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Ford Apologizes for “Graphic Remarks,” Then Pushes Through Crowd of Reporters

A few minutes ago the mayor convened a press conference to address his remarks from this morning.

The full text of his statement:

Ladies and gentlemen, I want to apologize for my graphic remarks this morning.

Yesterday, I mentioned, was the second worst day of my life except for the death of my father. The past six months I have been under tremendous, tremendous stress. The stress is largely of my own making.

I have apologized and I have tried to move forward. This has proven to be almost impossible. The revelations yesterday of cocaine, escorts, and prostitution, has pushed me over the line, and I used unforgivable language—and again, I apologize.

These allegations are 100% lies.

When you attack my integrity as a father and as a husband, I see red. Today I acted on complete impulse in my remarks. I fully realize in the past I have drank alcohol in excess. I wish you to know I am receiving support from a team of health care professionals. I am taking accountability and receiving advice from people with expertise. I do not wish to comment on the particulars of the support.

I wish you to understand I am accepting responsibility for the challenges I face. I would ask you please, please respect my family’s privacy.

Thank you very much.

He took no questions and his wife Renata, who stood next to him for the statement, didn’t say anything at all. Immediately after they returned to the mayor’s private office.

When Rob Ford holds press conferences he generally does so in his protocol office—a sort of exterior lounge just outside that private office. It is small and cramped, and his appearances there—as opposed to the many larger spaces available in City Hall—are almost certainly designed to make reporters look like an angry horde. (Previously, press conferences were most often held in the members’ lounge in the council chamber, a wide space with rows of chairs, and often mic stands where reporters could line up to ask questions.) The space is small enough that cameras and people are crammed more tightly than commuters on a rush hour subway, and the impression this creates is that the mayor is being held hostage by the press gallery.

It is also a safety hazard.

A few moments after making his remarks the mayor emerged from his office again, without notice. The room was still jammed with reporters—we hadn’t had time to exit—and photographers hadn’t had a chance to even pack their gear. Staff accompanying him got physical, pushing at least one cameraman out of the way as the mayor tried to leave. You can see a quick video of the scene above, shot by CBC reporter Steven D’Souza.

The mayor’s office has a rear exit, and he could have avoided reporters entirely by leaving through it. (He has often done just that when he didn’t wish to answer questions.) Nobody was immediately able to tell us why he didn’t do so today.

Dave Nickle is the president of the City Hall press gallery, and like most City Hall reporters was in the room as this happened. “This was extraordinarily disturbing. There were members of the media who were pushed, there’s evidence of one being physically struck—it appears by the mayor’s driver and body guard. There’s video, we have to compile that. Right now I’m looking to speak to security to just get a sense of what action they’re going to be taking in the light of all this.” He isn’t sure what a formal complaints process might look like (“This is new territory,” he said) but will be investigating further.


  • Guest

    “I wish you to understand that I don’t know how English works.”

  • TacoGurrero

    Why do I feel this will all end with an assault charge? Ford’s mayoralty I mean. I can just see him taking a big swing at a cameraman.

    It’s also interesting that he’s now walking through the scrums. Deliberate plan to create imagery of battling with the media to prove that he’s being persecuted by them?

    • rich1299

      I have no doubt that’s the case and why he dragged his poor wife through that. At times I’ve had some sympathy for Ford the man, as opposed to Ford the mayor, but it didn’t last long at all and was completely gone by the time he was blowing kisses to the media.

  • The Urban Sommelier

    Thank god that reporter was there getting it all on iPhone. Phew.

  • Matthew Harper

    “The revelations yesterday of cocaine, escorts, and prostitution, has pushed me over the line” Note, “revelations”, not “allegations”. Is that a Freudian (or should I say Fordian) Slip?

  • OgtheDim

    Health and Safety issue for his driver, assuming he’s not being paid for by Deco.

  • Dinah Might

    I dunno, my gold gets pretty ornery being cooped up in a vault all day.


  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    Apologizing doesn’t fix everything, Robbie.

    • CaligulaJones

      Naw, its right there in the Reader’s Digest version of the Dummies Guide to the Cole’s Notes version of the 12 steps he read on a matchbook cover once: he’s made a list of all persons he’s harmed, and made direct amends to them by apologizing. Many, many times, including for his apologies.

      Forget this being just future semester in a law class, it might be a few lessons in a master’s course in med school.

  • Nick

    He’s the one who mentioned oral sex with his wife, now he’s asking us to respect his family’s privacy?! Haha, that’s a good one.

    • dsmithhfx

      Want privacy? Leave public office.

      • VictorianShuter

        …or leave talk of pubic orifice out of public office.

  • Butch

    It’s official, I’m totally running for Mayor. If he can continually act like a dipshit and get away with it, surely I can as well.

    • dsmithhfx

      We’re already ahead if you just go to Florida or Mexico and have us mail paychecks to you!

      • wklis

        Howard Stern could be the moderator. If not, then one of the Trailer Park Boys.

  • TorontoistCopyEditors

    Thanks! It’s now correct.

  • glenn_storey

    an appropriate, nay, VERY appropriate song.

  • picard102

    Come on, that video shows that the press were in no way trying to leave the room. Unless it’s standard practice to have your cameras rolling and crushing around a single person to leave a room.

  • Bradford Hamilton

    I’ve never been to Canada, but maybe it’s time to check it out. Sounds like a fun party town to me.

  • Justin Flontek

    What are you talking about? What he’s said has been captured on video, many times. You just need to learn which video the media is talking about.

  • Bradford Hamilton

    Can’t wait to see him in court! Imagine what he is going to say in court, thinks like: “I wasn’t doing lines” ….and cross saying, and Mr. Ford, how do you know what “doing lines” means?