Rob Ford, who is still somehow the Mayor of Toronto, had a busy Thursday, from a foul-mouthed moment on live TV to his decision to seek help for his addictions to his pledge to sue staff members who told the police about his alcohol and drug use. And there are plenty of hours left in the day (Update: Yep, it just got weirder, thanks to Charlie Sheen. See below).
The pride of Toronto also promised to stay mayor, and get some professional help for his drinking and drug use. In an afternoon news conference with his press-shy wife by his side, Ford refused to give more specifics on what kind of help he'd seek. All this follows Wednesday's banner day for the Ford scandal, during which the mayor admitted (during a city council meeting) to buying illegal drugs within the past two years. That was before the release of court documents, based in part on interviews with former members of Ford's staff, outlining a cornucopia of new allegations against the mayor. The staffers whom Ford singled out for legal action — the ones who spoke to police — are former chief of staff Mark Towhey, former special assistant Isaac Ransom, and former spokesman George Christopolous.
But the news conference was not the first statement from the mayor to the press addressing the new round of allegations, nor was it his oddest moment of the day. During a press scrum earlier on Thursday, Ford managed to elicit actual gasps from reporters for his response to an allegation that he told a former female staffer he wanted to perform oral sex on her.
Here are the actual words Ford used to address that allegation: "I've never said that in my life to her. I would never do that. I'm happily married. I've got more than enough to eat at home." There is a video of him saying those things, thanks to the National Post. Remember, this was all happening on live TV, and while he was wearing the football jersey of the local Toronto Argonauts. Warning for graphic language.
Ford addressed that statement at the Thursday afternoon press conference, telling reporters that "I acted on complete impulse in my remarks," adding that the allegations in the court documents released Wednesday prompted him to "see red." There are so, so many allegations included on those documents that it's hard to keep track of everything he's now been accused of. They include descriptions of the mayor driving while impaired; drinking routinely in his office; sending staffers to go buy alcohol for him so he can drink without getting photographed in a liquor store; making inappropriate comments to female staffers; and snorting something in a bathroom (allegedly either cocaine or Oxycontin) during a notorious St. Patrick's Day partying binge. That last allegation comes from a waiter at Bier Markt, whom the mayor has also decided to sue. Canadian legal experts have already noted that the mayor's lawsuit would be extremely unlikely to succeed.
Update: Because the Rob Ford story was getting a little quiet for a few seconds, Charlie Sheen decided to write the mayor an open letter on Thursday afternoon, pledging his support. Sheen was apparently responding to a very fake Daily Currant article claiming that the actor had called for Ford's resignation. Here's Sheen's open letter to Ford, posted to Twitlonger:
dear Mayor Rob Ford,
the only truth or correct reporting in today's
repulsive story regarding
my alleged comments about you,
is the accurate spelling of your great city.
your personal life is and never would be,
any of my business.
I'm sorry for any grief this may have caused.
if I can be of any assistance
in any capacity in this
please accept the noble offer of my steady
hand and compassionate heart.
(Yes, Sheen formats his tweets like poems. Deal with it.)