Columbus Short knows his life won't get better unless he stops getting wasted -- so he's vowing to cut out binge drinking ... but he DENIES he's an alcoholic.
Short met Wednesday with Ed Butowsky -- a well-known Dallas money manager -- who tells us Short realized he needs help after several high profile arrests.
Butowsky tells us ... they discussed Short's drinking at length. Butowsky says the ex-"Scandal" star doesn't think he has an alcohol problem and refuses to join a program -- but he did admit to getting drunk more than he should and vowed to aggressively cut back.
We're also told ... Short now knows he needs to stay out of bars ... and cut out all of the people who are bad influences in his life.
Butowsky says he urged Short work with charities to "make his soul feel good." He's also having Short look at rental houses in the Dallas area ... to get out of L.A. for a while.
We reached out to Short ... so far no comment.
Bar Room KO Was Over $20 Bills to My Wife's Face
7/11/2014 3:35 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Columbus Short is finally revealing exactly what drove him into such a rage that he delivered a knockout blow to a guy's face earlier this year -- and it might change your opinion of the hot-headed actor.
Short was on Atlanta's V-103 radio station when he was asked about the bar fight back in March, and he said ... "I had to defend my wife at a bar. This man was being highly, highly disrespectful ... slapping her in the face with $20 bills."
TMZ broke the story ... Columbus knocked out Felton Hyche III, and at the time all we knew was that Hyche had allegedly said or done something rude to Short's wife.
Columbus also explains that Hyche was the one who got physical first -- but if what he says about the money to his wife's face is true, we gotta ask ...
Back to Work
It Ain't 'Scandal' ... But It's a Start
6/5/2014 2:16 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Columbus Short is going back in front of the camera -- instead of appearing in front of a judge -- starring in a new romantic comedy ... and TMZ has a photo from the set.
Short is shooting the movie, "Mr. Right" in Atlanta and took this pic with a couple of his co-stars. The film also stars Erica Tazel from "Justified" (awesome show).
Short is due back in an L.A. courtroom Monday for a hearing in his assault case ... but on the positive side -- there's clearly life for him in show biz after "Scandal."
My Wife's Under Police Scrutiny Too
6/1/2014 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The woman who caught a beating at the hands of Columbus Short's estranged wife now wants to press criminal charges ... TMZ has learned.
As TMZ first reported, Short's wife, Tanee McCall, went BALLISTIC and attacked Short's friend, Tilly Key, back in February when Key showed up at Short's house to help him move out. For some reason, Short recorded the whole thing.
Now law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Key showed up at the Lost Hills Sheriff Station Thursday and filed a battery report against McCall. We're told police will interview Columbus and Tanee.
We're told Key has been getting a lot of random phone calls lately and noticed lots of random accounts on Twitter have started following her. She panicked, and filed the police report.
Key even got into it with McCall this week online ... after McCall favorited a tweet of Key's, to which Key responded, "Stay away from me... I have 2 years to press charges. You already told me 'I'm gonna slit your throat, I'm gonna kill you, gonna break your neck' that's enough already."
Back in the Saddle ... Doing Comedy
After Losing Everything
5/29/2014 12:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Former "Scandal" star Columbus Short didn't give up on his entertainment career after his infamous firing -- he's already back on the grind trying to claw his way back to the top ... doing the comedy club circuit.
Short was outside Flappers comedy club in Burbank this week and we asked about his burgeoning career as a comic -- he had a pretty fantastic sense of humor ... and even fired off a joke about how his life is in the crapper.
Short's also getting back into the music world ... working with R&B producer Knotch (seen in the video above) on some new tracks of his own.
It was all fun and games until we asked if any of Short's "Scandal" coworkers stood by him after he got canned ... and things got dark real fast.
Watch the video.
Columbus Short's Wife
He's Violated Restraining Order 6 Times!
5/21/2014 11:05 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Ex-"Scandal" star Columbus Short is playing a dangerous and illegal game of cat and mouse ... repeatedly contacting his estranged wife in violation of a court order ... so claims his ex.
Tanee McCall-Short's lawyer claimed in court Wednesday he repeatedly violated a stay away order ... contacting Tanee on 6 separate occasions.
Short's lawyer could have asked to hold Columbus in contempt, but instead the attorney asked the judge to make the temporary order permanent. The judge is considering what to do ... in the meantime the restraining order was extended to July 30th.
TMZ broke the story ... Tanee got the TRO -- and filed for divorce -- after Short allegedly put a knife to her throat and threatened murder/suicide.
She's also accused Short of breaking into the house and ransacking the joint.
PISSED OFF Over Columbus Short Re-casting Hoax
5/7/2014 3:29 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Scandal" EP Shonda Rhimes BLASTED Deadline Hollywood for putting up a fake story saying Columbus Short had been recast ... only minutes after the story went up. SHOTS FIRED!!!
Short -- who recently got the boot from the show and whose character appeared to be dead at the end of last season -- was to be replaced by some guy named Eric West ... according to Deadline.
But Rhimes shot down that report right quick, tweeting out, "I've never heard of Eric West. Harrison is not being recast EVER. How about reporters CHECK THEIR SOURCES before running with a story? Um, @Deadline? Handle yourself."
Even West -- who would have gone down in infamy with the likes of Dick Sargent, Sarah Chalke and countless others -- got in the act, tweeting simply, "This is news to me."
Deadline quickly updated its story, calling it an "elaborate hoax" -- but still wouldn't drop it, writing, "It is unclear yet whether Short would be replaced."
Sounds pretty clear to us.
Columbus Short's Alleged Victim
You Getting Fired Is NOT My Problem
5/7/2014 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The guy Columbus Short allegedly beat up in a bar fight has had it with the former "Scandal" star ... and now plans to sue after an out-of-court settlement fell apart because Columbus pled poverty.
The victim's lawyer tells TMZ ... Short offered to pay a handsome sum to settle with the guy he allegedly knocked out. But the lawyer says Columbus pulled the plug, saying he was just sacked from "Scandal" and his income stream dried up like a riverbed in drought-stricken California.
We're told the victim had asked Columbus for several hundred thousand dollars to cover medical expenses -- including an expected surgery to repair facial fractures. And of course, he wants something for his pain and suffering.
We're told Columbus can expect a lawsuit as early as Friday.
Columbus' lawyer had no comment.
Columbus Short's Wife
HELP! He Ransacked Our Home!!
4/30/2014 12:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Columbus Short doesn't know when to stop -- at least according to his wife, who claims the former "Scandal" star broke into their house over Easter weekend ... and ransacked the joint.
Short's wife Tanee has filed new court docs, claiming Short busted into their marital home while she was away -- despite a restraining order barring him from the premises -- and left a trail of destruction in his wake.
Tanee claims Short broke a door off its hinges, ripped off her bed sheets, left on a bunch of lights (electricity ain't cheap) -- and made her fear for her safety and the safety of their 2-year-old daughter.
TMZ broke the story, Tanee obtained the restraining order earlier this month, claiming Short put a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her. The order bars Short from entering their home, but he's fighting it ... insisting he has the right to come and go as he pleases because his name is on the lease.
Tanee says the break-in is further proof the restraining order is necessary.
We reached out to Columbus' lawyer ... so far, no word back.
Fired From 'Scandal'
Because of Scandal
4/25/2014 2:52 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Columbus Short will NOT be returning to "Scandal" -- and sources connected with ABC says it's because the network decided to give him the axe over allegations of domestic violence.
Columbus just released this statement: "At this time I must confirm my exit from a show I've called home for 3 years, with what is the most talented ensemble in television today."
Short goes on: "Everything must come to an end and unfortunately the time has come for Harrison Wright to exit the canvas. I wish nothing but the best for Shonda, Kerry and the rest of the cast..."
Short story ... it would appear Harrison ate the bullet that was aimed at him in the season finale.
TMZ broke the story ... Short's wife just got a restraining order against him after he allegedly put a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her. He's also been charged in connection with another incident with domestic violence and child abuse. He was arrested for yet another incident of alleged domestic abuse. And he was arrested recently for allegedly clocking a dude in a bar.
Get Your Stuff ... And Get Out
4/23/2014 11:05 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Scandal" star Columbus Short is being allowed to return to his home -- after being banned from the premises for allegedly threatening to kill his wife -- but he won't have time to get comfortable ... a judge is giving Short just 2 hours at home to get his stuff ... and get out.
Short was in court today seeking permission to move back into his house after his wife obtained a restraining order, barring him from entering the home -- but a judge denied his request.
Instead, the judge gave Short 2 hours next Monday to go to the house and gather any belongings he needs ... and only with his attorney present.
TMZ broke the story ... Tanee Short got the restraining order, claiming Short had threatened to kill her during an explosive fight in their Chatsworth home April 7. Tanee claimed Short pinned her down, choked her, and threatened to stab her unless she admitted to having affairs.
She also claimed Short put a knife to her throat and threatened murder/suicide.
Tanee has since filed for divorce and wants sole custody of their 2-year-old daughter.
On 'Scandal' Chopping Block
... But Still Smiling
4/19/2014 12:02 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Dodges 'Scandal' Question
... REALLY Dodges Wife Question
4/18/2014 6:11 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Columbus Short told our photog, "I don't know what all the noise is about" ... referring to the rumor he may get fired from "Scandal" because he's being prosecuted for brutalizing his wife -- she even says he put a knife to her throat. But Columbus says, "Everything's great."
Short was in Hollywood last night where he hosted a "Scandal" finale (OMG!!!!!)) viewing party and also promoted his new song.
His "everything's great" line ignores the fact that he's being prosecuted for domestic violence and child abuse, his wife got a restraining order kicking him out of the house after alleging he threatened to kill her at knifepoint, she's filed for divorce, he was recently arrested for beating up a guy in a bar, he was arrested for another alleged domestic violence incident, and he pled no contest to assaulting a guy on a basketball court.
Columbus bailed on us Thursday ... agreeing to appear on TMZ Live and then pulling the plug at the last second.
He was quick to change the topic when we asked him about the big cliffhanger from last night (OMG!!!!!).
Seems Short's fate is up in the air both on screen (OMG!!!!!) and off.