Rob Ford says he was his 'own worst enemy' with drink and drugs as he returns to office as Mayor of Toronto
The politician has had two months of 'intensive therapy' in rehab
Tuesday 01 July 2014
Rob Ford, the troubled Mayor of Toronto, has said he became his “own worst enemy” with alcohol and drug abuse as he returns to office after two months in rehab.
The controversial politician insisted he had turned over a new leaf and is moving forward in a speech on Monday at City Hall.
He said: “When I look back on some of the things I have said, some of the things I did under the influence, I'm ashamed, embarrassed and humiliated.
“I was wrong, and I have no one to blame but myself.”
The frank apology was a stark contrast to his initial denials when stories about a video showing him using crack cocaine emerged last year.
Ford did not admit to smoking crack until police announced they had recovered a video supporting the media reports in November 2013, when he said it happened in a “drunken stupor”.
Despite international criticism and ridicule, the Mayor ignored calls to step down and did not go into rehab until six months later.
He told reporters he had been “in denial” about having a problem with substance abuse.
“I had convinced myself that I did not have a problem,” he added.
“But it soon became obvious that my alcohol and drug use was having a serious impact on my family, on my health, and on my job as Mayor.
“After experiencing some of the darkest moments in my life, I decided that enough was enough. I had become my own worst enemy.”
Speaking of his treatment at a rehabilitation centre called GreeneStone, in Ontario, he claimed the staff “saved his life”.
“They forced me to confront my personal demons,” he said, adding that he will need treatment for the “disease” of addiction for the rest of his life.
Ford offered an apology to the people of Toronto and “everyone who was hurt” by his words and actions.
Rob Ford laughs during council at City Hall in Toronto “It was never my intention to embarrass the city or offend my fellow members of council,” he said. “I deeply regret some of the personal choices I have made.”
He apologised specifically to Karen Stintz, once an ally on the city council, for “hurtful and degrading remarks.”
Ford was recorded in a bar in April saying: “I’d like to f**king jam her but she don’t want it.”
Taking the unprecedented step of thanking the media for privacy, he claimed that society “realises that people make mistakes”.
The 45-year-old is seeking re-election in Toronto’s elections on 27 October, where dozens of opponents have registered to run against him.
Ford was elected as mayor in 2010 after spending a decade as a city councillor.
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