Columbus Short Reveals His Battle with Cocaine Led to Dismissal from ‘Scandal’

Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 10.33.51 AMEveryone knew that actor Columbus Short was in rocky waters with Shonda Rhimes when he began to get arrested during the running of “Scandal,” but no one knew exactly what was behind his misconduct. Until now.

In a recent interview with “Access Hollywood,” the actor revealed that he had been struggling with drugs while on the hit ABC show.

“I’ll be candid: I was struggling with drugs,” he said. “I had a lot on my plate, and you know, I was using unhealthy ways to kind of self-medicate and deal with a lot of heavy duty stuff in my life… 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.”

His drug use came to a head when he was charged with a misdemeanor for spousal battery of his wife Tanee McCall-Short in February and arrested after a fight in a restaurant the next month.

At the time fans wondered if Rhimes, who has written off unruly actor’s characters in the past, would soon be ending Short’s character’s story line.

In April, Short confirmed fan’s worries and announced that he was leaving the show.

“At this time I must confirm my exit from a show I’ve called home for 3 years, with what is the most talented ensemble on television today,” he wrote in a statement to Essence.

There was no bad blood with his cast-mates in regards to his exit as they tried to support him throughout his whole battle with drugs.

“And if we’re going to be fully transparent, they protected me and they held me down,” the 32-year-old said. “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. I’ve been living there for the last five months, five-and-a-half months, and it’s just been great. It’s been life-changing.”


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