TORONTO – After making a brief appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s post-Oscar special Sunday night, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford returned to Jimmy Kimmel Live Monday for a gruelling 20-minute interview with the late night host.
Kimmel dug into Ford about his use of crack cocaine, his history of drunk driving and domestic abuse and the videos showing Ford rambling about wanting to murder someone and insulting the police chief in a Jamaican patois.
The mayor says he was content with his appearance and knew he was “walking into a lion’s den” but thinks he “held [his] own.”
Ford told reporters Tuesday: “Was it a tough interview? Sure it was. But he has a job to do. That’s his job.”
He also suggested voters were “sick and tired” of hearing about his personal life and at one point told reporters he doesn’t “have any personal issues.”
Ford has repeatedly denied having substance abuse problems and claimed for months he’d sworn off alcohol until the posting of a video forced him to admit he’d been drinking.
During the interview with Kimmel, Ford attacked Toronto city councillors, local media and Police Chief Bill Blair.
“They followed me around for months and came up empty-handed,” Ford said, referring to the police investigation.
Watch: What do councillors have to say about Rob Ford’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel?
Kimmel kept the jokes coming, asking Ford at one point why he was dressed like a magician (Ford wore a black suit and a bright red tie and pocket square on the show) and offering to take him to Jamaica when he learned Ford had never been.
Ford told reporters at city hall that he “likes” the tie and has no plans on throwing it away.
The mayor repeated his mantra that he has saved the city $1 billion and is committed to customer service. He also handed out T-shirts and business cards.
“Talk is cheap, action speaks louder than words. We’ll let the people decide on October 27,” Ford told Kimmel.
Ford did get to mention the Toronto International Film Festival and the fact there are currently 150 construction cranes in the city’s skyline.
He admitted Tuesday he wished he’d had more opportunity to promote the city while talking to Kimmel.
Before Ford’s appearance, his press secretary Amin Massoudi told Global News in a phone interview from California: “Jimmy was one of the first to reach out to Ford personally, and it’s one of the reasons [the mayor] is here.”
The mayor arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on Saturday with Kimmel greeting him in limo driver attire.
Ford claimed the trip was to promote Toronto and the city’s movie industry, although several of Toronto’s mayoral candidates have questioned his intentions.
Ford defended the trip on Sunday. “I’m just a little confused why they’re upset with me going down to L.A. to promote our movie industry and the great city that we live in and the great leadership that we have,” he told Global News.
-With files from David Shum
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