Reporters from the Toronto Star newspaper claim to have seen video of conservative Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking a drug that appears to be crack cocaine. A report in the Star published Thursday details the investigation of the video, conducted by reporters Robyn Doolittle and Kevin Donovan.
“Working with my colleague Robyn Doolittle over the last two months, I’ve been investigating Mayor Rob Ford and allegations that the mayor has a substance abuse problem of some kind,” Donovan explained in a video message.
In the process of the investigation, the two reporters had “an unusual meeting” in the back seat of a car behind an apartment complex.
“We were shown a shocking video which appears to be real,” said Donovan.
According to the Star, the video “appears to show Ford in a room, sitting in a chair, wearing a white shirt, top buttons open, inhaling from what appears to be a glass crack pipe.”
“I’m f—ing right-wing,” Ford appears to mutter at one point. “Everyone expects me to be right-wing. I’m just supposed to be this great.…” and his voice trails off. At another point he is heard calling Trudeau a “fag.” Later in the 90-second video he is asked about the football team and he appears to say (though he is mumbling), “they are just f—ing minorities.”
Ford’s attorney Dennis Morris contacted the website Gawker.com, which has been heavily promoting the story since Thursday afternoon. Morris wrote that the allegations are “false and defamatory” and that the website “will be held accountable.”
“Please govern yourself accordingly,” Morris wrote to Gawker’s John Cook.
Canadian Broadcasting Company Radio also spoke to Morris, who said that he doesn’t know whether the video of the mayor is real or not.
“I don’t know whether or not such a video exists, but I think it would be fair for the public to see such a video and make their own conclusions,” Morris said to CBC. “I can tell you he denies the allegations.”
UPDATE: The Washington City Paper reached out to former Washington, DC Mayor Marion Barry, who was arrested after being filmed smoking crack in an FBI sting 1990, for comment on the allegations against Ford. Barry replied that the two situations are not comparable.
“Unless he was entrapped by the government, it’s not similar,” Barry told the City Paper.
UPDATE: Looking slightly bleary-eyed, but smiling, Ford ignored reporters’ questions Friday morning.
Watch this video from CNN, broadcast May 17, 2013.
Watch video of the reporters describing what they saw, embedded below via the Toronto Star:
[image via Wikipedia.com]