TORONTO – Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said Tuesday he didn't intend to suggest a Toronto Star reporter is a pedophile in a recent television interview.
Ford said it is "unfortunate that the word I did not say has been ascribed to me by the media but I wish to sincerely apologize."
Daniel Dale served Ford with a libel notice last week, demanding Ford apologize.
Ford, who admitted last month to smoking crack "in a drunken stupor," appeared on a Vision TV interview and accused Dale of taking pictures of his little kids. Ford said he didn't "want to say that word but you start thinking what this guy is all about."
Ford's insinuation was related to an instance when Dale was close to Ford's house in May 2012, investigating a plot of public land adjacent to Ford's home that the mayor wanted to buy.
Dale has said he was writing a story about the plot so he went to take a look at it when the mayor emerged from his home to confront him. Dale said he didn't take any pictures and said the mayor's two children were nowhere in sight.
"I did not mean to insinuate anything about Mr. Dale personally in my interview," Ford said in prepared remarks in City Council. "I certainly did not intend to suggest that he is a pedophile. I was merely commenting on the thoughts that went through my mind on the night."
Ford has taken pointed shots at the media, calling journalists maggots. Allegations about Ford smoking crack surfaced in May when two reporters for the Toronto Star and one from the U.S. website Gawker said they saw a video of Ford appearing to smoke from a crack pipe, but they did not obtain a copy. Ford vilified the Star, accusing the paper of trying to take him down.
Ford first denied the tape existed but later when Toronto police announced in October they had obtained a copy, the mayor admitted he had smoked the drug.
Ford lashed out at Dale's bosses at the Toronto Star on Tuesday, saying they put him and Dale in this situation.
Dale and the Toronto Star didn't immediately comment.
Toronto City Councilor Shelley Carroll called Ford's apology "insincere."
"He's an expert at non apologies. He's been doing it for years. A real apology is `I caused you harm Daniel, I am sorry for that,"' Carroll said. "You'll never get an admission of guilt from Mayor Ford. It's not his style and it hasn't been since birth."