Former Scandal star Columbus Short admitted on Wednesday that a number of his past problems are due to his struggles with drugs. In an interview with Access Hollywood and Billy Bush as well as Kit Hoover, the actor admitted to using cocaine and also to drinking as a means to cope or as he says, self-medicate. This past year on Valentine’s Day, Short was charged with a misdemeanor for spousal abuse. Following the charges his wife filed for divorce. Then in March, Short was involved in a brawl at a restaurant with a fellow patron and ended up being charged with battery as well.
Following these instances of battery, the star made the announcement that he would be leaving the cast of Scandal. By that point, Short had been with the television program for three years. When he made the announcement that he would no longer be a member of the cast, he spoke about what an amazing cast he worked with as well as his appreciation for the opportunity to work with these individuals. In the interview with Access Hollywood on Wednesday, he admitted that not only did the show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes know about his drug abuse and problems but the rest of the cast was aware as well.
During the interview with Hoover and Bush, Short said that his struggles with drugs as well as the other issues in his personal life were the reason for his having to leave the program. He also said that his castmates and Rhimes did attempt to help him with his troubles. He said that he believed that they not only tried to help him but also protected him and supported him. Short said that the cast wanted him to get his act together and that in order for him to do that he needed to have the bottom dropped out from under him. As part of his efforts to clean up his act, Short said that he has moved to Atlanta, Georgia and that not only was this a good experience for him but also one that he considered to be life-changing.
Although Short would not go into specific details regarding the circumstances of his drug abuse with Access Hollywood, he did say that it was all about numbing with everything he was going through. Of those issues that lead to his substance abuse problems he credits not only the problems in his marriage but also the loss of someone he considered to be one of his best friends. He said that the suicide of his friend Lee Thompson Young is actually what started him on his downward spiral. When he found out about his friend’s death he was on set and he said he felt as if his legs had been cut out from under him.
Short says that leaving Los Angeles has helped him manage his struggles with drugs and has helped him to straighten his life out once more. He also said that he would be interested in getting another chance to work with Rhimes. Short specifically said that he would love the opportunity to perhaps return to the cast of Scandal, especially since he feels that the cast is his family.
By Kimberley Spinney