Ford, who gained global notoriety after admitting to smoking crack
cocaine, said he would take a leave from his duties as mayor and
re-election campaign to seek immediate help.
"I have a problem with alcohol, and the choices I have made while
under the influence. I have struggled with this for some time," he
said in a statement released by his campaign team.
"I have tried to deal with these issues by myself over the past
year. I know that I need professional help and I am now 100 percent
committed to getting myself right. I love the people of Toronto, I
love being your mayor and I hope you will continue to stand by me."
Allegations about Ford's drug use began in May of last year, when
two media outlets said they had seen video of him smoking from what
appeared to be a crack pipe.
He initially said he did not smoke crack cocaine, before admitting
in November that he had done so. He said at the time it probably
happened "in one of my drunken stupors," but insisted he was not an
The Globe and Mail newspaper said on Wednesday that two of its
reporters had seen a new video of Ford taking a drag from a long
The story, citing a self-professed drug dealer, said the video was
secretly filmed early Saturday morning.
Ford's office and lawyer could not immediately be reached to comment
on the report. Reuters has not seen the video and cannot vouch for
NEW AUDIO RECORDING
Separately, the Toronto Sun newspaper reported on Wednesday that it
had obtained a new audio recording of Ford ranting and swearing in a
Toronto area bar. The recording includes lewd remarks about a rival
female candidate in the mayoral race.
[to top of second column]
Ford, who came to power in 2010 on a platform of cost-cutting and
low taxes, has billed himself as a champion of taxpayers and
But last year's revelation about crack use and his decision to
remain in office made headlines globally and drew ridicule from U.S.
late-night talk show hosts.
Ford pledged at the time that he would stay away from drugs and
In January, a video was posted online showing Ford ranting in a
Jamaican accent and slurring his words at a suburban eatery. He
conceded he had been drinking the night the video was shot, but
described it as a "minor setback" and said his personal life did not
interfere with his job.
Ford, who has been stripped of many of his powers by the city
council, had refused calls to step down and said he expects to be
returned to office in October's municipal elections.
(Additional reporting by Allison Martell;
editing by Ken Wills and
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