Lifestyle & Belief

Toronto mayor Rob Ford avoids questions about video purporting to show him smoking crack cocaine


Toronto mayor Rob Ford in happier times, waving the pan american flag during the Closing Ceremony of the XVI Pan American Games at the Omnilife Stadium on October 30, 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico.


Dennis Grombkowski

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has avoided questions about a video purportedly showing him smoking crack cocaine.

The video, reported by the Toronto Star, has not been released publicly nor authenticated.

However Ford's political allies have joined rivals in calling for further comment.

Reports claim it was taken by men who claimed they had sold the drug to Ford, the Associated Press reported.

Yet so far no news agency had expressed interest in paying the $200,000 being asked by group of Somalis for the 90-second cellphone video that appears to show Ford, sitting in a chair, inhaling from what appears to be a glass crack pipe.

The Star and gossip website Gawker said the video was shown to them by a drug dealer who had been trying to sell it for a six-figure sum.

John Cook wrote on Gawker:

Rob Ford, Toronto's conservative mayor, is a wild lunatic given to making bizarre racist pronouncements and randomly slapping refrigerator magnets on cars. One reason for this is that he smokes crack cocaine. I know this because I watched him do it, on a videotape. He was f---ing hiiiiigh.

Asked about the video last Friday, the mayor of Canada's largest city last Friday would say only that the allegations were "ridiculous" and "another story with respect to the Toronto Star going after me."

On Tuesday, as council voted against his plans to build a full-service casino in the heart of Canada's largest city, Ford again avoided any contact with reporters, Reuters wrote.

He made a speech in council on Tuesday, but only spoke about a casino issue.

Meanwhile, In Ottawa on Tuesday, the leader of the federal Liberal Party of Canada, Justin Trudeau decried Ford’s alleged use of an anti-gay slur against him in the video, calling it "reprehensible and unacceptable."