TORONTO – Rob Ford will take a leave of absence from his re-election campaign to seek help for substance abuse, his lawyer said Wednesday as new reports about the mayor emerged.
This announcement comes after the Toronto Sun obtained an audio recording of Ford ranting in an Etobicoke bar Monday night and The Globe and Mail says a second video of Ford smoking what looks like crack cocaine has emerged.
The Globe and Mail says the new video, which two reporters viewed, was secretly filmed in Ford’s sister’s basement last Saturday morning and shows Ford smoking a substance described as crack-cocaine from a “long copper-coloured pipe.”
— The Globe and Mail (@globeandmail) May 1, 2014
Dennis Morris, Ford’s Lawyer, told Global News Wednesday night “from what I gather, it’s drug dealers who took the video and I hope the media call into question who they are and what they sold it for.”
The Toronto Star published an article Thursday claiming witnesses saw Ford using cocaine at Muzik nightclub on March 15. That same night, Ford was reportedly “enraged” when pop star Justin Bieber jokingly asked him if he had any crack.
In the audio recording the Toronto Sun has obtained, the mayor complains about his wife Renata and makes rude comments about mayoral contender Karen Stintz.
Ford is overheard at one point saying he would “like to f—ing jam her,” in reference to Stintz.
Stintz called Ford’s alleged comments “deeply offensive.”
“That a sitting mayor would make such shocking and bigoted remarks is disgusting,” she said in a statement.
During the recording the mayor criticizes Tory leader Tim Hudak for voting in favour of raising the pride flag at Queen’s Park during the Winter Olympics.
“(They) put this f— flag up ahead of our Canadian flag. No, I’m saying bullshit!” Ford said. “And they said they went to Queen’s Park – no way – and then Tim Hudak comes up and says ‘I agree with all the gays…’ I’ve lost my conservative value.
In the audio recording, Ford ranted about why he won’t vote Liberal. “I can’t vote Liberal cause I don’t like what (Ontario Premier Kathleen) Wynne’s doing, not because she’s gay, I just don’t like the corruption, NDP I’m just not left-wing,” Ford said. “I don’t what the f— I’m going to do, I may have to vote Green.”
Dear Rob, Thanks, but no thanks. Greens are working to end sexism and homophobia. I do hope you are able to get help and recover. #onpoli
— Mike Schreiner (@MikeSchreiner) May 1, 2014
The mayor said he will take a leave of absence from his re-election campaign and mayoral duties “to seek immediate help,” but gave no other details about his plans.
“I have tried to deal with these issues by myself over the past year,” Ford said in a statement. “I know that I need professional help and I am now 100 per cent committed to getting myself right.”
-with files from The Canadian Press
© Shaw Media, 2014