Toronto Mayor Rob Ford announced Wednesday night that he is stepping down from his duties to seek help for substance abuse issues as another video of him allegedly smoking crack cocaine comes to light.
The video, which was reportedly filmed this past Saturday morning at Ford’s Sister’s apartment, was revealed in a story by the Toronto Globe And Mail. The paper alleges that the video was taken by a “self-professed drug dealer” and shows Ford “taking a drag from a long copper-coloured pipe, exhaling a cloud of smoke and then frantically shaking his right hand.”
Stills from the video, which the Globe And Mail say is only one of a package of three, have been released. While the paper stated that two of their reporters had viewed the video, they could not verify what substance, if any, was in the pipe. The paper declined to purchase the video, which the owner attempted to sell for “at least six figures.”
The Toronto Star, in a related report published Thursday, alleged that witnesses observed Ford using crack cocaine on March 15 and on a second night in April at Toronto’s Muzik nightclub. The paper also reports that Ford “became enraged” when he ran into pop star Justin Beiber at the club, who jokingly asked Ford “Did you bring any crack to smoke?” According to witnesses, Ford also allegedly stated “I am in over my head.”
In a statement released following the revelations, Ford acknowledged his struggles with alcohol, and announced that he would be immediately stepping down from his re-election campaign and mayoral duties.
“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.”
“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.”
Dennis Morris, Ford’s criminal lawyer, called the video into question, specifically pointing out the nature of the attempted sale.
“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.”
Mayor Ford is no stranger to criticism over his alleged drug and alcohol abuse. Ford gained international notoriety last year when a cell phone video was released that appeared to show him smoking crack cocaine. After initially denying the allegations, Ford eventually admitted to smoking crack while in office.
Photo via Gawker