Tommy Boy – Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said he is taking a break from his re-election campaign to seek help for alcohol abuse — hours after a local newspaper reported on a new video that allegedly shows him smoking crack cocaine.
“It’s not easy to be vulnerable and this is one of the most difficult times in my life,” Ford said in a statement Wednesday. “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 statement, provided to CNN by Canada’s CTV News, comes after the Toronto Globe and Mail reported on the new video.
In the video purportedly filmed Saturday, the newspaper reports Ford is seen smoking what a drug dealer described to the paper as crack cocaine from a copper-colored pipe. Two Globe and Mail reporters viewed the video, and the publication said it was shot in what appears to be Ford’s sister’s basement.
The paper said the substance in the pipe could not be confirmed.
The video is part “of a package of three videos the dealer said was surreptitiously filmed around 1:15 a.m., and which he says he is now selling for ‘at least six figures,'” the paper reported.
Shortly after the newspaper confronted the Mayor about the video, Ford announced he was taking a break to get help.
“Today, after taking some time to think about my own well-being, how to best serve the people of Toronto and what is in the best interests of my family, I have decided to take a leave from campaigning and from my duties as mayor to seek immediate help,” he said.
His lawyer, Dennis Morris, told CNN that Ford’s leave begins immediately.
“He has to take a break to re-energize, because he realizes he has flaws that have to be addressed,” Morris told CTV.
But Morris told the Globe that he questioned the authenticity of the video, and said it is hard to prove what the Mayor is smoking.
“If these guys are drug dealers and there’s money involved, they can say whatever they want to get more money, to extract more money from the people who are paying,” he said of the seller.
Kind of a bittersweet day for Rob Ford. You don’t want to see this guy disappear into Bolivian but it’s great to see that he realized he needs help. I personally would have stepped down after the first crack video but hey, everybody’s got their own style. Now to the real stuff. It’s REALLY easy to kick a guy when he’s down, especially when it comes to addiction. I’m not going to pretend that I know Canadian politics, because I don’t. I don’t know if he’s a good mayor and frankly I don’t care, just as I’m sure people in Toronto don’t give a shit if the mayor of North Providence is good or not (hint: he’s not). But fate brought Rob Ford into my life and I’ve never been one to question fate. Beyond all the jokes, he seems like a genuinely nice guy. He’s jovial, he’s a sports fan, he doesn’t take himself seriously. Does he have an addiction problem? Yes. Anytime your resorting to crack you have a whopper of a problem. But he’s been on this blog from the beginning, and the Average Nobodies do not leave soldiers behind, crack smokers or not. Hell, he’s even front and center on the website banner. We hope Rob Ford gets the help he needs, then comes back better than ever, less sweaty and crack free. For now, I’m going to listen to that Fuel song on repeat and smile at these pictures.
thanks to @LunaElektraSMC for the tip.