Toronto Mayor getting professional help
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford announced Thursday he’s getting help from health care professionals but again refused to step aside over his drug use and drinking. He also threatened to take legal action against former staffers who spoke to police about his behaviour and denied making sexual advances towards a female staffer.
Ford, who has been under pressure to resign since admitting last week to smoking crack, used a typical mix of contriteness and angry defiance during several public appearances Thursday. At a City Council session, outraged councillors turned their backs on the mayor each time he spoke and again called on him to step aside.
Ford said at a news conference that he didn’t want to comment on the particulars of the health- care support he’s receiving and asked for privacy for his family.
With his wife at his side, Ford also apologised for using coarse language to deny allegations that he once told a female staffer he wanted to have oral sex with her.
Ford said he was pushed “over the line” by newly released court documents that included allegations against him involving cocaine, escorts, and prostitution. He called the allegations “100 per cent lies”.
He said his integrity as a father and husband had been attacked, prompting him to “see red”.
“I acted on complete impulse in my remarks,” Ford said.
Hours earlier, Ford had drawn gasps from shocked reporters with his choice of words as he addressed the allegations about the oral sex remarks.
“I’ve never said that in my life to her, I would never do that,” Ford said on live television.
The father of two school- age children said he is “happily married” and used crude language to say he gets enough, satisfaction at home.
Ford also said he would take legal action against his former chief of staff, Mark Towhey and two other aides over their interviews with police that were detailed in court documents released Wednesday. Ford did not specify what the aides might have said that was untrue. He also said he would take action against a waiter who said he believed Ford and a woman were snorting cocaine in a private room at a restaurant.
“I have to take legal action against the waiter who said I was doing lines,” he said. “Outright lies, that is not true.”
The conservative Ford, 44, was elected in 2010 on a wave of discontent from Toronto’s outer suburbs over what voters considered wasteful spending and elitist, downtowncentric politics at City Hall. But his term has been consumed by revelations of bad behaviour, from the crack smoking to threatening to kill someone in a videotaped, incoherent rant.
The court documents released Wednesday are part of a drug case against Ford’s friend and occasional driver. Police interviews with Ford’s ex- staffers revealed their concerns about his drug use and drunk driving, with one staffer alleging another staffer saw Ford “impaired, driving very fast,” and frightening the female staffer who was in the car with him.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford makes a statement to the media outside his office at Toronto’s city hall after the release of a video. A new video surfaced showing Ford in a rage, using threatening words including ‘ kill’ and ‘ murder’. Ford said he was “extremely, extremely inebriated” in the video, which appeared Thursday on the ‘ Toronto Star’s’ website. The context of the video is unknown and it’s unclear who the target of Ford’s wrath is.