TORONTO mayor Rob Ford has said a video which supposedly shows him smoking crack cocaine does not exist and has vowed to seek re-election next year, attacking the media as a “bunch of maggots.”
The mayor of Canada’s largest city, speaking on a weekly radio show he hosts with his brother Doug, a city council member, reiterated that the allegations are ridiculous, but he still has not said whether he has ever used crack.
The video has not been released publicly and its authenticity has not been verified. Reports on the gossip website Gawker and in the Toronto Star last week claimed it was taken by men who said they had sold the drug to Ford.
The Star reported that two journalists had watched a video that appears to show Ford, sitting in a chair, inhaling from what appears to be a glass crack pipe.
The Star said it did not obtain the video or pay to watch it. Gawker and the Star said the video was shown to them by a drug dealer who had been trying to sell it for a six-figure sum.
When asked by a caller to the show if it was him in the video, Ford responded, “Number one: There’s no video, so that’s all I can say. You can’t comment on something that doesn’t exist.”
Ford called the allegations false and said good journalists were “few and far between”.
“A bunch of maggots,” Ford said, quickly adding that he shouldn’t have said that.
Ford has refused to take questions from the media for more than a week. On Friday, he read a statement to reporters in which he denied using or being addicted to crack cocaine.
Critics of Ford have questioned whether the mayor has told the whole truth. Some have called on him to step down, but Ford vowed to seek re-election next year.
Doug Ford is also facing drug allegations after another leading Canadian newspaper on Saturday published the results of what it called a lengthy investigation into the Ford family’s past that revealed “a portrait of a family once deeply immersed in the illegal drug scene”.
The Globe and Mail, citing anonymous sources involved in the drug trade, alleged that the mayor’s older brother sold hashish for several years in the 1980s in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke, where the family grew up.
“I was not a dealer of hashish in the 1980s,” Doug Ford, 48, said on Sunday’s radio show.
The mayor has been embroiled in almost weekly controversies about his behaviour since being elected in 2010.
The Toronto Star reported earlier this year that the mayor was asked to leave a charity gala for wounded Canadian soldiers because he appeared intoxicated.
During his campaign for mayor, Rob Ford denied a 1999 arrest for marijuana possession in Florida, but later acknowledged it was true after he was presented with evidence.