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TORONTO – Rob Ford is back in hot water after the gossip site Gawker claimed to have viewed a videotape of the Toronto mayor smoking crack cocaine.
In a Thursday night post, Gawker’s John Cook said the video is for sale and shows Ford allegedly inhaling from a crack pipe within the last six months.
Toronto Star newspaper reporter Kevin Donovan on Friday reported he has similarly seen the 90-second video clip in question where the city’s pratfall-prone mayor “appears to be smoking a crack pipe.”
Gawker’s Cook gives a graphic account of sitting in a Toronto car as the owner of the video up for sale played it on a touchscreen phone.
“It is well-lit, clear. Ford is seated, in a room in a house. In one hand is a a clear, glass pipe. The kind with a big globe and two glass cylinders sticking out of it. In the other hand is a lighter,” Cook chronicles.
“Ford, pipe in one hand and lighter in the other, is laughing, and mildly protesting at the sacrilege. He seems to keep trying to light the pipe, but keeps stopping to laugh. He is red-faced and sweaty, heaving with each breath. Finally, he finds his moment and lights up. He inhales,” the account continues.
Ford critics have taken to Indiegogo to raise the $100,000 thought to be necessary to purchase the videotape in question.
Gawker late Thursday night received an email from Dennis Morris, who claims to be Rob Ford’s attorney concerned about the New York City-based website threatening to post a photo of the mayor inhaling from a crack pipe.
“Mayor Ford denies such took place, and if such posting occurs, it is false and defamatory,and you will be held legally accountable,” the email stated.
The Toronto leader is routinely on his back foot in the news media, having earlier this year narrowly escaped being turfed from office after being found guilty of securing lobbyist money for his high school football charity using a city letterhead.
Earlier, former Current TV pundit Keith Olbermann named Ford as the “worst person in the world” after the mayor was ambushed outside his home by a CBC TV comedy crew, with cameras rolling.
Rather than taking the expected appearance on the This Hour Has 22 Minutes satirical news show in his stride, Ford dropped F-bombs when he rang 911 dispatchers and shouted: “You … b—hes! Don’t you f—ing know? I’m Rob Ford, the f—ing, the mayor of this city!”
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