Toronto Mayor Rob Ford dropped a bombshell on reporters and the city shortly after noon on Tuesday by admitting he has smoked crack cocaine. Surrounded by a scrum of reporters outside his office, speaking over a flurry of questions, Ford said he had smoked crack "about a year ago" and suggested he was drunk at the time. He repeated his previous insistence that he is not addicted to crack and denied he had previously lied about his drug use.
Here is a transcript of Ford's brief exchange with reporters:
Reporter: Why aren't you talking to the police?
Rob Ford: There's a problem, there's obviously a problem. I've been advised by my lawyer — Dennis Morris, and you have the right to call Dennis — he said, 'You do not talk to the police.' I'm going on what he said.
Reporter: Has the chief offered to show you the video personally?
Rob Ford: You know what? I haven't — I can't comment on the video that I haven't seen. You guys have asked me a question.[Many questions at once.]
Rob Ford: You asked me a question back in May and you can repeat that question.
Reporter: The question we asked you back in May?
Rob Ford: You asked me a couple questions and what were those questions?
Reporter: Do you smoke crack cocaine?
Rob Ford: Exactly. Yes I have smoked crack cocaine. But no — do I? am I an addict? — No. have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors, approximately about a year ago. I answered your question. You ask the question properly, I'll answer it. Yes, I've made mistakes. All I can do now is apologize and move on.[Many questions at once]
Rob Ford: Whoa, whoa. Can I just speak? All I can say is I've made mistakes, and you guys kept referring to alcohol. There was a couple isolated incidents. There's been times when I've been in a drunken stupor. That's why I want to see the tape. I want everyone in the city to see this tape. I'd like to see this tape. I don't even recall there being a tape or a video and I know that, so, I want to see the state I was in. But that's exactly it. I don't know what else I can say to you.[Many questions at once]
Rob Ford: I wasn't lying. You didn't ask the correct questions. No, I'm not an addict and no, I do not do drugs. I made mistakes in the past and all I can do is apologize, but it is what it is and I can't change the past. And I can apologize to my family and my friends and my colleagues and the people of this great city.[Many questions at once]
Rob Ford: I told you. Probably, approximately, in and around a year ago, but I don't know exactly — that's why I want — some of the stuff you guys see me in, the state I've been in — it's a problem.[Many questions at once. Mayor Ford laughs and walks back into his office.]