Toronto mayor Rob Ford says a video supposedly showing him smoking crack doesn’t exist.
Speaking on a weekly radio show he hosts with his brother, city council member Doug Ford, the mayor said the allegations that he smoked crack on tape ridiculous.
When a caller asked if the video was really him, Ford responded, “Number one: There’s no video, so that’s all I can say. You can’t comment on something that doesn’t exist.”
Ford went on to attack those reporting the allegations, saying that good journalists are “few and far between.”
“A bunch of maggots,” Ford said, though he quickly retracted the comment..
The scandal began when a group of Somali men involved in the Toronto drug trade reportedly began shopping the video. The men were asking a six-figure sum, media outlets reported.
Gawker writer John Cook said he was approached by a tipster claiming to possess the video of the conservative mayor smoking crack. To bolster the claim, the tipster sent a picture allegedly showing Ford hanging out with a group of young black men, one of whom would later be killed outside a Toronto nightclub in a gangland-style shooting.
The photo appears blurry and taken in the dark, but Gawker compared it to another photo of Rob Ford from the National Post where he is wearing the same sweatshirt, concluding that the two appear to be the same.
Cook, who flew to Toronto to view the supposed Rob Ford crack video, said it seemed legitimate. He wrote:
“Here is what the video shows: Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto, is the only person visible in the frame. Prior to the trip, I spent a lot of time looking at photographs of Rob Ford. The man in the video is Rob Ford. It is well-lit, clear. Ford is seated, in a room in a house. In one hand is a a clear, glass pipe. The kind with a big globe and two glass cylinders sticking out of it. In the other hand is a lighter.”
Soon after the news broke, a lawyer retained by Ford, Dennis Morris, called Gawker’s report “false and defamatory.” Both Gawker and the Star noted that there was no way to verify the video.
While Rob Ford has vehemently denied that there is a video of him smoking crack, The Associated Press pointed out that he hasn’t said whether he’s used the drug or not.