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[VIDEO] Ford apologizes for lewd comments; is using ‘a team of health-care professionals’ to get help

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Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said he is receiving professional help after admitting that he may have driven while intoxicated.

Flanked by his wife, Renata, Mr. Ford held a formal news conference after remarkable morning scrums in which he defiantly vowed to sue former employees who detailed a litany of erratic behaviour to police and made vulgar comments regarding a former female staffer.

“I fully realize in the past I have drank alcohol in excess,” he told reporters. “I wish you to know I’m 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 this support. I wish you to understand I am accepting responsibility for the challenges I face.

Mr. Ford also apologized for his “graphic remarks,” saying he is under extreme stress.

“For 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,” he said. “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 per cent lies. When you attack my integrity as a father and as a husband, I see red.”

Earlier in the day, Mr. Ford said: “I might have had some drinks and driven. That was absolutely wrong. Outside of that, I have said what I have to say,” Mr. Ford said as he left his office for city council Thursday morning.

As he arrived at City Hall on Thursday morning wearing a Toronto Argonauts jersey, Mr. Ford launched into a tirade against his former employees, saying he would launch legal action against aides Isaac Ransom, George Christopoulos and Mark Towhey.

“Unfortunately, I have no other choice. I’m the last one to take legal action. I can’t put up with it any more so I’m naming names. Litigation is starting shortly. I’ve had enough,” he said.

According to police documents released Wednesday, former mayoral staffers alleged in police interviews a litany of misbehaviour by their boss, including impaired driving, possible cocaine use, consorting with a suspected professional escort, misusing staff resources, uttering racial slurs and making sexually charged remarks. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Mr. Ford angrily said his friend is not a prostitute. “I’ve never had a prostitute here. I’m very happily married at home. That’s very disturbing against my wife,” he said. The woman’s mother told The Globe she is not an escort.

Mr. Ford also denied allegations that he had wanted to perform oral sex on a former female staffer – using a slang word for women’s genitals – repeating that he was happily married.

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