Ford, who has become a staple of late-night punch lines since
he admitted in November that he had smoked crack cocaine while
in a "drunken stupor", defended Bieber on Thursday during an
interview on a Washington, D.C., radio show called Sports
"Well, you know what, he's a young guy," said Ford, an avid
football fan who is regular guest on the sports show.
"At 19 years old, I wish I was as successful as he was. He's 19
years old, guys. Think back to when you were 19."
Ford made the comment after one of the hosts call Bieber
"Canada's worst export."
Asked if he was a fan of Bieber's music, Ford said his tastes
leaned more toward classic rock acts such as Led Zeppelin, the
Rolling Stones, and the Eagles.
"I'm 45 years old, so there's a big difference here," he said.
Bieber was charged on Wednesday with assaulting a limousine
driver in Toronto in December. The singer's Canadian lawyer said
in a statement that Bieber is not guilty.
Last week, Bieber was charged with driving under the influence
in Miami after police say he was caught drag racing a rented
Miami Beach police said Bieber told them he had taken a
prescription medicine, smoked marijuana and consumed alcohol.
Bieber has pleaded not guilty to those charges.
Ford, who is running for re-election as the mayor of Canada's
largest city, also faced fresh controversy on Wednesday after
his sister's former boyfriend filed a lawsuit alleging Ford had
conspired to have him threatened and beaten while in prison.
Asked about the lawsuit on the radio show, Ford declined to
comment, saying the matter was before the courts. Ford's lawyer
said the allegations were false and irresponsible.
(Reporting by Cameron French;
additional reporting by Randall Palmer in Ottawa; editing by
Jeffrey Hodgson; and Peter Galloway)
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