On Tuesday, Rob Ford issued a public apology to his wife and family after admitting he smoked crack.
"I can't change the past and I can apologize to my family, my friends, my colleagues and the people of this great city," Ford told reporters on live TV.
Since the crack video scandal broke in May, Ford's wife Renata and their two children have remained largely out of sight, aside from brief appearances. On the night after police confirmed they have the infamous video, the Fords took their children, Stephanie, 8, and Douglas, 5, out trick-or-treating. The couple wore matching Leafs jerseys as they went from house to house, trailed by reporters and photographers.
Renata Ford has said little publicly about her husband since the crack controversy began, except for a rare interview with the Toronto Sun in June. She told the paper that she feels bad for the media who track her husband's every move.
"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."
Her low profile is nothing new. She has rarely been seen throughout her husband's political career, but was at Ford's side when he was elected mayor of Toronto in 2010, and also appeared at campaign stops (see video below):
While writing a Toronto Life story about Mrs. Ford in 2011, reporter Jan Wong said Ford's friends (and Ford himself) clammed up whenever she asked basic questions about Renata, such as her age or occupation.
The Fords' neighbours told Wong that Renata's parents are often at the Ford home to care for the children. A 2008 Globe and Mail story quoted neighbours as saying Renata Ford is rarely seen out of the house.
According to Toronto Life, Rob met the former Renata Brejniak at high school when they lived only blocks apart. They married at the exclusive St. George’s Golf and Country Club in 2000.
Rob Ford has acknowledged that his family has faced their own troubles. He told Maclean's in 2010 that "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."
In 1999, Renata was with Ford when he was pulled over by a Florida police officer who found a joint in his pocket.
“I had a few drinks at Valentine’s Day dinner with my wife. It was a mistake, I shouldn’t have been driving but I owned up to my mistake,” the National Post reported in 2010 after the incident became public.
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 that the mayor had been drinking and was taking his kids to Florida against the wishes of his wife. No charges were laid and Renata Ford’s father later told the newspaper the call was a mistake.
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