Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is trying to fend off the first reports of what could be a monumental scandal. Both the Toronto Star and Gawker say they’ve seen a video that purports to show Ford smoking crack cocaine. Two reporters from the Star watched the video three times and say it’s the mayor, though they can’t verify he’s smoking crack:
- The video “appears to show Ford in a room, sitting in a chair, wearing a white shirt, top buttons open, inhaling from what appears to be a glass crack pipe. Ford is incoherent, trading jibes with an off-camera speaker…” The story, however, notes the video’s authenticity can’t be verified.
Gawker’s John Cook, who traveled to the city to watch it in person, is more definitive. He says that it’s clearly crack and that Ford is “hiiiiigh.” His account prompted a denial from Ford attorney Dennis Morris: “How can you indicate what the person is actually doing or smoking?” said Morris.
Both the Star and Gawker say the video was shot sometime within the last year and is being shopped around to media outlets for six figures. Neither paid. They were allowed to watch and take notes but not obtain a copy. Cook says the video is from “Toronto drug dealers,” and the Star says it got approached by someone who said he “represented two Somali men who had supplied crack cocaine to the mayor.”