Columbus Short is best known for his starring role in the hit ABC series Scandal, having played the character Harrison Wright for roughly three seasons.
Now, like his former character’s on the small screen, the 31-year-old actor’s life has been playing out like a scene from the series, embroiled in battle after battle, court case after court case, in his personal life.
Short had been in Barbados this past week as the guest of Fantasy Barbados, taking part in the Crop Over Festival, hosting an artistes workshop and being part of a fund-raising drive to assist the National HIV/AIDS Food Bank.
“When I came out here, I didn’t know really what I was getting myself into; and that’s the truth. I didn’t know all the way what I was getting myself into,” he said in what he termed “a real moment”, as he hosted a special benefit event last evening at which a cheque for $2,500 was handed over to the food bank.
“This cheque is what they were supposed to pay me to come here . . . . I didn’t get paid to come here, and the little bit that they could pay me, this is for that. I don’t want it. Now that I don’t have a job, I don’t have nothing; but I have been fortunate . . . .”
With this going on, as if written by some of the best writers in Tinseltown, Short in the past week missed a court hearing in his domestic violence case last week and a judge issued a warrant for his arrest.
He had been ordered to appear in court, as his estranged wife Tanee McCall sought more protection from him, after he had been arrested in February for alleged domestic violence assault against McCall.
“I’m gonna tell you guys because you guys need to know. This is real because I have something to say for a change that is not BS. For real! When I had to come out here, I was supposed to be in court. I had to make a decision. I was stuck [between] a rock and a hard place for real. I had this [trip] planned for six months, but sometimes when people see you happy, when they want you to be down and they be winning, that’s when the devil starts to work.
“So I’m like, all of a sudden on the day I’m supposed to fly to Barbados, I have an emergency court date. At the last minute, I didn’t know about it until today [the day I’m supposed to travel]. I said, ‘You know what? Do I let down a whole island or a whole country for me or do I get on the plane and show up for the people?’. So, if by chance I’m in jail when I go back to America, I’m gonna tell you right now, it was worth it,” Short declared.
He told Bajan Vibes, ahead of his departure from the island for his home in Los Angeles, he had fallen in love with the island, after, in the United States, with everything that has so far happened, “everyone turned their back on me without truth”.
“They turned their backs on me with stories. That’s not how family work. That is not how my people work. At least so I thought; but guess what . . . . I learned a lot. I’ve learnt a lot because I’d lost faith in humanity. I lost faith in humanity and then I came out here and realised whoa . . . if you just leave LA [Los Angeles], maybe you might meet real people.
“Me coming out here is changing things in my life. You [Barbadian people] have reinvigorated my belief in human beings and church. I’ve been in LA and that’s ‘not real’. The people here are real, authentic. That’s why I’m here,” Short said.
Short spent his last day on island hosting a workshop for actors, dancers and singers at the Hilton Barbados.
“There were persons there between 17 and say . . . 35, and we were there and I was talking with them sharing . . . . I’ve knocked my head against the wall a lot because no one came and taught me how I want to do that. So today it was just an amazing time to just sit down with people and talk. I came here, I saw a need and I am gonna roll up my sleeve and we are gonna get it done.
“I’ll be here next month. I’m gonna shoot my video here. Trevor Pretty has been like a godsend for me when I came here. He took me in. His family –– we’re gonna shoot the video probably in the country and when we close the video it is going to feel like Kadooment because when we go down that street with the cameras and everybody in that neighbourhood . . . we are going to put Barbados up there. Promise,” Short revealed.