POLITICS

Rob Ford Crack Cocaine Denials: A History

11/05/2013 04:17 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
TORONTO - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted Tuesday he had used crack cocaine and that there is a video showing him "probably" smoking "something," though he said he didn't lie when questioned in the past about alleged drug use. Here's a history of some of the denials surrounding the alleged crack video scandal:

May 16 - The U.S. website Gawker and the Toronto Star publish reports that a video appearing to show Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine is being shopped around by a group of men allegedly involved in the drug trade.

May 17 - Speaking to reporters outside his house, Ford calls the allegations "ridiculous" but doesn't elaborate. Later at city hall, he says: "It's another story with respect to the Toronto Star going after me and that's all.'' Ford's lawyer Dennis Morris calls the reports "false and defamatory'' and tells the Star it's impossible to tell what a person is smoking by watching the video.

May 22 - The mayor's councillor brother, Doug Ford, says his brother has told him the reports are "untrue" and he believes him. He insists the mayor has fully addressed the allegations and asks the media to stop "harassing" his family.

May 24 - Ford breaks his silence with a 3 1/2-minute speech. "I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine. I cannot comment on a video that I have never seen or does not exist," he says. He adds: "It is most unfortunate, very unfortunate, that my colleagues and the great people of this city have been exposed to the fact that I have been judged by the media without any evidence.'' Ford then leaves without taking any questions.

May 26 - On his weekly radio show on Newstalk 1010, Ford says he's "moving forward" from the allegations and plans to run for re-election. He attacks the media for how they've covered the growing scandal, calling them "a bunch of maggots."

May 28 - Ford says he "can't comment" on a report that suggests two of his closest staffers discussed locating the alleged crack video.

May 30 - The Toronto Star alleges Ford told senior aides not to worry about the alleged video because he knew where it was. The mayor refuses to comment, but says he won't step down. Doug Ford accuses the paper of making a "false accusation" to "keep the story alive.''

June 13 - Toronto police raid several homes including an apartment building where reports have said the alleged video was located. Police Chief Bill Blair won't say if there's any connection to Ford, and the mayor says he has no information on the issue.

June 15 - Reports in the Star and The Globe and Mail say two of the suspects arrested in the raid also appear with Ford in a widely publicized photograph connected to the alleged crack video scandal. Ford has said he poses for photos with "everybody."

Aug. 18 - The Star says two of Ford's associates tried to obtain the alleged video after the allegations surfaced. Doug Ford dismisses it as "just another attack" by the paper.

Oct. 2 - Ford says he's surprised and shocked that Alexander "Sandro" Lisi, a man he considers a friend, was arrested on drug charges the day before. "He's a friend, he's a good guy and I don't throw my friends under the bus,'' Ford says.

Oct. 31 - According to a police document, the alleged video was the focus of a drug investigation that led to Lisi's arrest. The released document also indicates Ford's friends and former staffers were concerned Lisi was "fuelling" Ford's alleged drug use. Police Chief Bill Blair announces police have obtained a video consistent with media reports of the alleged crack video, but says there are no reasonable grounds to charge the mayor. Ford says he won't step down. "I think everybody's seen the allegations against me today. I wish I could come out and defend myself. Unfortunately I can't because it's before the courts and that's all I can say right now. I have no reason to resign. I'm going to go back and return my phone calls. I'm going to be out doing what the people elected me to do and that's save taxpayers money and run a great government.''

Nov. 3 - Ford makes a public apology on his radio show, admitting he has occasionally been drunk in public but leaving unanswered questions about the alleged crack video. "I'm the first one to admit I am not perfect, I have made mistakes. Unfortunately, I cannot change the past, I can just move forward and learn from the past, which, I assure you, I'm doing.''He then urges the police chief to release the video, saying he'll then do his best to explain what's on it.

Nov. 4 - The mayor takes to the airwaves again to repeat his apology for public drunkenness and texting while driving. On the drug question: "I'm not an alcoholic, I'm not a drug addict,'' he says on AM640.

Nov. 5 - "Yes! I've smoked crack cocaine!" the mayor tells reporters. "Am I (an) addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors." He adds: "I wasn't lying. You didn't ask the correct questions. No, I'm not an addict and no I do not do drugs."

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