Mayor Rob Ford apologized shortly after noon Thursday for using profane language outside his office in response to reports that he made sexually inappropriate comments to a staffer.
The mayor also said he is getting help from “a team of medical professionals.”
Ford shocked reporters and councillors this morning when he talked about what he is alleged to have said to Olivia Gondek, who was a policy adviser, but has since left the mayor’s office.
“The last thing was Olivia Gondek. It says I wanted to eat her pussy. I never said that…I’m happily married, I have more than enough to eat at home,” Ford said.
Later, Ford held a press conference during which he said: “I used unforgivable language and, again, I apologize.”
He also threatened Thursday to take legal action against former staffers Isaac Ransom and George Christopoulos and Mark Towhey, as well as the waiter who alleges that Ford was snorting lines of coke at Bier Markt.
According to a police document released yesterday, staffers told police about questionable behaviour, including allegations about visits from escorts, drunk driving and the use of marijuana and cocaine. The allegations have not been proven in court.
Ford also denied meeting with a prostitute. “I don’t appreciate people calling Alana a prostitute,” he said. “I never had a prostitute here.”
A few minutes later, the mayor also admitted to drinking and driving.
Councillors reacted strongly to the mayor’s comments, with many turning their backs when the mayor spoke during council today.
The mayor wore his Toronto Argonauts jersey, something the football team wasn’t pleased about. According to Toronto Star, the team released a statement, saying “These latest remarks, while wearing our team’s jersey, are particularly disappointing given our organization’s work in the community to help youth deal with issues of bullying prevention.”
Two of Ford’s former allies on council spoke Thursday. Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong said he is now calling on the mayor to resign. Minnan-Wong previously said the mayor should take a leave.
Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti said that he will cease to support Ford if the mayor doesn’t get help by the end of the day Thursday.
Thursday afternoon, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne spoke to reporters about Ford’s comments.
“The things we are seeing and hearing about Mayor Rob Ford are truly disturbing,” she said.
Wynne added that if city council is unable to function and asks for help, she would then consider getting involved, but only after consulting with Tim Hudak and Andrea Horwath.
“Toronto is greater than one politician or one government. Ontario is greater than one politician or one government,” she said.
On Friday, council will debate a motion by Coun. John Filion that looks to take away the mayor’s ability to appoint committee chairs and the deputy mayor.