Shortly before 11 p.m. ET, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford issued a statement responding to new media reports of video and audio recordings allegedly showing Ford smoking crack cocaine and making lewd comments about a fellow city councillor. Read Ford's full statement below.
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Tonight, I want to take some time to speak from my heart to the people of Toronto. It’s not easy to be vulnerable, and this is one of the most difficult times in my life.
'I have a problem with alcohol and the choices I have made while under the influence.'- Rob Ford, Toronto mayor
I have a problem with alcohol and the choices I have made while under the influence. I have struggled with this for some time.
Today, after taking some time to think about my own well-being, how to best serve the people of Toronto and what is in the best interests of my family, I have decided to take a leave from campaigning and from my duties as mayor to seek immediate help.
I have tried to deal with these issues by myself over the past year. I know that I need professional help, and I am now 100 per cent committed to getting myself right.
I love the people of Toronto, I love being your mayor and I hope you will continue to stand by me.
With the support of my family, friends, professionals and the people of Toronto, I will conquer this. Please keep me and my family in your prayers during these difficult days ahead.
I just want to say to the people of Toronto that I thank you for your ongoing support and encouragement. I cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate it.
Mayor Rob Ford