Columbus Short Says He Was 'Angry,' Not Drunk, at Time of Arrest

"I wasn't acting intoxicated. I had had a couple of drinks," the former Scandal actor says

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty

Columbus Short insists he was not drunk at the time of his arrest in Dallas for public intoxication on Saturday.

“There’s something visceral that happened inside of me, and yeah, I’ll say it, even as a black man in handcuffs on the ground, for no justifiable reason at all,” the former Scandal star told Access Hollywood‘s Billy Bush on Monday. “I wasn’t acting intoxicated. I had had a couple of drinks, but whatever, I was angry, and I used my vocabulary to kind of fight that.”

Short was booked after allegedly fighting with security at a local bar called Katy Trail Ice House, an employee told PEOPLE.

“To be honest with you, I struggle with medicating with alcohol, I think, and that’s a real truth,” he added. “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 explained. “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, so it was an unfortunate event that happened the other night.”

Short, 31, has been no stranger to legal drama in recent months. He pleaded not guilty to felony battery after allegedly punching a man at a West Hollywood restaurant in March. And he faces a spousal battery case stemming from accusations that he threatened to kill his estranged wife, Tanee McCall-Short, in April.

“Me and my wife, we’re going through problems. Serious, serious problems,” Short admitted to Access Hollywood. “However, the domestic part of it I’ve never put my hands on a woman, physically, ever, and would not.”

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