News World ‘Crack mayor’ caught out

‘Crack mayor’ caught out

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A new video has surfaced showing Toronto’s scandal-plagued mayor – who pledged to stay off alcohol after admitting to smoking crack and binge drinking – in an apparent drunken stupor.

The roughly one-minute clip shot in a fast food restaurant depicts Rob Ford, dressed in a suit and tie, slurring his words, swearing and sometimes breaking into Jamaican patois.

Confronted by reporters, Ford acknowledged the footage was shot late on Monday and admitted he had been drinking.

“A little bit, yeah,” he said on Tuesday.

But he rejected a reporter’s question asking if he thought the video was offensive.

“No, I was with some friends and what I do in my personal life with my personal friends, that’s up to me,” he said.

“If I speak that way that’s how I speak with some of my friends. I don’t think it’s discriminative at all. I didn’t drive. It’s my own time.”

Ford has been mired in scandal for months. As well as his admitted crack use, he has been accused of unseemly behaviour and sexual harassment during a series of drunken rampages.

His troubles became public in May when the Toronto Star and US gossip website Gawker said they had been approached by drug dealers looking to sell a 90-second video clip showing the mayor smoking the drug.

Ford finally admitted in early November to having inhaled crack cocaine while drunk.

Stripped of most of his powers, he retains the mayor title but most of his duties have been transferred to his deputy, Norm Kelly.

In a series of interviews late last year, Ford denied he had an alcohol problem and even told Canadian broadcaster CBC he would never drink again.

But the new video provided fodder for Ford’s opponents.

“I believe that he is addicted to alcohol and/or drugs,” city councillor Paula Fletcher said. “And I think he’s got a real problem. I’ve said so before and I think this confirms it.”

Before Ford’s admission, his brother Doug, also a councillor, had said the clip was not shot on Monday.

“I’m sure it’s him but it wasn’t yesterday,” he said. “I haven’t seen the video but I know it wasn’t yesterday. I was talking to him last night.”

Asked if the mayor had given up drinking, he responded: “Yeah, 100 per cent.”