To say the first half of 2014 has been a rough one for Columbus Short would be an understatement.
The former “Scandal” star was charged with misdemeanor spousal battery in February, aggravated assault in March, lost his TV job, was hit with a million dollar lawsuit and most recently – over the Fourth of July weekend – was arrested for public intoxication in Texas.
Columbus spoke with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush on Monday about his recent troubles.
“The last three months, I have to say, have been one of the most trying times of my life. I think there’s a time when your personal life gets magnified by who we are as celebrities,” he told Billy. “I’ve always believed that the truth is good enough, like, sometimes the truth is ugly, right? And it’s good enough, but I think what happens in the media is they make grandiose versions of these stories.”
Adding, “But I’m here to say today, that I’m still here, I’m focused, I’m grinding. Both of those two cases that you were speaking of earlier, those are dropped. So you know, one by one, it’s just like slowly but surely just chipping away at this thing.”
As for his most recent arrest (at Dallas’ Katy Trail Ice Bar), the 31-year-old said reports of a fight between him and bouncers are false.
“There was no fight. I was involved in no fight,” he said. “I was with a group of people that were eating, I went to the bathroom, I came back and there was an altercation ensuing when I came back. And me being [like] ‘Whoa, let’s break it up,’ it was a misunderstanding and I guess the cops thought I was someone involved in the situation. And then they grabbed me up, and by the time I was on the ground… I apologized to the officers later, [but] I said some pretty choice words [when] I was already in cuffs.
“But you know, by the end of it all, it all went away,” he continued. “It’s over, we’re moving forward and upward. One of those bad nights, it sucks.”
Billy pointed out this was not an “isolated incident” for the actor, and asked what’s going on with Columbus that he seems to be ending up in negative situations of late.
“I’ll take ownership… me and my wife, we’re going through problems – serious problems,” he said. “However, the domestic part of it, I’m not a physically violent man.”
Columbus’ estranged wife, Tanee Short, filed for divorce in April. In the documents, she alleges he pinned her to the couch and also wanted to play a game called “truth or truth,” threatening to stab her with every lie.
“I’ve never put my hands on a woman physically, I was raised by a woman,” he said.
“I think people were hurt, feelings were hurt,” he added.
Tanee filed for divorce once, then rescinded, then filed again.
“Your wife filed for divorce and got a restraining order,” Billy stated. “What’s the status there? Is the divorce going forward and is the restraining order in effect now?”
“The divorce is going forward, there is a restraining order that’s in effect,” Columbus answered. “This thing is going to happen and it’s sad.
“People gotta realize when you’re going through a divorce, you’re mourning,” he continued. “You’re in a season of mourning and I’m going through a season of mourning and loss and it has to be done out in the public eye.”
Columbus also has a 2-year-old daughter, who he said is doing well.
“She’s doing great and she’s beautiful,” he said. “That’s tough for the kids, but we’re going to get through.”
-- Erin O’Sullivan