Warning: Language in video may offend
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has confirmed that a video that shows him drunk, slurring and swearing in public is real and was shot on Monday night, some two months after Ford swore he had stopped drinking alcohol and doing drugs.
A second video has since appeared online, apparently showing Ford with Alexander Lisi, a Ford friend who was charged with extortion and trafficking marijuana in a police investigation that rocked city hall last year.
The first video of Ford appeared on YouTube, purporting to show the mayor in Steak Queen, a Rexdale restaurant, speaking in a Jamaican accent. The one-minute video is hard to understand. It is shot by someone clearly trying to hide his or her cell phone. Ford's words are largely incomprehensible.
In one instance, the conversation seems to touch on a game of "counter surveillance" Ford claims he is playing with someone. It seems Ford is referring to Police Chief Bill Blair, whom Ford has criticized for launching an expensive investigation into his personal life and alleged connections to the underworld.
"He's hiding here, I'ma hide here," he says, gesticulating wildly. He goes on to call Blair a "c---sucker."
According to the YouTube user who posted the video, it was reportedly recorded Monday night. Ford appears to be wearing a similar outfit in an interview that aired on CityNews on Monday.
Ford addressed reporters Tuesday afternoon and admitted the video was real, and that it was new. “I was with some friends and what I do in my personal life with my personal friends... it has nothing to do with you guys,” he said, according to CTV News.
Ford had claimed he hasn't touched drugs or alcohol since November, when he embarked on an intense exercise regime. A recent profile in the Toronto Sun suggests Ford has lost 40 pounds during that time. Ford has admitted that ensuring his sobriety and maintaining his health are vital ahead of the October election. In regards to last night's incident, Ford admits that he was drinking a "little bit," Reuters reports.
As the video made its way around city hall on Tuesday, several councillors expressed disappointment in the mayor. Coun. Michael Thompson said he was disappointed the mayor would speak and curse in a Jamaican accent.
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The Toronto Star's Daniel Dale said on Twitter that Coun. Doug Ford said it was definitely Ford in the video, but that it couldn't have been recorded on Monday.
Ford was photographed at the Muzik nightclub last week but claimed he didn't drink during his appearance.
On Monday, thousands of emails sent between members of Ford's staff during the early weeks of the crack video scandal were obtained by reporters. Those emails detail a frenetic time in the Mayor's Office.
A second video posted to YouTube on Tuesday is brief and captures only Ford sitting with another man at a table inside Steak Queen earlier in the night. Ford appears sober at the time, and the YouTube user says he wasn't drinking.
The man Ford is sitting with appears, but is not confirmed, to be Lisi. Lisi was arrested as part of Project Brazen 2, an investigation into possible connections between Ford and a group of Etobicoke drug dealers. Police documents suggest Lisi, an occasional driver, may have been providing drugs to Ford.
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