In a recent interview, actor and dancer Columbus Short doubled down on the recollection from his 2020 autobiography titled Short Stories, where he claimed that he slept with singer Britney Spears back in 2003 and overheard her parents refer to him as the N-word.
If you didn’t know, Short worked as a backup dancer and producer for Spears back in the day. According to the tea he spilled in his book, after Spears came on to him, the two slept together during a trip to Rome. Even though Short says the two were only intimate once, he claimed that after things went down, he heard the singer’s parents refer to him as a racial slur.
“I was next to [Britney] while she was on the phone with them crying while she had it on speaker,” Short wrote in his book. Alleging that he overheard Spears’ parents ask, “Why are you f*cking that n*gger?” Short said that directly afterward, “Britney looked at me so apologetically, knowing I’d heard it. I shook my head and didn’t say anything, because what was there to say?”
In an interview from last week with Inside Hollywood, Short gave more detail about his feelings surrounding the incident. According to him, he wasn’t surprised at the comment Spears’ parents allegedly made because he knows where they’re from. He recalled the incident as being a wake-up call within regards to where he stood with Spears and her family.
“I wasn’t shocked when it happened — look where they’re from. They’re from Louisiana. Just because they’re in Hollywood or just because now they have black bodyguards doesn’t mean that behind closed doors they don’t use that word. I think that was a common thing, and the way it came out was so effortless — like that’s how they speak. I wasn’t shocked, and I wasn’t hurt by it, I was just like, ‘Wow, this is — wow. Okay, I know who I am around here.’ It was a very interesting thing.”
Concerning how the incident influenced his views on the singer, Short added, “After that, I felt like maybe [Britney] was using me to piss them off for some reason. I’m just saying that but I don’t know. I think maybe I thought that for a second, but I think she is a really sweet person that was tormented — in a position on a high level that I can’t imagine. I liken it to Princess Diana. She was the pop princess of the world. Britney couldn’t go nowhere — her world [was] completely controlled in this bubble. There would be times that she would act out, and I don’t blame her. She was trying to find something — trying to find her way.”
As Short mentioned, Spears and her parents have been in the headlines recently surrounding the court-sanctioned conservatorship she’s been under for the past 13 years — which gives her father the right to control the singer’s estate. Spurring the viral social media campaign, #FreeBritney, Short was one of the stars who posted his support for the singer late last year.
Short’s full interview with Inside Hollywood can be watched down below.