Scandal’s Columbus Short Blames Cocaine Use For Firing, Erratic Behavior
In a word, we’d sum up the year former Scandal star Columbus Short has had as R-O-U-G-H. Between the assault charges, his divorce, and his firing from Scandal, arguably one of the hottest shows on network television and a gig you don’t want to lose, the actor isn’t exactly making anyone jealous with the state of his union. But thankfully things appear to be turning around for the 32-year-old now that he’s come clean about — and cleaned up — his cocaine habit.
In a new interview with Access Hollywood Live, a very somber Columbus blames his troubles on the drug, which he says was very readily available to him due to his star status. "I'll be candid: I was struggling with drugs," he says. "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."
The actor reveals that the real trouble started when a close friend died and Columbus was unable to cope. "Last year, one of my best friends died, he killed himself, Lee Thompson Young, and that kind of started a spiral. I found out when I was on set, and it really just, it took my legs out from under me."
Coupled with the struggles in his marriage, the actor turned to cocaine and alcohol to numb the pain. Unfortunately, his drug abuse led to behavior that culminated in legal woes, the dissolution of his marriage, and getting fired from the Shonda Rhimes gig.
“I think I should change my name to Lemony Snicket,” he says. “I’ve had a series of unfortunate events but I’m a gladiator no matter what. You know what I mean. Going through things that I’ve gone through this year, the true stand of a gladiator, the true meaning of a gladiator is you get knocked down, you get back up.”
How Columbus got back up was by leaving Hollywood behind. “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-and-a-half months, and it's just been great. It's been life-changing," he reveals.
Columbus has also turned to music to help him heal. "I had to move, and my therapy really was my album. Working on my album changed my life," he reveals. "Music changes things, and that is a fact...I put together a great EP with the team, [and] that's how I got through this."
And now that he’s clean, he still holds out hope he’ll be able to return to acting, specifically Scandal, despite his character being killed off in the Season 4 opener. "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."
Stranger things have happened than a character coming back from the dead, so, fingers crossed for ya, Columbus!
What do you think of Columbus’s drug abuse revelations? Are you surprised or did you see it coming a mile away? Tell us below.