Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Sued Over 'Pedophile' Comments
TORONTO – Toronto mayor Rob Ford's woes continue as the embattled politician now finds himself sued for defamation by Toronto Star city hall reporter Daniel Dale after Ford hinted Dale was a pedophile in a Vision TV interview with Conrad Black that aired earlier this week, on Dec. 9 and 10.
"The defamatory statements made are completely unfounded, as Mr. Ford and ZoomerMedia know. They were uttered maliciously by Mr. Ford, and broadcast and rebroadcast maliciously by [Vision TV parent company] ZoomerMedia," the libel notice from Paul Shabas at Toronto law firm Blakes, Cassels & Grayton LLP states as it names Vision TV, ZoomerMedia and ZoomerMedia Ltd.’s TV division as part of the action.
Ford received the libel notice Thursday afternoon at his city hall office, and Dale has three months to file a statement of claim against the mayor and Zoomer Media.
Dale started legal action against Ford after he was interviewed on The Zoomer, a talk show hosted by disgraced Canadian media baron Conrad Black that aired on Vision TV.
The libel notice states Ford’s "vile and defamatory remarks" to Black were broadcast even though the interview was taped days before it aired.
"As my libel notice says, I’m asking Ford to immediately retract the false insinuation that I am a pedophile and all of his false statements about my conduct on May 2, 2012," Dale said in a Toronto Star column.
"I’m also asking Ford and Vision owner ZoomerMedia to apologize immediately 'publicly, abjectly, unreservedly and completely,' " he added.
The Vision TV interview had Ford recalling a 2012 run-in with Dale on public land adjoining the mayor's private home.
"I guess the worst one was Daniel Dale in my backyard taking pictures," Ford told Black.
"I have little kids. When a guy’s taking pictures of little kids, I don’t want to say that word, but you start thinking, what’s this guy all about?" the mayor added.
Ford on Tuesday held a press conference to indicate he was standing by his comments uttered during the Vision TV interview, without repeating them.
Dale in recent days, and in his libel action, has denied that he took photos of Ford's home or family, or that he peered over his fence, as was alleged by the mayor.
Ford's legal woes are the latest blow to the Toronto mayor since he admitted to smoking crack cocaine and binge-drinking.