TORONTO – Toronto Mayor Rob Ford denied Friday that he smokes crack cocaine and said he is not an addict after a video purported to show him using the drug. Ford did not say whether he has ever used crack.
Ford did not take questions from reporters at a news conference at City Hall after close allies released a letter urging him to address the purported video, which apparently shows him smoking crack.
"I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine," he said before going on to criticize the media.
Ford has been ducking the media and his only comments before today on the scandal came last Friday, a day after the story broke, when he called the crack smoking allegations "ridiculous" and said that the Toronto Star was out to get him.
The alleged video has not been released publicly and its authenticity has not been verified. Reports on gossip website Gawker and in the Toronto Star claimed it was taken by men who said they had sold the drug to Ford. The Associated Press hasn't seen the video.
"It is most unfortunate, very unfortunate, that my colleagues and the great people of this city have been exposed to the fact that I've been judged by the media without any evidence," Ford said.
Ford said he had kept quiet on the advice of lawyer.
City Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker said he believes the reports and believes Ford's tenure is over. He said he was profoundly disappointed in the mayor's statement.
"I don't believe the mayor," he said. "He should resign and then go seek help."
De Baeremaeker said he's observed erratic behavior from the mayor.