Toronto's erratic Ford defends self on sex claim
TORONTO — Toronto's mayor denied on Thursday that he pressured a female employee for oral sex in an obscenity-laced statement on live television in which he threatened to take legal action against former staffers who spoke to police about his drinking and drug use.
Rob Ford, who admitted last week to smoking crack, later announced he was getting professional help. But he once again refused to step down and used a typical mix of contrition and defiance in several public appearances on Thursday, including a news conference in which he was accompanied by his wife, Renata.
He wore a football jersey to a City Council session, where outraged councilors turned their backs each time he spoke and again called on him to step aside.
Ford drew gasps from reporters when he used an obscenity as he denied telling a staffer he wanted to have oral sex.
The father of two school-aged children said he is “happily married” and used crude language to say he enjoys enough oral sex at home.
Ford later apologized for his remarks at a news conference. He explained he was pushed “over the line” by newly released court documents that included allegations against him involving cocaine, escorts and prostitution. He called the allegations “100 percent lies.”
He said his integrity as a father and husband had been attacked, prompting him to “see red.”
The mayor said he would take legal action against his former chief of staff, Mark Towhey, and two other aides over their interviews with police that were detailed in court documents released on Wednesday.
Ford did not specify what the aides might have said that was untrue. He said he plans to take action against a waiter who said he believed Ford and a woman were snorting cocaine in a private room at a restaurant.