Columbus Short has admitted it was drugs that led to his downfall, leading the actor to lose his role as Harrison Wright on the hit ABC political drama “Scandal.”
On the syndicated show “Access Hollywood” Wednesday, Short told Billy Bush and Kit Hoover drugs were his “biggest problem,” and admitted “I was using unhealthy ways to kind of self-medicate and deal with a lot of heavy-duty stuff in my life.
When asked which drugs he abused, Short said, “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.”
Short, 32, said series creator Shonda Rhimes and his “Scandal” co-stars knew about his drug problem and did attempt to help him.
To help himself get sober, Short has moved to Atlanta, where he’s lived for the past five months. Among the triggers that he believes set him on a downward spiral into drug and alcohol abuse was the death of his friend and fellow actor Lee Thompson Young, who committed suicide in 2013. “I found out when I was on set, and it really just, it took my legs out from under me,” Short told Bush and Hoover.
Along with escaping the Hollywood environment, Short said that music has been key to his recovery.
“I had to move, and my therapy really was my album. Working on my album changed my life,” he said. “Music changes things, and that is a fact. And, you know, writing it out. And I have a lot of crappy songs that I wrote, that are just like me ranting, and then I have great [ones], and I put together a great EP with the team, [and] that’s how I got through this.”
As for acting, Short said he is “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.”
ABC and “Scandal” had no comment regarding Short’s interview on “Access Hollywood.”