Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted to reporters at City Hall Tuesday that he has smoked crack cocaine.

UPDATE: At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Ford again apologized for his behaviour but vowed to stay on as mayor. "I was elected to do a job and that's exactly what I'm going to continue doing," he said. Read the full transcript of Ford's speech.

"Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine. But do I? Am I an addict? No," he said. "Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago."

Listen to Ford's confession below

The stunning admission comes months after the leader of Canada's largest city denied using the drug and being an addict.

Ford had been under intense scrutiny after The Toronto Star and Gawker reported in May on the existence of a video that they said appeared to show the mayor smoking crack. Ford suggested the video did not exist.

Ford reiterated on Tuesday his desire to see the release of a video that is currently in possession of Toronto police, allegedly showing him smoking the drug.

"Yes, I've made mistakes, all I can do now is apologize and move on,'' the mayor said.

"You guys kept referring to alcohol ... there's been times when I've been in a drunken stupor. That's why I want to see the tape. I want everyone in the city to see this tape."

The mayor also denied he has been lying for months.

"I wasn't lying," he told reporters. "You didn't ask the correct questions. No, I'm not an addict and no I do not do drugs.''

Ford later told The Toronto Sun that he is not taking a leave of absence or stepping down.

"I feel like I got 1,000 pounds off my back," Ford told the reporter. "I felt I had to say it. It is what is. I feel two inches high right now but I needed to deal with it."

Legal experts, however, have said Ford has no right to call for the video to be made public given that it is now evidence in the extortion case against his friend and occasional driver, Alexander (Sandro) Lisi.

Lisi, 35, has been charged with extortion in relation to the alleged video.

A spokeswoman for Toronto police wouldn't say how Ford's comments would impact an ongoing police investigation, saying only that "the information will be passed on to investigators."

Ford's unexpected statement left many people stunned.

The premier of Ontario said she was concerned that Ford's personal issues were making it difficult for the business of the city to carry on in a normal way.

"We want municipalities to be able to function and there is a huge amount of turmoil at city hall right now," said Kathleen Wynne.

"The police service and the judicial system have to take action. But the mayor will have to make his decisions about what is appropriate right now."

Justice Minister Peter MacKay told Ottawa reporters "the mayor needs to get help."

At city hall, some who worked with Ford said his latest admission was a clear sign that he needed to step back from the mayor's chair.

A member of Ford's executive committee — which works closely with the mayor — said some councillors were bringing a motion against the mayor that could strip him of some of his powers.

"He needs to take a break, he needs to consider what's best for him, what's best for this city," said Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong.

"I'm concerned that there may be more information coming out that's going to continue distracting important business of the city."

Others were more blunt in their assessment of the mayor.

"Right now he does not have a shred of credibility, given what he has said," said Coun. Jaye Robinson.

"The real issue is getting the mayor to address his health issues, step aside, take a leave of absence, as I've been saying for six long months."

Robinson added that Ford's often contradictory statements over the last few months have taken a toll on Toronto and its international brand.

"It's a circus and if anybody is saying it's not affecting the business of the city they're not being honest," she said. "We've also become the laughing stock of North America, if not the world."

Ford's revelation on Tuesday splashed the Toronto scandal on the front pages of many international news sites, with BBC, CNN and the New York Times all reporting the mayor's latest about-face.

Despite the pressure on Ford to step down, municipal law makes no provision for his forced removal from office unless he's convicted and jailed for a criminal offence. The province has said it has no plans to change the law.

With files from The Canadian Press


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There will be plenty of council fallout. Earlier today, two councillors proposed a motion that would strip Ford of many of his powers.

Ford could also face resignations from councillors on his executive committee or members of his staff could also resign.

Ford's legal battles have also not ended. Wire taps from Project Traveller and Brazen 2 could add to Ford's woes if they are released to the public.

Toronto's City Hall reporters will have plenty to do in the coming days.

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rob ford

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Mayor left the press conference. But journalists now trying to get reactions from councillors.

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"With today's announcement, I know I embarrassed everyone in this city and I will be forever sorry.

There is only one person to blame for this and that is myself. I know admitting my mistake was the right thing to do and I feel like a thousand pounds have been lifted off my shoulders.

I can't explain how difficult this was to do. I hope, I hope that nobody, that nobody has to go through what I have gone through. I know what I did was wrong and admitting it was the most difficult and embarrassing thing I have ever had to do.

Folks, I have nothing left to hide. I would do anything, absolutely anything, to change the past. But the past is the past and we must move forward. I wanna be clear, I want to be crystal clear to every single person, these mistakes will never, ever, ever happen again. I kept this from my family, especially my brother Doug, my staff, my council colleagues, because I was embarrassed and ashamed.

To the residents of Toronto, I know I have let you down and I can't do anything else but apologize and apologize. And I'm so sorry. I know, I know I have to regain your trust and your confidence.

I love my job, I love my job, I love this city, I love saving taxpayers money, I love being your mayor.

There is important work that we must advance and important decisions that must be made. For the sake of the taxpayers of this great city, for the sake of the taxpayers, we must get back to work immediately.

We must keep Toronto moving forward. I was elected to do a job and that's exactly what I'm going to continue doing. In 2010, I made a commitment to Toronto voters I have delivered on that commitment and I will continue to deliver on the commitment of saving taxpayers money.

But they have a choice, we live in a democracy, and on October 27 of 2014, I want the people of this great city to decide whether they want Rob Ford to be their mayor.

Again, I sincerely, sincerely, sincerely apologize. God bless Toronto. Thank you very much."

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"I will be forever sorry. There is only one person to blame for this, and that is myself. I know that admitting my mistake..."

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We'll be tweeting highlights and quotes as they come.

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"Let's get our popcorn and let's stand by," says Mayor Ford's lawyer on CP24. He also says the mayor loves his job and likely won't leave.

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According to reporters there, mayor will be speaking soon.

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Reporters are saying that the mayor will speak in 10 minutes. They have been waiting for almost an hour.

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Politicians from both sides of the political spectrum reacted to Rob Ford's big news.

" “As a human being I think that the mayor of Toronto needs to get help.” — Peter MacKay

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Vice magazine is reporting that Rob Ford's office hired a hacker to try to erase the crack video.

From the story:

In late July, an anonymous source approached VICE with claims that he had been hired by Amin Massoudi, the communications director for troubled Toronto mayor Rob Ford, to hack into a website.

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Rob Ford has been in the news for years leading up to today's confession. Here's a timeline.

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The hashtag #InADrunkenStupor became a popular meme minutes after Ford made his confession earlier today. Check out some of the best tweets.

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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford dropped a bombshell on Tuesday when he announced that he had smoked crack cocaine.

His statement:

"Exactly, yes I have smoked crack cocaine. But no, do I? Am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors. Probably approximately about a year ago. I answered your question. You asked the question properly, I'll answer it. Yes, I've made mistakes, all I can do now is apologize and move on."

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Also on HuffPost:

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  • Lisi Meets Ford At Soccer Game

    On June 26, 2013, police were using plane and ground surveillance to follow Alexander Lisi. They tracked him to a kids' soccer game, where he met Ford and then dropped off a white plastic bag in the mayor's Escalade.

  • The Esso Meet

    On July 11, 2013, police obtained the CCTV footage from a gas station near Ford's home. The screengrabs from the footage show Ford entering the Esso and heading for the bathroom.

  • The Esso Meet

    Shortly afterwards, Lisi enters the gas station and is seen holding a manila envelope. After buying some drinks and chips, he leaves the gas station and walks along the passenger side of Ford's parked Escalade and out of frame.

  • Dry Cleaning?

    On July 16, 2013, police cameras watch as Lisi drops off a bag at Richview Cleaners. The documents note that a source has told police that "Lisi will deliver marihuana to the cleaners in bags or wrapped up in clothing."

  • Nighttime Visit

    On July 23, 2013, police cameras watch as Ford arrives at Lisi's home at 9:30pm. At 11:10pm, Lisi walks him back to his car and the mayor drives off.

  • Parking Lot Meeting

    On July 28, 2013, aerial surveillance cameras capture images of Lisi meeting with Ford in a school parking lot. Lisi gets into the mayor's car with a white plastic bag.

  • You're On Candid Camera

    Police documents show the mayor "walks to the treed area (where Lisi's vehicle is parked), urinates then returns to the driver's seat of the Escalade".

  • Garbage Pick-Up

    On Aug. 13, 2013, police watched as Lisi and Ford met in suburban Weston Wood Park, and stayed there for about an hour. After they left, police picked up a vodka bottle and a juice bottle.

  • Another Meeting

    On Aug. 14, 2013, CCTV cameras at a Petro Canada show Lisi meeting up with an unknown man and appearing to pass him something at the gas station pumps.

  • UP NEXT: Rob Ford Shoves Photographers

  • City of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, right, pushes members of the media off his property as he leaves his home in Toronto on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013.

  • City of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, right, pushes members of the media off his property as he leaves his home in Toronto on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013.

  • City of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, right, reacts to the media to get off his property as he leaves his home in Toronto on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013.

  • City of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, right, reacts to the media to get off his property as he leaves his home in Toronto on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013.

  • City of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford reacts to the media to get off his property as he leaves his home in Toronto on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013.

  • City of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford leaves his home in Toronto on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013.

  • Mayor Rob Ford talks to media at City Hall in Toronto on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. Ford says he has no reason to step down despite police confirmation that they have seized a video media have alleged appears to show him smoking crack cocaine.

  • Mayor Rob Ford talks to media at City Hall in Toronto on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. Ford says he has no reason to step down despite police confirmation that they have seized a video media have alleged appears to show him smoking crack cocaine.

  • Toronto Police Service released documents Thursday morning, Oct. 31, 2013 that show police surveillance photos of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (left) and Alexander Lisi, Ford's friend and occasional driver.

  • Toronto Police Service released documents Thursday morning, Oct. 31, 2013 that show police surveillance photos of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (left) and Alexander Lisi, Ford's friend and occasional driver.

  • City of Toronto police chief Bill Blair speaks to the media in Toronto on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013 regarding a recovered video file involving Mayor Rob Ford.

  • UP NEXT: The Best Photos From The Rob Ford Crack Scandal

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford at a press conference at City Hall in response to possible provincial funding cuts to the city.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford leaves after making an appearance at the raising of the Rainbow flag to kick off Pride Week festivities on the Podium roof at City Hall.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford takes in the Argo game in the stands at Varsity Stadium Toronto, June 20, 2013.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford takes in the Argo game in the stands at Varsity Stadium on June 20, 2013.

  • Mayor Rob Ford shares a laugh with General Richard Rohmer, left, and Chief Paul Raftis during speeches as Toronto Emergency Medical Services (EMS) celebrated the graduation of 40 new paramedics at EMS headquarters. Ford later ducked the media by leaving through a secured exit.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford steps off an art installation of the rooster bust at Nathan Phillips Square. The rooster is the Mayor's birth sign under the Chinese Zodiac. The Mayor unveiled 12 bronze animal heads by renown Chinese artists Ai Weiwei presented by AGO. The 12 sculptures are animal heads depicting the Chinese Zodiac.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford touches the nose of a new rat at City Hall. The Mayor unveiled 12 bronze animal heads by renown Chinese artists Ai Weiwei presented by AGO. The 12 sculptures are animal heads depicting the Chinese Zodiac.

  • A police officer from Toronto Police Integrated Gun and Gang Task Force picks up an assault rifle as police display guns seized during a series of raids for operation "Project Traveller" at a news conference in Toronto on Friday, June 14, 2013. Police say a violent gang which was terrorizing a northwest Toronto neighborhood has been dismantled following a series of raids targeting suspected drug and gun traffickers. One of the raids targeted an apartment complex where an alleged video appearing to show Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine was reported to be located. Police haven't said if Ford was in any way part of their year-long investigation.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford answers questions about the three new staffers he has hired at a news conference at city hall in Toronto on Friday, May 31, 2013.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford whistles as he walks to a meeting at city hall in Toronto on Thursday, May 30, 2013. More staffers are leaving the Toronto mayor's office as controversy swirls about a video that purportedly shows Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford emerges from his office holding slices of a birthday cake to offer to members of the media at city hall in Toronto on Tuesday May 28, 2013. The mayor is celebrating his 44th birthday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford attends an Executive Committee meeting at city hall in Toronto on Tuesday, May 28, 2013. This is Ford's first meeting with his executive committee since allegations of Ford's videotaped drug use surfaced earlier this month. Ford has denied the drug-use allegations, making a statement late last week after six members of his executive committee urged him to publicly address the allegations following a week of mostly silence on the issue. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford sits during a City council meeting at Toronto City Hall on Tuesday May 21, 2013. Ford ignored a crush of reporters waiting outside his city hall office this morning in the hopes he would address allegations that he was recorded on video appearing to smoke crack cocaine. (AP Photo/THE CANADIAN PRESS,Nathan Denette)

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford arrives at City Hall in Toronto amid allegations of crack cocaine use on Friday May 17, 2013, in Toronto. Published reports say a video appears to show Ford smoking crack cocaine. Ford called the allegations ridiculous. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford leaves his home on Friday, May 17, 2013, after published reports said a video appears to show Ford smoking crack cocaine. A report published Thursday night said the video is being shopped around by a group of men allegedly involved in the drug trade. The Toronto Star said, however, it had no way to verify the video. Ford called the allegations ridiculous. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

  • Mayor Rob Ford in Council Chambers talking to councillors about seniors and housing. Earlier today Toronto Police launched massive predawn raid, as part of Project Traveller, targeting guns and drugs, and focusing on the Toronto neighbourhood thats ground zero for the Mayor Rob Ford crack video scandal. (Vince Talotta/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • Mayor Rob Ford in Council Chambers talking to councillors about seniors and housing. Earlier today Toronto Police launched massive predawn raid, as part of Project Traveller, targeting guns and drugs, and focusing on the Toronto neighbourhood thats ground zero for the Mayor Rob Ford crack video scandal. (Vince Talotta/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • Mayor Rob Ford in Council Chambers talking to councillors about seniors and housing. Earlier today Toronto Police launched massive predawn raid, as part of Project Traveller, targeting guns and drugs, and focusing on the Toronto neighbourhood thats ground zero for the Mayor Rob Ford crack video scandal. (Vince Talotta/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • As city council debates whether or not the University of Toronto back campus field should have a heritage designation and be prevented from being converted to an artificial turf field for the Pan Am games, Rob Ford, Earl Provost and Doug Ford have an animated discussion on top of the Podium roof at City Hall. Ford is currently embroiled in a scandal after allegations surfaced that he was recorded on a cellphone video at this house smoking crack cocaine. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • As city council debates whether or not the University of Toronto back campus field should have a heritage designation and be prevented from being converted to an artificial turf field for the Pan Am games, Rob Ford, Earl Provost and Doug Ford have an animated discussion on top of the Podium roof at City Hall. Ford is currently embroiled in a scandal after allegations surfaced that he was recorded on a cellphone video at this house smoking crack cocaine. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • Mayor Rob Ford looks over Ontario Minor Football League standings while council breezes through a series of minor motions before the University of Toronto back campus field debate resumes at City Hall. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford looks at his tie during a city hall meeting. Today It was made public that Toronto City Councillor Jaye Robinson was fired from the mayor's executive committee. Ford is currently embroiled in a scandal after allegations surfaced that he was recorded on a cellphone video smoking crack cocaine. Robinson publicly urged Ford to take a leave of absence to deal with the scandal. (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Eugene Jones Jr., President and CEO of Toronto Community Housing, hold a press conference to discuss the ombudsman report on community housing at Old City Hall. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • Elena Johnson, 51, a resident at 15 Windsor Road, where Mayor Rob Ford was photographed with murder victim Anthony Smith and another shooting victim. The house is notorious for drug problems, according to people living in the area. Ford is currently embroiled in a scandal after allegations surfaced that he was recorded on a cellphone video at this house smoking crack cocaine. (Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • Reporters keep a watchful eye on the house which is all quiet.The house at 15 Windsor Road in Etobicoke where Mayor Rob Ford was allegedly photographed in relation to crack use is seen the morning after the Star published the address. June 6, 2013. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford tours the Dufferin Street bridge just south of Springhurst Avenue. The Mayor addressed the media about the closing of the bridge on June 12 due to safety concerns. It will be closed to traffic to allow for repairs. The bridge will still be open to pedestrians and cyclist. Ford is currently embroiled in a scandal after allegations surfaced that he was recorded on a cellphone video smoking crack cocaine and making offensive remarks (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • A man identified by friends and neighbours as Fabio Basso, a resident of 15 Windsor Road, in Etobicoke, the address where a photo showing Mayor Rob Ford with two shooting victims was taken. Ford is currently embroiled in a scandal after allegations surfaced that he was recorded on a cellphone video in front of this house smoking crack cocaine and making offensive remarks. (Toronto Star Archives/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • A woman identified by friends and neighbours as Elena Basso, a resident of 15 Windsor Road, in Etobicoke, the address where a photo showing Mayor Rob Ford with two shooting victims was taken. Ford is currently embroiled in a scandal after allegations surfaced that he was recorded on a cellphone video in front of this house smoking crack cocaine and making offensive remarks. (Toronto Star Archives/Toronto Star via Getty Images)