Columbus Short Says Cocaine Use to Blame for Scandal Exit

Columbus Short Says Cocaine Use to Blame for Scandal Exit

Says Shonda Rhimes, cast were aware of his drug problem.

Published December 11, 2014

Columbus Short is coming clean about what triggered his downward spiral this year, saying cocaine and alcohol were the culprits. The actor openly addressed his struggles with drug abuse, which he described as his "biggest problem," in a new interview with Access Hollywood Live.

"I'll be candid: I was struggling with drugs," Short admitted. "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."

In addition to being charged with misdemeanor spousal battery and subsequently served with divorce papers by his wife, Tanee McCall-Short, the actor was arrested on another battery charge after a bar fight that left his opponent unconscious.

One month later, Short announced he would be leaving Scandal amid rumors he was fired by show creator Shonda Rhimes. Now, Short confesses that Rhimes and his cast mates were aware of his drug problems, and attempted to help him. "And if we're going to be fully transparent, they protected me and they held me down," he 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."

Short was also arrested this past August after skipping a mandatory court hearing to attend a festival in Barbados.

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(Photo: Paul A. Hebert/Getty Images)

Written by Evelyn Diaz

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