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'Scandal's' Columbus Short Exiting Amid Domestic Abuse Claims

The actor's character, Harrison Wright, was last seen with a gun to his head in April's season-three finale.

H -- Harrison
"Scandal's" Columbus Short

ABC's Scandal will be without one Gladiator when it returns for its fourth season.

Columbus Short has opted to exit the Shonda Rhimes political thriller following domestic abuse claims, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

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"At this time I must confirm my exit from a show I've called home for three years, with what is the most talented ensemble on television today. I would like to first thank Shonda Rhimes for the opportunity to work with such an amazing cast," he said in a statement. "Thank you Gladiators, who have supported me throughout my entire career and of course to ABC and Shondaland for allowing me to play such a pivotal role in the Scandal series. I have enjoyed every single minute of it. Everything must come to an end, and unfortunately the time has come for Harrison Wright to exit the canvas. I wish nothing but the best for Shonda, Kerry [Washington] and the rest of the cast, who have become like a second family to me in such a short amount of time. For this, I will forever be grateful."

Short was arrested in March after allegedly knocking a man out during an altercation at a West Los Angeles restaurant and subsequently released on bail. He faces four years in state prison if convicted. The actor most recently was hit with a restraining order from his wife after she claimed he threatened her life during a fight at their Chatsworth, Calif., home earlier this month. She has subsequently filed for divorce and is seeking sole custody of their 2-year-old daughter.

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On Feb. 14, he was also charged with misdemeanor spousal battery, and on March 5, a judge ordered him to keep away from his wife, Tuere Short. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.

Short's character, one of the original series regulars on Scandal, was last seen in the season-three finale with a gun pointed at his head. Showrunner Rhimes declined to comment on Harrison's fate during an interview with Jimmy Kimmel after the season finale. "You know I can't tell you whether or not he's dead," she said.

Short marks the second original castmember to exit the series. Henry Ian Cusick departed after season one following a mutual decision with Rhimes.

Scandal  has not officially been renewed for a fourth season, but it's a lock to return.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit