Rob Ford is taking a leave from campaigning and his duties as mayor of Toronto to get help after a second alleged crack video as well as a damning audio recording surfaced Wednesday evening.

Rob Ford left his Etobicoke home early Thursday morning accompanied by his nephew, who carried his luggage into his car. The mayor is reportedly heading to rehab, but it's not known where he is getting treatment or how long he will be gone for.

In a statement released by the mayor on Wednesday night, he said "this is one of the most difficult times in my life.

"I have a problem with alcohol, and the choices I have made while under the influence... I have tried to deal with these issues by myself over the past year. I know that I need professional help and I am now 100% committed to getting myself right."

The new video, obtained by The Globe and Mail, was secretly recorded Saturday in his sister Kathy’s basement. The clip reportedly shows Ford holding a pipe and taking a hit of an unknown substance.

In the audio recording described by the Toronto Sun as “raunchy”, Ford was caught on tape making off-colour comments about Councillor Karen Stintz: “I’d like to f**king jam her, but she doesn’t want … I can’t talk like this … I’m so sorry.”

In the mayor’s absence Thursday morning, mayoral rivals and family members weighed in on the latest news.

Karen Stintz called the comments “gross” in a press conference Thursday morning.

“I am disappointed by the misogynistic language used by Mayor Ford there is no place in this city for sexism or homophobia especially in the mayor's office,” she said.

Frontrunner candidate Olivia Chow said she was angry when she learned the latest Ford news.

“I was particularly angered by his offensive comments about women. This time, about Councillor Karen Stintz,” she said.

“It’s clear Mr. Ford is sick. He has serious substance abuse problems. I am sure everyone in our city joins me in extending hopes for him as a person to recover from this sickness.”

Meanwhile, Ford’s brother and advocate-in-chief Doug Ford held an emotional press conference where he said his brother is seeking professional help.

“As an older brother I am relieved that Rob has faced his problems and has decided to seek professional help,” Ford said. “This is not an easy thing for anyone to do, especially when you are the mayor.”

“He told me the hardest thing about this is knowing he let people down,” Ford said. “He let his family down, he let his friends down, he let his colleagues down, he let his supporters down and he let the people of Toronto down.”

Ford family matriarch Diane Ford had few words for the media when approached by reporters in the parking lot of a strip mall.

"I had no idea it was as serious as it was. But he doesn't live with me so I don't know what he does every minute of every day."

Late Wednesday, The Toronto Star published a story detailing the mayor's recent behaviour at Muzik, an exclusive Toronto club also frequented by Justin Bieber.

The Star report included interviews with eyewitnesses who said they had seen Ford doing lines of cocaine earlier this month. During another night out at Muzik in March, Ford had an exchange with Justin Bieber in a common area of the club. Bieber asked Ford jokingly if he had any crack, The Star reports. The mayor became angry and was ushered back to his party booth.

The Globe and Mail and Gawker both reported they were recently approached by a man claiming to have a video of Rob Ford smoking crack. Gawker reported that the man wanted six figures for the video. The website declined to pay.

The man did supply still images from the video to Gawker and The Globe. The Globe did not buy the video either but did pay $10,000 for the photos.

"The Globe felt it was a matter of public interest, and that readers needed to see what our reporters watched and reported on," editor in chief David Walmsley wrote in an editor's blog.

The audio recording obtained by the Toronto Sun was reportedly made on Monday night at Sullie Gorman's, an Etobicoke bar near the home of Ford's mother.

The mayor told The Toronto Sun that while he was at Sullie Gorman's that night, he doesn't remember saying any of the things on the recording. He said he wouldn't use the word "jam," saying "that's not my terminology".

“I am appalled (at what I said). I’d like to verify this (audio) first. Of course, I’m just joking around. Clearly, that’s what I mean," he said in an interview with the Toronto Sun's Joe Warmington.

The audio can be heard here:

Stintz commented on the remarks in the audio clip, saying, “The comments released tonight by Mayor Rob Ford are deeply offensive to everyone living in Toronto. That a sitting mayor would make such shocking and bigoted remarks is disgusting."

Ford, who made the admission about his leave of absence to the Toronto Sun on Wednesday, is reportedly ready to “deal with his issues,” according to the newspaper.

Read Ford's full statement below:

STATEMENT FROM MAYOR ROB FORD

For Immediate Release
April 30th, 2014

Tonight I want to take some time to speak from my heart to the people of Toronto. It’s not easy to be vulnerable and this is one of the most difficult times in my life. I have a problem with alcohol, and the choices I have made while under the influence. I have struggled with this for some time.

Today, after taking some time to think about my own well-being, how to best serve the people of Toronto and what is in the best interests of my family, I have decided to take a leave from campaigning and from my duties as Mayor to seek immediate help.
I have tried to deal with these issues by myself over the past year. I know that I need professional help and I am now 100% committed to getting myself right.

I love the people of Toronto, I love being your mayor and I hope you will continue to stand by me.

With the support of my family, friends, professionals and the people of Toronto, I will conquer this.

Please keep me and my family in your prayers during these difficult days ahead.

I just want to say to the people of Toronto that I thank you for your ongoing support and encouragement. I cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate it.

Mayor Rob Ford

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Rob Ford has left Toronto likely for a facility in the U.S., he flew to Chicago earlier today.

It is not known how long he will stay in rehab although his brother, Doug, said that Rob would be starting a 30-day stay at a facility.

Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly has assumed all the powers of the mayor's office but this isn't a radical change because Kelly had gained most of these powers in late 2013 due to a special council vote.

Ford will vacate the job of Mayor if he misses three consecutive council meetings and is not given special dispensation by council.

Mayoral candidates Olivia Chow and Karen Stintz have condemned Ford's behaviour but have not called for his resignation, saying that Toronto's voters will decide in the Fall.

Candidates John Tory and David Soknacki called for Ford's resignation on Wednesday night.

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Today 2:03 PM EDT
Where's Rob Ford Now?

Strashin also tweeted that Ford will begin 30 days of inpatient treatment.

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Today 1:13 PM EDT
Ford To Chicago

Ford's family business Deco labels has a branch office in Chicago.

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Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly addressed the media on Thursday.

"The events that have brought us together this morning should best be seen as a personal tragedy and not as a crisis of government," he said.

"I have agreed to assume the responsibilities of mayor. This transfer is effective immediately."

Kelly reiterates that the transfer of power shouldn't effect city business. He also wished the mayor well on his recovery.

He also explained that the mayor's staff would report to him but is not sure how long that arrangement would last.

"Finally, on behalf of myself, council and the Toronto public service, I want to convey my best wishes to Mayor Ford and his family."

When asked by reporters if anything has changed at City Hall, Kelly responded that "nothing much has changed."

Deputy Mayor Kelly had assume much of the powers of the mayor's office last year after Rob Ford was ousted by council.

City Manager Joe Penachetti also spoke briefly to media and reiterated that "It's business as usual" at City Hall. He also clarified that if Ford missed three council meetings (if he did not return by the July council meeting) his seat would become vacant unless council gave him permission.

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Not just Canadians, it seems that our friends in the US were also talking about Toronto's mayor.

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Today 11:10 AM EDT
Doug Ford Reacts

Doug Ford, Rob Ford's brother, made an emotional statement to media at City Hall.

"This is one of the toughest days of my life," Doug told assembled media at City Hall.

"In saying that I also have a sense of relief. as an older brother, I'm relieved that Rob has faced his problems."

"I encouraged my brother to take this time for himself and the sake of his family."

"Sometimes you need the help of your family, your friends and professionals."

"Rob was very emotional when he told me that the hardest thing about this is that he knows that he let people down,"

Doug continued his statement, growing increasingly emotional and even choking back tears.

"I love my brother. I'll continue to stand by my brother and his brother through this difficult journey. I ask the media, please respect their privacy, thank you."

Doug, who has often acted as a surrogate and attack dog for the mayor, took no questions from the media.

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Today 10:40 AM EDT
Olivia Chow Reacts

Mayoral candidate Olivia Chow spoke to media about the latest Rob Ford news.

"Last night when I heard the latest from Rob Ford, I was angry," she said.

"I was particularly angered by his offensive comments about women. This time, about Councillor Karen Stintz."

"It’s obvious that Mr. Ford is a sick man. It's obvious he has a serious drug addiction problem"

"As a mayor it's too late. He had his chance last year.... It's too late to take a break," Chow said to media on Thursday morning.

"The voters of this city will issue a verdict on him, and I'm sure we'll have a new mayor," she added.

"A mayor needs to treat everyone in this city with dignity, and he certainly has not done so." she said about the offensive comments the mayor made.

"It's too late. He had his chance. He should have [sought] help and stepped aside last year...tell the truth, and he didn't do so," she reiterated when asked about the mayor's drug use.

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Today 10:19 AM EDT
Rob Ford's mother reacts

Diane Ford also told CP24 that she thinks the media should leave her son alone.

"Please leave him alone. Leave us alone. He's doing what he needs to do, and that's good," she told CP24.

She also said that she now admits that her son has more than a weight problem.

Back in November, when Ford admitted that he had smoked crack cocaine, Diane said that her son's biggest issue was a weight problem.

“He’s got a huge weight problem and he knows that. And I think that is the first thing he has to attack,” she said.

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Reporters say that Doug Ford, Rob Ford's brother and a city councillor, will be speaking at 11:00 am ET. Mayor Rob Ford has not arrived at City Hall.

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Today 10:07 AM EDT
Karen Stintz Reacts

Mayoral candidate Karen Stintz reacts to Rob Ford news. The mayor insulted councillor Stintz in a drunken rant caught on tape, the Sun reported on Wednesday.

"Toronto is tired of being gripped in this sad, sad mess," she said.

"I am disappointed by the misogynistic language used by Mayor Ford. There is no place in this city for racism and homophobia," she added.

"The only people who can remove Rob Ford from office are the people of Toronto. I have faith in the people of this city. I continue to be inspired by this city. Rob Ford is not Toronto. We need to move forward."

"If Rob Ford was truly sorry, he would've apologized to me last night," Stintz responded when asked about the lewd comments the mayor made. "Rob Ford needs to get help," she added.

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Today 9:49 AM EDT
Today's Reactions

Karen Stintz to respond to Ford at 10:00 am ET.

Olivia Chow will respond at 10:30 am ET.

Doug Ford to speak at 1:00 pm ET.

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The Globe and Mail is reporting that Toronto Police want to investigate the latest Rob Ford video.

From their story:

“We investigate it from any sources, including media sources. So independent sources from the community and the media – we’ll investigate.”

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From Wednesday night.


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Today 9:40 AM EDT
Rob Ford and Bieber?

Not to be left out of the frenzy, the Toronto Star published a story that details a sordid weekend that Rob Ford had at Muzik night club.

Ford reportedly even had a run-in with pop star Justin Bieber.

Witnesses told the Star that Ford may have also ingested lines of cocaine.

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Today 9:36 AM EDT
Front Page News

Not surprisingly, the Rob Ford news made the front page of all the Toronto papers (and at least one American tabloid.)

The Sun, one of the papers with an exclusive last night, had this tongue in cheek cover:

rob ford cover

You can see more covers here.

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Today 9:30 AM EDT
Ford's statement

Mayor Rob Ford issued a statement Wednesday night about his temporary departure from the mayoral race.

STATEMENT FROM MAYOR ROB FORD
For Immediate Release
April 30th, 2014

Tonight I want to take some time to speak from my heart to the people of Toronto. It’s not easy to be vulnerable and this is one of the most difficult times in my life. I have a problem with alcohol, and the choices I have made while under the influence. I have struggled with this for some time.

Today, after taking some time to think about my own well-being, how to best serve the people of Toronto and what is in the best interests of my family, I have decided to take a leave from campaigning and from my duties as Mayor to seek immediate help.

I have tried to deal with these issues by myself over the past year. I know that I need professional help and I am now 100% committed to getting myself right.

I love the people of Toronto, I love being your mayor and I hope you will continue to stand by me.

With the support of my family, friends, professionals and the people of Toronto, I will conquer this.

Please keep me and my family in your prayers during these difficult days ahead.

I just want to say to the people of Toronto that I thank you for your ongoing support and encouragement. I cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate it.

Mayor Rob Ford

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Two mayoral candidates, John Tory and David Soknacki called on Rob Ford to resign after new drug allegations surfaced on Thursday.

"“Like Torontonians across the city, I am deeply disappointed by these revelations of Mayor Ford’s behaviour. For the good of the city, I call on Mayor Ford to resign,” Tory said.

Watch video of Tory's statement.

Soknacki's statement was more blunt:

"Rob Ford is not just a bad mayor. He is also a disgrace. Toronto can’t wait until October 27th. It is time for Rob Ford to resign, immediately."

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Today 9:24 AM EDT
The Globe's Photo
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Today 9:23 AM EDT
What's Happened So Far

The Toronto Sun and the Globe and Mail added a new chapter to the Rob Ford saga on Wednesday night.

The Sun reported that Rob Ford would be stepping out of the mayoral race to go into rehab. The incident that precipitated this sudden move was reportedly a drunken rant caught on tape where Ford made lewd comments about councillor and Mayoral candidate Karen Stintz, racist slurs and disparaged Ontario Conservative leader Tim Hudak.

The Globe's exclusive was equally damning. The paper's reporters said that it had seen another video of Ford smoking an unknown substance. Screenshots of the video were published online and in print.

Our roundup is here

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