Actor Columbus Short Opens Up About Being Molested As A Child Following R. Kelly Controversy

Columbus Short attends the 45th NAACP Awards Non-Televised Awards Ceremony at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.
Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images for NAACP

Columbus Short has joined the long list of celebrities who have publicly criticized and denounced Grammy Award-winning singer R. Kelly. However, the singer’s statement about R. Kelly was far different than most. Not only did he share his opinion of the disturbing docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly, but he also revealed why he personally identifies with the singer’s alleged victims.

According to Essence magazine, Columbus Short admitted that he, too, was molested as a child. On January 13, the former Scandal actor took to Instagram with a video message to his followers to share his opinion of R. Kelly and Lifetime’s incriminating docuseries. In addition to discussing the victims, the actor revealed he was made aware of the abuse R. Kelly also suffered. Columbus made it clear he wasn’t attempting to justify R. Kelly’s actions, but he admitted why he knows what it’s like to be abused.

“I found out R. Kelly was molested by his sister, and it’s sad,” Short said in the video. “It doesn’t justify anything that he’s done as an adult man, but I was molested by my babysitter and she would make me do things that were really, really uncomfortable,” he said.

Columbus Short went on to admit that he’d also been abused. For years, the actor said that he’d been afraid to speak out — until now.

“I was scared to speak out. But I’m not scared anymore,” he admitted. He concluded the video with his own personal confession. “I’m a talented man that was molested. I was touched, and it’s affected me in ways that I can’t even explain,” he said. “For all those out there that have—it’s okay to speak out. It’s a lot of us. I’m praying for R. Kelly.”

Shortly after Columbus Short’s video began circulating, many of his fans shared their reaction recalling many of the actor’s personal struggles with abuse and domestic violence. In the past, the famed actor found himself at the center of heightened controversy due to domestic violence and battery. In fact, his alleged abuse of his ex-wife was a factor in his departure from Scandal.

The latest reports about Columbus Short’s confession follows a string of reports about R. Kelly’s sex cult scandal and the abuse claims presented by his alleged accusers. R. Kelly’s legal team is reportedly making an effort to fire back in response to the claims presented by the alleged victims featured on Surviving R. Kelly.