Columbus Short speaks onstage during the 2022 Essence Festival
Source: Getty Images

Controversial Actor Columbus Short's Career Has Been Riddled With 'Scandal' — Where Is He Now?

Columbus Short had a triumphant rise to stardom and his fall from grace was sudden. Why did he step out of the spotlight? What's he doing now?


Mar. 11 2024, Published 7:07 p.m. ET

In the early 2010s, Columbus Short was one of the most sought-after black actors in Hollywood. The Missouri native got his big break as the star in the 2007 dance film Stomp The Yard. Columbus starred as DJ Williams, a hip-hop dancer who moves to Georgia following the shooting of his brother Duron (played by Chris Brown).

The movie was an instant smash. According to Box Office Mojo, the film grossed more than $75 million worldwide, with a $13 million budget.

By the end of the year, Columbus was a leading man. He appeared alongside Idris Elba and Loretta Devine in the holiday blockbuster This Christmas as the hotheaded brother, Claude.

Following his success in film, Columbus transitioned to television, where he solidified his status as a reputable talent. He gained widespread recognition for his portrayal of Harrison Wright in the political drama series Scandal, but he abruptly left the show after facing a personal controversy.

columbus short attends the th annual kiki shepard celebrity golf classic
Source: Getty Images

Columbus Short attends the 5th Annual Kiki Shepard Celebrity Golf Classic.

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So, what happened to Columbus Short?

In April 2014, Columbus was fired from Scandal after being accused of domestic violence, TMZ reported. His wife, Tanee McCall, claimed that he threatened her with a knife. The incident marked the second time Columbus was accused of assaulting Tanee, as he was previously charged with misdemeanor spousal battery.

The former Disney star was also involved in a physical altercation at a bar in Los Angeles County. Amid the drama, Columbus released a statement confirming his exit from the ABC show.

Months later, Columbus made a shocking confession about his personal life, revealing that he was battling an addiction to drugs and other substances.

“I’ll be candid. I was struggling with drugs,” he told Access Hollywood (via Variety). “The real drugs – I did cocaine. 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.”

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columbus short attends the prince of detroit detroit premiere
Source: Getty Images

Columbus Short attends "The Prince Of Detroit" Detroit Premiere.

Since then, Columbus has appeared in a number of television roles. He played Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 2022 film, Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story. Columbus also landed a starring role in Damon Dash’s movie, Prince of Detroit, which stars Arden Banks and Sundy Carter.

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What is Columbus Short doing now? The actor is still no stranger to controversy.

The drama for Columbus Short did not end in 2014. In February 2024, Columbus accused Diddy of trying to groom him during the filming of their 2008 movie, A Raisin in the Sun.

“Now, looking back, it’s like the groomage,” Columbus said during an appearance on Boss Talk 101. The “True to the Game” star further claimed that Diddy tried to convince him to come to the Beverly Hotel after the BET Awards, but Columbus denied the alleged advance.

Columbus also raised eyebrows in December 2023 after sharing his thoughts on R. Kelly’s sexual assault conviction. In a since-deleted video, Columbus tells a story about a time he traveled to R. Kelly’s studio to work on an album.

“If I had known there were 13 b---hes locked in that house — if I had known, I would be grabbing the keys and freeing all them,” Columbus said. “I would be like a superhero, saving all those b---hes.”

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