Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Insists He's Drug-Free on 'Today'
TORONTO - As Rob Ford ramps up his re-election campaign, the Toronto mayor on Tuesday morning told Today's Matt Lauer he still enjoys a tipple but is past heavy drinking.
"Have I had a drink? Yes, I have. But not to the point of some of the episodes before,” Toronto's celebrity politician said.
Appearing on the NBC morning show from his home, the crack cocaine-smoking mayor said he's drug-free these days.
“I don’t use illegal drugs. I experimented with them probably a year ago," he told Lauer.
In November 2013, Ford made an appearance on the Today show where he insisted he had gone cold turkey. Lauer at the time scolded him for disgracing the office of Toronto mayor.
During their latest on-air interview Tuesday, Lauer asked Ford about a controversial video made public last month where an incoherent and ranting Ford is seen speaking in Jamaican patois at a Toronto fast food restaurant.
"I’ve been brought up with a lot of Jamaican friends, and we went out,” Ford explained. "I drank and enjoyed myself, and I think it was fine."
Ford has become a global media sensation for adamantly denying taking drugs and drinking to excess, only to apologize profusely when evidence of illicit behavior surfaces.
As his political career continues in free fall, Ford has become a media fixture as he campaigns for a second term in office.
Ford's political woes, which led to his mayoral powers being taken away, started in May 2013, when Gawker and the Toronto Star first revealed the existence of a smartphone video that apparently showed him smoking crack cocaine.