Olivia Pope couldn't have handled it better herself. Leaving one of the hottest dramas on television can't be easy, but former Scandal star Columbus Short says he believes ABC made the right decision in letting him go. In an interview with Access Hollywood on Monday, July 7, the 31-year-old actor opened up about his recent legal and personal woes, which led to his exit from Shonda Rhimes' White House-based drama earlier this year.
"Let's talk about ABC and let's talk about the show Scandal. They did not throw me to the curb like trash—that's my family," Short told Billy Bush. "They knew that I was going through a tough season and rallied around me."
"We're a family and I think at a certain point when you're getting a barrage of stories after stories, ABC justifiably would want to distance themselves," he continued. "We're in a season of moving forward, and Scandal is my family, ABC is my family. They did the right thing."
He noted, too, that the way the show let him go was "very classy" and civilized. "It was a tough day for both sides," he explained. "As hard as it was to hear, it was as hard for ABC and Shonda to pass that information along."
Short also addressed the drama with his estranged wife, Tanee Short. "Me and my wife, we're going through problems. Serious, serious problems," he admitted. "However, the domestic [abuse] part of it—I am not a physically violent man...I've never put my hands on a woman, physically, ever."'
Asked whether drinking has been a factor in his recent problems, the actor said, "To be honest with you, I struggle with medicating with alcohol, I think, and that's a real truth. I think that deserves more looking into. If I want to be truthfully honest, I think dealing with the stress of the situations that I've been going through, medicating with anything, I think, is dangerous because it becomes a crutch."
"But it doesn't change it, the situation," he continued. "That's the funny part. I'm in a season where that's not a part of my life—alcohol, drugs, those kinds of things aren't around me, aren't in my life...but I think in the past that was definitely a struggle for me."