short was very honest about the root of his personal troubles.
“I’ll be candid, I was struggling with drugs. I had a lot on my plate, and you know, was using unhealthy ways to self-medicate and deal with a lot of heavy duty stuff in my life,” he replied.
Hosts Billy Bush and Kit Hoover then pushed for details by asking what kind of drugs Short meant and again he was extremely honest.
“Real drugs. I did cocaine, I was doing cocaine and drinking a lot and trying to balance a 16 hour work schedule a day, and a family, and I just lost myself back then.”
He also admitted that the show’s famous creator Shonda Rhimes, as well as the cast, knew about his drug problems.
“And if we’re being fully transparent, they protected me and they held me down. And that was one of the real reasons – they just wanted me to get my stuff together. Sometimes the bottom has to be dropped out for you to really get it. So I moved to Atlanta.”
While Short has been working on piecing his life together after a devastating year, he did say he would love to return to Scandal, even though his character was killed off upon his exit.
“I’m really ready to get back to work. As far as Shonda’s shows, I would love nothing more to go back to ‘Scandal.’ It’s my family.”
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Check out Short’s candid interview below!