D.L. Hughley Apologizes for Domestic Violence Comments

Comedian and event emcee D.L. Hughley and his wife, LaDonna, at Night of the Butterfly event at a private residence March 20, 2003, in Los Angeles
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Comedian and event emcee D.L. Hughley and his wife, LaDonna, at Night of the Butterfly event at a private residence March 20, 2003, in Los Angeles
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

D.L. Hughley is now backpedaling and apologizing for recent comments he made about the domestic issues Columbus Short and his estranged wife, Tanee McCall-Short, are facing. Earlier this month, McCall-Short filed for divorce and obtained a restraining order, saying that Short had threatened to kill her, and himself, during an argument.


Apparently Hughley was #teamColumbus, because he immediately jumped to the former gladiator’s defense. Here’s what Hughley had to say on his online radio show about the alleged incident:

The star of one of the hottest dramas in the country chokes the f—k out of his wife? That doesn’t ever happen. I don’t think it happened, first off. Like the time Warren Sapp was getting ready to do the Super Bowl and some broad said that he raped her. There are just as many examples of women lying on men in the middle of divorce proceedings to get what they want as there are men who actually do anything. My point is if he did what she’s alleging he did, she could still get all that she’s going to have and not bring it up now, when it damages his market value that she’s going to be impacted by. If he loses that job, nobody’s living in Calabasas anymore.

I guarantee you, three years from now she’s going to be thinking, “Damn, I should have shut the f—k up … Women always running out the mouth when they shouldn’t. … This bitch was thirsty. The bitch was thirsty. What, she gone go back to dancing? She gone f—k her money up?

Hughley then went on to blame McCall-Short for her alleged abuse:

When you’re very young, you’re very volatile. I’ve been in situations where the police were called. I don’t believe that every time someone says something in the heat of anger, they actually mean it. Everybody want a thug dude, a passionate dude, until you gotta live with your mother in an undisclosed location. You know what kind of dude you picked. Stop it.

After making those statements, Hughley wasn’t the most popular kid on the block. Many people felt he was making excuses for Short as well as promoting domestic violence. 

Hughley released a statement Wednesday on BlackAmericaWeb regarding his caustic comments:

Last week during an after-show segment of my radio show, The D.L. Hughley Show, I unintentionally offended some people.

In regards to Columbus Short’s legal issues, I jumped to a conclusion and blamed Tanee McCall-Short; and I’m sorry. My intent was not to quiet victims.

When I did speak of the topic on air, I repeatedly emphasized then, and as I do now, that anyone who is convicted of domestic violence, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law; and that is what I believe.


But on his radio show Wednesday night, he went into much greater detail with his apology:

Columbus Short’s wife came up, and she is alleging that he had hit her with a wine bottle and assaulted her with a knife. I quickly jumped to Columbus Short’s defense, and I put my mouth … If this were a joke, or if I had a done a joke that people got offended by, I can honestly say I wouldn’t be apologizing. I don’t think humor, as subjective, as sometimes as cutting that it can be, I think that’s something, that’s where I draw a line; I won’t apologize for that.

What I will apologize for is putting my mouth on a woman who was victimized by a man who I know, and before I knew the facts, or before I knew the severity or before I knew much of anything about it. And so Tanee McCall-Short, I put, I basically said that she was probably a gold digger, and I had no idea of the severity of what was going on. I quickly … my, my, my sole apology is that I put my mouth on a woman, who was in fact being victimized, and that it came off as me silencing victims. Which, you know, that you were brutalized once and then I do it again. And so I am not in the habit of apologizing for things I don’t mean. I’m not in the habit of saying things that I don’t mean. That was a comment I made, and putting my mouth on that woman was something I sincerely apologize for.

So I don’t condone violence. I’ve been married to a woman for 30 years. I can honestly say I’ve never physically abused anyone—well, men, but they deserved it. And I’ve never encouraged a woman to be silent deliberately about abuse. So if it came off that way, I have to apologize. I don’t know that you can encourage many women to be silent about much, but I want them to be silent in general, but just not about abuse.

I want them to have, I certainly want them to have a voice when somebody victimizes them. And as I said several times on that show, I think that anybody who victimizes anybody should be prosecuted to the fullest [extent] of the law.

I said it several times. And I think that a lot of times, you know, you’re in a position where your words carry a lot more weight than you give them credit for. So if somebody was offended by what I did, and certainly to this young lady, Tanee, I didn’t know that I was defending a dude who then later tore the door off the hinges.

So I pride myself on being a man, and you can’t be a man just when you’re doing something you like. You have to be a man when you’re doing something … when you’ve wronged somebody, and for that I give my apology.


But what is this “putting my mouth on” supposed to mean? Is that his way of saying “being critical of”? I’m going to need Hughley to pick his words a lot better than he has been. 

Anyway, hopefully he now realizes that domestic violence isn’t something to joke about. 


Yesha Callahan is editor of The Grapevine and a staff writer at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.