News / Americas

Toronto Mayor: 'Yes, I Smoked Crack'

FILE - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
FILE - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
VOA News
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has apologized to Canadians after admitting to smoking crack cocaine.

Ford battled tears on Tuesday, telling reporters he is embarrassed and ashamed that he let down the people of Toronto.

He said this mistake will never happen again, and that he will continue serving as mayor of Canada's biggest city at least until next year's election.

Ford initially denied all allegations. He was finally forced to admit trying crack after police obtained a video showing the mayor smoking. The Toronto Star newspaper and a gossip-oriented U.S. website called Gawker first reported the existence of the tape in May.

Ford said he is not a drug addict.  He said he tried crack about a year ago, probably during what he described as "one of my drunken stupors."

Ford and his brother, Doug, a Toronto city councilor, have called for the police to release the video. But police say that is prohibited, because it is evidence before the courts as part of an investigation into extortion charges against one of the mayor's associates.

"I know what I did was wrong and admitting it was the most difficult and embarrassing thing I have ever had to do. Folks, I have nothing left to hide. I would do anything, absolutely anything to change the past. But the past is the past and we must move forward. I want to be clear, I want to be crystal clear to every single person. These mistakes will never ever ever happen again," said Ford.

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