Skip to main content

Wife accuses 'Scandal' actor Columbus Short of violence

By Alan Duke, CNN
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 2131 GMT (0531 HKT)
Short plays Harrison Wright, a member of fixer Olivia Pope's team, on the hit ABC series
Short plays Harrison Wright, a member of fixer Olivia Pope's team, on the hit ABC series "Scandal."
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: "I must refrain from making any comments," Columbus Short tells CNN
  • Tanee Short alleges three violent incidents with her husband in three months
  • Columbus Short was arrested at his home twice in February, wife says
  • A judge ordered the actor to stay away from his wife and home

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Columbus Short's wife swears the "Scandal" actor threatened to kill her and himself with a knife last week.

The allegation is part of Tanee Short's affidavit filed Tuesday asking for a restraining order to keep her husband away from her and their 2-year-old daughter. She also filed for divorce after almost nine years of marriage, citing irreconcilable differences.

A judge signed a temporary restraining order and set a hearing for May 6 to decide whether it would be extended.

Columbus Short, 31, plays Harrison Wright, a member of fixer Olivia Pope's team, on the hit ABC series. In a statement Thursday to CNN, the actor said he would refrain from sharing his side of the story.

"As you all know, lately my personal life has been subjected to a lot of press. As much as I would like to provide my side of events, my counsel has instructed me that a Court of law is the only and proper venue to deal with such matters," Short said in the statement. "Accordingly, I must refrain from making any comments even though that is very difficult for me under the circumstances. Thank you to my fans for your continued support during this difficult time."

According to court filings, the actor has been to jail at least three times for violence in the past three months.

Tanee Short's sworn statement described an April 7 incident at the couple's Los Angeles County home when her husband allegedly was intoxicated and threatened to hit her with a wine bottle after he "dumped the wine on me."

He then "grabbed a knife from the kitchen" and "pinned me on the couch and began to choke me," she said. "He placed the knife close to my neck and threatened to kill me and then kill himself."

Her husband demanded they play "a game he called 'Truth or Truth'" in which he randomly listed "names of people we know and accused me of having an affair." He stabbed the couch or other furniture each time she denied an affair, she said.

Tanee Short said she grabbed her daughter, ran to her car and drove away. She realized after driving two miles that one of her tires had been slashed, she said.

The affidavit also described two alleged incidents of violence in February at the couple's home. In each instance, Columbus Short was taken to jail by police who responded to his wife's 911 call, the statement said.

The actor woke his wife on the morning of February 3 and choked her before chasing her around the house and "constantly threatening me," she said.

He "pushed me and started screaming that I need to leave" during a February 18 argument, she said. She called police with her nanny's cell phone after her husband shattered her phone, according to the sworn statement.

Short was charged with felony battery after a fight in which he allegedly punched and knocked out a man at a West Los Angeles restaurant last month, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said in a statement. He was released from jail on $50,000 bail.

HLN's Selin Darkalstanian and CNN's Joan Yeam contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT