POLITICS

Rob Ford Swears Off Alcohol Again, Denies Jamaican Patois Rant Was Offensive

01/23/2014 12:03 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 12:59 EST
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Rob Ford has once again sworn off alcohol.

The Toronto mayor was captured on video Monday ranting incoherently and swearing in Jamaican patois at a fast-food restaurant.

Ford, who vowed he was done with alcohol after admitting to smoking crack cocaine in a drunken stupor, conceded this week he had been drinking the night the bizarre video was recorded.

At city hall on Wednesday, Ford acknowledged the "minor setback" but did not apologize for his actions, telling journalists he is entitled to a private life.

"We all experience these difficult bumps in life," he said.

In an interview with The Toronto Sun's Joe Warmington, Ford said he is "definitely" done with booze — but sees no need to say sorry to Torontonians for the embarrassing incident that made headlines around the world.

"I have no excuse, but I am not apologizing for it," he said.

Ford also refused to address a second video that appears to show him meeting with Alexander Lisi, an alleged drug dealer out on bail.

But perhaps the most revealing part of Warmington's story was when Ford again addressed the controversy of speaking in Jamaican patois.

Earlier this week, Ford denied the language he used in the video was offensive.

"If I speak that way, that's how I speak with my friends," he said.

Councillor Michael Thompson, who is of Jamaican descent, told reporters the video left him "numb."

The mayor told the Sun he didn't mean to be derogatory and was just kidding around.

"I have a lot of Jamaican friends. I am from Rexdale. I coached football. Of course, I am close with a lot of Jamaican people and this is how we talk to each other," he said.

But this is not the first time Ford has been accused of being racially insensitive.

According to court documents released in November, the Toronto mayor allegedly called a cab driver a "Paki" during a night of heavy drinking on St. Patrick’s Day, 2012. Ford also, allegedly, tossed business cards at him and made mocking language sounds at the driver. None of the accusations have been proven in court.

And in 2008, when he was still a city councillor, Ford famously said "Oriental people work like dogs" and that they're "slowly taking over."

Though he initially refused to apologize, Ford did eventually retract those statements.

Ford has already filed his papers to run for re-election. He has been working out since the crack scandal erupted this fall and has reportedly lost about 40 pounds.

It's clear he believes a healthier lifestyle will be crucial to his campaign.

"The only way people are going to respect me, to bring back my image, is if I lose weight," he told The Sun just last week. "The rest falls into place."

But Ford — and his family members — have argued he does not need to go to rehab to deal with drug or alcohol issues.

Toronto voters head to the polls on October 27.

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