Toronto’s disgraced mayor, who has admitted to smoking crack and binge drinking, said he’s “not perfect” and takes full responsibility for the embarrassment he’s caused.
But, in interviews with US broadcasters, a defiant Rob Ford — who on Monday was stripped of most of his remaining powers — disputed he has an alcohol problem.
“I’ve embarrassed not just myself, my family, my friends, my supporters, the whole city,” Ford told NBC’s Today show. “I take full responsibility for that. We’ve all made mistakes . . . I’m not perfect.”
However, when asked if he was in an alcohol treatment programme, the mayor said: “No, I have a weight issue. Have been training every day.”
In remarks to ABC’s “Good Morning America” show, he pledged to reform his behaviour, but noted that “talk is cheap”.
“Come back in five months. If you don’t see a difference, you can say, Rob, I don’t believe you,” he said. “Go take a drug test or urine test or alcohol test. No problem.”
In the latest chapter of an ugly, embarrassing saga in Canada’s biggest city and economic hub, Ford on Monday was largely reduced to a figurehead by the city council — but he again refused to step down.
Ford has spoken of taking court action and said the only judgment he should face is that of voters at the ballot box next year.
“This is going to be outright war,” said the mayor, who has faced a swell of outrage over a litany of misdeeds, both admitted and alleged, since police revealed they had video footage of him smoking crack. Ford admitted he had smoked the drug and apologised for his antics, including what he described as his many “drunken stupors”.
New allegations of misconduct and his lewd remarks in denying sexual harassment claims deepened the scandal, prompting widespread calls for his resignation. However, Ford said he had not touched alcohol in three weeks and vowed he would never drink again.
Debate over the motion to curb the mayor’s powers was marked by rowdy outbursts and argumentative to-and-fro between councillors and Ford’s dwindling band of supporters.
At one point the mayor rushed across the room and, in the process, knocked over Councillor Pam McConnell, a grandmother, leaving her with a bruised lip.
The mayor later apologised for what he said was a complete accident.
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