TORONTO — Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said Wednesday he had a “minor setback” this week when he was caught on video slurring his words and said his private life is not affecting his work.
The video that emerged Tuesday showed Ford swearing and trying to imitate a Jamaican accent during a rant against Toronto’s police chief. Ford has acknowledged it was him in the video and that he “had a little bit” to drink on Monday night. He said Wednesday that it is a private matter
“Monday was unfortunate. I had a minor setback. We all experience these difficult bumps in life,” Ford said.
Ford said any suggestion that his personal life is impacting city business is absolute nonsense.
The mayor said he’s working hard every day to improve his health and well-being, but said it is a private matter.
The mayor acknowledged last year that he had smoked crack but has rebuffed pressure to resign. He said in November that he was finished with drinking and vowed the public would never see a video of him intoxicated again.
He left the press conference Wednesday after being asked if he was on drugs in the video. He said he only wanted to take questions on Toronto’s budget.
Ford said in November that he was working out and he has noticeably lost weight. Earlier this month, he put his name on the ballot to run for another term.
The City Council stripped Ford of most of his powers but lacked the authority to force him out because he wasn’t convicted of a crime. The mayor was the subject of a police investigation but was never charged. According to police interviews, staffers accused Ford of frequently drinking.