Toronto Mayor Rob Ford issued a statement late Wednesday night that explained he was taking a break from both his duties as mayor and his re-election campaign after a new video surfaced that allegedly shows him smoking crack cocaine.
“I have a problem with alcohol and the choices I have made while under the influence. I have struggled with this for some time,” Ford said in the statement, as quoted by Canada’s CBC. “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.”
The Toronto press reported Wednesday evening on several new audio and video recordings that show Ford acting erratically. The Toronto Sun obtained audio recorded Monday of Ford making lewd comments about another mayoral candidate while drunk at a bar, while the Globe and Mail reported on a video recorded Saturday that allegedly shows Ford smoking crack cocaine out of a metal pipe in his sister’s basement.
“I have tried to deal with these issues by myself over the past year,” Ford’s statement continued. “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.”
The Globe and Mail didn’t purchase the video that allegedly shows Ford smoking crack cocaine from the drug dealer who was shopping the tape around, but it did post screenshots here. The newspaper couldn’t verify that the substance in the pipe was crack cocaine and Ford’s criminal lawyer disputed the authenticity of the tape.
“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,” Dennis Morris told the Globe and Mail.
This post has been updated.