In a viral photo seen ’round the world Tuesday, actor Columbus Short‘s clothes are scattered on the floor. The former Scandal star is seated in a chair, a book bag separating his back from the seat cushion, his head tilted toward the ground.
The messy photo was one that his wife, Karrine Steffans, posted on social media this week, leaving us all to wonder the inevitable: What the hell did he do now?
Short is no stranger to legal trouble and bad press. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge and pleaded no contest to a felony assault charge in 2014. But over the last year or so, he’s managed to stay out of headlines. Until yesterday morning, that is, when Steffans exposed him for being unfaithful.
“Somebody come get @officialcshort cheating ass and all his shit. What about you @aida006…still want him? And @candicernb…you fucked my husband…want him?” she captioned the viral picture.
A video post shows him fixated on the ceiling while a voice, presumably Karrine’s, asks, “Feeling OK?”
It was only a few months ago Karrine and Columbus became #TheShorts. They announced their marriage on social media, sending the Twitterverse into a frenzy. Since then, they’ve shared photos of a seemingly blissful partnership.
While their union seems new to us, in an emotional interview, Karrine tells HelloBeautiful it only appears that way:
“It’s been the Shorts for a while. I know it seems sudden to a lot of people, but it wasn’t. I love my husband. I am completely and totally in love with my husband. I’ve been married three times, he’s been married three times, but he is my first husband, if that makes any sense.”
“I’ve married people in the past who I knew were not my true and rightful husbands. I did it for different reasons, but none of it was really for love,” she added.
Diving into Short’s infidelity issues, she tearfully revealed that it’s hardly a new situation: “I love my husband, but to be honest, I needed us to hit bottom. It’s time.”
“If you’re in an abusive relationship of any kind, and you don’t say anything, and your circle is small […] nobody knows. There’s no help, and it just gets worse. As long as no one knows, there’s no bottom.”
During the candid call, Steffans grew emotional describing her love for her husband: “He’s such a great person in so many ways, in so many ways, but there are demons here we are all aware of.”
Steffans refused to go into detail about what those demons are, but made it clear that only Columbus can conquer them. Unlike her previous marriages, the vixen-turned-author vowed to be monogamous after suffering through unfaithful partners.
“He’s ashamed,” she said. “In the photographs, you can see he’s not happy with himself.”
Steffans confirmed that, despite how it looks, Short wasn’t carrying on a long-term relationship with another woman and it “wasn’t that serious.”
“It happened a while ago and dealing with it internally, there was no recourse. I needed us to hit bottom. And then we can deal with it properly.”
Moreover, it’s Columbus himself, she says, who was honest about his affairs.
“He called me crying,” she told us. “Columbus is not a bad person, he’s just battling things I can’t help him with.”
In spite of his tarnished reputation, Steffans speaks highly of her significant other. “I’m so in love with this man. He’s so good to me and my son. And taking care of our house and such a good provider. He’s not as terrible as everyone made him out to be.”
As for where they will end up from here, she admits she doesn’t have a plan of action: “That’s going to depend on what he wants to do. I made my move.”
Touching on why she decided that her move would be to post the photo on Instagram, she explained:
“If your man’s worst fear is that his mom finds out, then you tell his mom. If his worst fear is that his pastor finds out, then you tell his pastor. If a man’s worst fear is that the public knows that he is not everything he is pretending to be in this moment, then you go there.”
While the ever-watching public eye doesn’t negatively affect Karrine, her decision to make the situation public was deliberate.
“That was this situation’s button. This was his thing, like ‘Please don’t tell anybody about this.'”
Steffans says she pushed the “fear button” to save her marriage.
Short, for his part, also took to social media to comment on the situation:
We hope Karrine and Columbus find a happy and peaceful resolution.
PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram, Getty