The enigmatic wife of controversial Toronto Mayor Rob Ford doesn’t think members of the media are "maggots," as her husband claimed (and apologized for) weeks ago.
In fact, Renata Ford told the Toronto Sun, in a rare and seemingly impromptu interview over the weekend, she feels no animosity toward the reporters who follow her husband’s every move and often lurk in front of her home.
"I kind of feel sorry for them," she told the Sun’s Joe Warmington. "I look out the window sometimes at 6:30 a.m. and I see them. Sometimes it’s raining."
Mrs. Ford told the newspaper she bears no ill will toward reporters, saying: "They have a job to do and I know that."
And in perhaps the most fascinating moment in the story, Mrs. Ford shed light on how her eight-year-old daughter and five-year-old son are dealing with the media circus in recent weeks.
"They are used to the reporters," she said. "They just think they are all there because they really love their father."
For those still unaware, Mayor Ford is alleged to have been caught on a cellphone video smoking what appears to be crack cocaine but has denied the claims.
Very little is known about Renata Ford, who has stayed out of the public eye since her husband became mayor of Canada’s largest city in 2010.
A Toronto Life story from 2011 described her as an "invisible wife" and the first mayoral spouse about whom virtually nothing is known, including age, background and occupation.
In 2008, Rob was charged with assault after an incident with his wife in their Etobicoke home, but the charges were later dropped.
Police were again called to the Ford home on early Christmas morning in 2011. According to the Toronto Star, Ford’s mother-in-law called the police before 5 a.m. to report the mayor had been drinking and was taking his kids to Florida against the wishes of his wife. There were no charges laid and Renata Ford’s father later told the newspaper the call was a mistake.
In a rare discussion about his family life with Maclean’s magazine in 2010, Ford said his wife "supports him 100 per cent," even when things get ugly.
"She says, ‘Ignore all that stuff.’ I feel bad because sometimes, you know, it’s embarrassing for the kids and for her. People read stuff about us. But it doesn’t bother her. She knows deep down we’re good people," he said. "I’ve never yet met a family that doesn’t have their problems. I never yet met a perfect family. Everyone’s got a problem with their brother, their sister, their mother, their father, their aunt, their uncle. You can ask anybody in this world and they could tell you a problem in their family. It’s just mine are more exposed than others, right? I live in the fishbowl."