Columbus Short: I Feel 'Raw and Vulnerable' Right Now

The embattled Scandal star tells PEOPLE he's getting through his current drama by having a "thick skin"

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty

Judging from the group of people who flocked into Hollywood’s Couture lounge on Thursday night, it’s clear Columbus Short has a slew of supporters.

But following the release of some court documents filed on Tuesday by his now-estranged, wife Tuere Tanee Short, that claim (among other things) that he threatened to kill her, the Scandal star, 31, is geared up for what’s ahead with his reputation.

“To be honest with you, I’m feeling raw, focused, vulnerable and in a perfect place to write great music,” he told PEOPLE as he was promoting the new single, “Gave You,” off his upcoming album. “God’s been preparing me for a long time to deal with this season of my life. Being able to have thick skin is something that is needed.”

And although aware of why he’s in the public eye at the moment, Short generally doesn’t pay attention to news centered on him.

“You want to know the truth? I don’t read anything,” he says. “I don’t read the good stuff and I don’t read the bad stuff, because if I read the good stuff, I’ve got to read the bad stuff. I don’t allow myself to make agreements with nonsense so I just don’t take it in.”

Adds Short, “I block it and I make sure my team knows, don’t even show me stuff – because unless it’s real, I don’t even want to see it, I don’t even want to talk about it, because you never know where stuff is coming from and you make an agreement with a lie.”

If the actor was feeling any negativity, it surely did not show, as the fans who came out also got a chance to watch Scandal‘s season finale on a big screen with an all-smiles Short in the audience, who even got up on occasion to give a shout-out to the crowd.

Moving forward, Short, who plans to feature BJ McKnight, Musiq Soulchild, YG and Brandy on his upcoming album, already has his next business venture in mind.

“I’m trying to do a line for Middle America – those gladiators out there who want to dress like Harrison [Wright], but can’t afford it,” he says, referring to his character on ABC’s hit series. “There’s a way to do it. Back in the day, black young men felt like a million dollars with a haircut and a suit jacket, so that’s all we need, so that’s what my focus is.”

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