I certainly could be wrong, but I believe this is the first public interview Columbus Short has given, addressing his exit from "Scandal," as well as what has been quite a tough year for the actor, after allegations of spousal abuse, a divorce, reports of drug and alcohol addiction, and more.
In the below interview he gave to "Access Hollywood" just today, he admitted that he was indeed drowning himself in all kinds of drugs (including cocaine) and alcohol, while he was still on "Scandal" – certainly a recipe for disaster.
“I’ll be candid," he said; "I was struggling with drugs… 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.”
He said that it all began when one of his best friends committed suicide – that friend being former Disney Channel star and "Rizzoli & Isles" cast member, Lee Thompson Young, who you might recall killed himself last year.
Shonda Rhimes, creator of "Scandal," knew about Short’s problems. As he states in the interview, they all knew, and were actually very supportive of him, pulling for him to get himself together. And, eventually, he realized that the best thing for him to do was to get out of the environment that fostered his downward spiral, and he moved to Atlanta to heal – an experience that he says has been "life changing." And he’s now ready to get back to work, even sharing that he wants to come back to "Scandal," calling himself a "Gladiator" (as diehard "Scandal" fans have come to be known, borrowing the term from the series), given how he’s been able to pull himself back together after hitting rock-bottom.
"I’m really ready to get back to work," he said, adding, "As far as Shonda’s shows, I would love nothing more to go back to ‘Scandal.’ It’s my family."
Sounds like a public plea for another opportunity.
The problem with that is, as we all already know, Harrison, the character he played on "Scandal," is dead.
Then again, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time that a TV character believed to be dead is seemingly brought back to life some time later. So I wouldn’t rule anything out. If Shonda and company were supportive of him before, now that he’s cleaned himself up, one could assume that door isn’t bolted shut.
Watch the interview below, which is split up into 2 videos: