It took the emergence of a second video of Rob Ford smoking crack, but the Toronto mayor says he's finally going to seek treatment for his drug problem. On Wednesday night, the Globe and Mail revealed that two of its reporters have viewed a video that appears to show Ford smoking crack in his sister's basement. A man claiming to be a drug dealer says he secretly filmed the footage early Saturday morning. He's now shopping a package of three videos, and asking for "at least six figures." Meanwhile, the Toronto Sun has an audio recording that features Ford ordering booze, complaining about his wife Renata, and making lewd comments about mayoral candidate Karen Stintz at a bar on Monday night.
Like the first crack video, the footage of Ford's recent drug use has yet to be released, but the Globe and Mail posted screenshots that show Ford holding a pipe, along with this description:
[The video] shows Mr. Ford taking a drag from a long copper-coloured pipe, exhaling a cloud of smoke and then frantically shaking his right hand ... In one of the clips shown to The Globe and Mail on Wednesday, the mayor rapidly shifts his weight back and forth on the spot, talking into his cellphone and his right arm swinging at his side. When the camera pans around the room, a man that looks like Alessandro “Sandro” Lisi, the mayor’s former driver and an accused drug-dealing extortionist, can be seen in the background. Mr. Ford’s sister, Kathy, who has admitted in media interviews to being a drug addict, is sitting in front of her brother. In the last of three clips, Mr. Ford is holding the pipe and speaking to his sister.
The Sun reports that Ford was secretly recorded again on Monday night at the bar Sullie Gorman's, which is near his mother's home. "He was really wasted," said the witness. "And he was acting like a real ass." In the recording below, Ford says of his opponent Stintz, "I’d like to f-----g jam her, but she doesn’t want ... I can’t talk like this ... I’m so sorry." He adds, "I forgot there’s a woman in the house."
Less than an hour after the Globe and Mail asked Ford to comment, his lawyer announced that he's "ready to take a break" from his reelection campaign to "go get help." "He acknowledges he has a substance abuse problem and he wants to do something about it," Dennis Morris told the Associated Press. Ford initially denied that he'd used crack, then admitted that he smoked the drug in a "drunken stupor." He's repeatedly insisted that he's not an addict.
In a phone conversation posted by the Toronto Star, Morris suggested Ford's plans are still up in the air.
Morris was sure about one thing: Ford won't be dropping out of the mayoral election, which takes place in October. "Oh yeah, for sure. That's the whole point of [rehab]," Morris said when asked if Ford will still run. "He has to take a break to reenergize because he realizes he has flaws that have to be addressed. Oh yeah, he'd never in my eyes, think of quitting that race."
UPDATE: Rob Ford released this statement:
Tonight, I want to take some time to speak from my heart to the people of Toronto. It’s not easy to be vulnerable, and this is one of the most difficult times in my life.
I have a problem with alcohol and the choices I have made while under the influence. I have struggled with this for some time.
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.
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.
I love the people of Toronto, I love being your mayor and I hope you will continue to stand by me.
With the support of my family, friends, professionals and the people of Toronto, I will conquer this. Please keep me and my family in your prayers during these difficult days ahead.
I just want to say to the people of Toronto that I thank you for your ongoing support and encouragement. I cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate it.