A history of Rob Ford denials and admissions

TORONTO –  Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said in a statement Wednesday that he is taking a leave of absence to seek help for substance abuse.

The announcement comes after media reports emerged with new drug and alcohol allegations against the embattled Toronto mayor.

READ MORE: Rob Ford to step aside, seek help for substance abuse

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is shown in this still image, provided by the Globe and Mail newspaper, taken from a video.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is shown in this still image, provided by the Globe and Mail newspaper, taken from a video.

In the past year, Ford has maintained he is neither an addict or an alcoholic. As new allegations of drug and alcohol abuse were made, Ford responded, often denying the claims made by media.

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READ MORE: Past legal troubles, substance abuse allegations in the life of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

We take a look at some of Ford’s most well-known denials and admissions.

What happened: Ford reportedly seen smoking what appears to be crack cocaine in a video

On May 16, 2013, The Toronto Star and U.S.-based news site Gawker reported that Ford was seen on video smoking what appeared to be crack cocaine and making racist and homophobic comments. They also said the video was being shopped around by a group of men allegedly involved in the drug trade.

How  Ford responded:

On May 17: Ford called the allegations “ridiculous” and accused the Toronto Star of “going after” him.

On May 24: Ford insisted he did not use crack cocaine nor that he was “an addict of crack cocaine.”

Rob Ford is predicting a 'knock out' in the first mayoral debate
Mayor Rob Ford speaks to media gathered outside his office in Toronto, Ontario, Thursday March 13, 2014. Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

On Nov 3: The mayor apologized on his weekly radio show on Newstalk 1010 for making mistakes including appearing in public while “hammered” and texting while driving. The next day, he told AM640 : “I’m not an alcoholic, I’m not a drug addict.”

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On Nov 5: Ford admitted he smoked crack cocaine about a year earlier while in a “drunken stupor.” Ford said he wasn’t lying and that reporters weren’t asking him the correct questions. “No, I’m not an addict and no I do not do drugs,” Ford tells reporters. “All I can do now is apologize and move on.”

Ford also told media he has “nothing left to hide.”

What happened: Video showing Rob Ford in apparent rage

On Nov. 7, 2013, a video  posted online by the Toronto Star and Toronto Sun showed Ford in an apparent rage, spewing obscenities and using threatening words.

How  Ford responded:

On Nov. 7:  The same day, the mayor told reporters that he was “extremely” drunk and was “extremely” embarrassed.

What happened: Rob Ford’s ‘more than enough to eat at home’ comment 

On Nov. 14, Ford used crude language on live TV while denying allegations that he told a female aide he was going to have oral sex with her.

READ MORE: Mayor Rob Ford apologizes for graphic remarks, seeking ‘professional’ help

The mayor said he’s “happily married” and has “more than enough to eat at home.”

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How Ford responded:

On Nov. 14: Later in the day, Ford apologized for his graphic remarks in a press conference and said he “acted on complete impulses.” Ford also made reference to help he is getting for his substance abuse issues.

Mayor Rob Ford arrives at city hall in Toronto on Tuesday, November 19, 2013.
Mayor Rob Ford arrives at city hall in Toronto on Tuesday, November 19, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

“I am receiving professional support and seeking advice from people with expertise.”

What happened:  Ford used Jamaican patois, obscenities in video rant

On Jan. 21, a YouTube video emerged of Ford rambling in a profane rant using Jamaican patois.

How Ford responded: 

Ford admitted he had been drinking the previous night, saying he had been on personal time at a west-end Toronto restaurant. He said he did not think the language he used was offensive.

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What happened:  Another video showing him allegedly smoking crack, audio reportedly Ford ranting

The Globe and Mail said it saw a fresh video of Ford smoking what appeared to be crack cocaine at his sister’s house on Saturday.

And the Toronto Sun said it had an audio tape allegedly featuring Ford drunk at a bar and crudely ranting about various topics.

LISTEN: Audio recording obtained by The Toronto Sun. Global News has not been able to verify the authenticity of this audio. Warning: Language might offend some viewers.

How Ford responded: The mayor said he would take a leave of absence from his re-election campaign and mayoral duties “to seek immediate help,” but gave no other details as to his plans.

“I have a problem with alcohol, and the choices I have made while under the influence. I have struggled with this for some time,” the mayor said in a statement emailed by his re-election campaign.

“I have tried to deal with these issues by myself over the past year. 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 and Global News’ James Armstrong

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