After months of denying rumors, Toronto mayor Rob Ford confessed to smoking crack at an impromptu news conference yesterday (Nov. 5). While the threat of criminal prosecution has loomed over him the entire time, Ford stated he will not step down from his post.
The conference was held in Toronto’s City Hall amid a throng of reporters and protesters calling for the ouster of Ford. With several microphones and cameras thrust into his face, Ford sidestepped questions of the videotape but prompted the group to ask him if he’s ever used the drug.
A reporter asked: “Do you smoke crack c-caine?”
Ford answered, “Exactly. Yes, I have smoked crack c-caine. But no, am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors about a year ago. You asked a question, I answered your question properly.”
He added, “I’ve made mistakes. All I can do is apologize and move on. There’s been a couple of isolated incidents. There’s been times where I’ve been in a drunken stupor, that’s why I wanna see the tape.”
The tape Ford mentioned was highly coveted last spring, with the drug dealers who allegedly sold him the crack attempting to sell the video for $200,000. Gawker even held a crowd-funding event for the clip, offering a bunch of zany perks.
Toronto police say they have obtained the videotape, which possibly prompted Ford’s confession. And despite the mounting evidence and critical grumblings from the city council, Ford has said he will not resign at a more formal event later on Tuesday.
“I was elected to do a job and that’s exactly what I’m going to continue doing,” said an emotional Ford.
Toronto police are investigating the case and the city’s prosecutor may pursue criminal charges.
Check out Ford’s struggle faces, along with video of the press conference and other photos, in the gallery.