Toronto Mayor Rob Ford 'considering' rehab, his lawyer says


Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is "considering" rehab, a lawyer for the politician said Friday, but, he added, "It's best we hear from his lips."

The development comes a day after a new video showing Ford threatening to kill someone was published, and just three days after the politician in charge of North America's fourth-largest city admitted he had smoked crack cocaine. 

Dennis Morris, Ford's lawyer, told The Associated Press that Ford is "considering his options," including treatment. He said that Thursday was a defining day for the mayor.

The clip that was released on Thursday was the second one to tarnish Ford's reputation.

"He dies or I die," Ford says in it, adding: "I need f***ing 10 minutes to make sure he's dead. It'll be over in five minutes."

The context of the video is unknown and it's unclear who Ford is threatening in his rambling rant. 

In the blurry, shaky video, Ford paces around, frantically waves his arms and rolls up his sleeves as he says he'll "make sure" the unknown person is dead. 

"When he’s down, I’ll rip his f***ing throat out. I’ll poke his eyes out," an agitated Ford can be heard saying. 

Moments after The Toronto Star published the 80-second video on its website, Ford made yet another a public apology. 


“The Toronto Star just released a video that I was very, very inebriated,” he said. “All I can say is, again, I've made mistakes. I just wanted to come out and tell you I saw a video. It’s extremely embarrassing. The whole world’s going to see it."

Ford added: “I hope none of you have ever or will ever be in that state. Obviously, I was extremely, extremely inebriated.”

Thursday's apology was the second one this week for Ford. He admitted on Sunday he had a drinking problem, acknowledging he was "hammered" in public at a street festival in August and "out of control" drunk around city hall after St. Patrick's Day last year.

On Tuesday, the father of two admitted that he had smoked crack cocaine while "in one of my drunken stupors," but said he would not resign.

"I know I embarrassed everyone in the city and I will be forever sorry," Ford said Tuesday.

On Friday, Ford was mobbed by reporters, but refused to discuss what his next steps were.

"I'm dealing with a serious personal issue right now. Please give me this time," he said before walking into an elevator at City Hall, the AP reported.

Also Friday, in a sign of how troubled times have become for the mayor, his radio show was taken off the air. NewsTalk 1010 announced that Ford and his brother "have mutually determined to conclude broadcasts of The City, ending with last week's show."

Ford's family is standing by him.

His sister, Kathy Ford, told the Canadian TV station CP24 that her brother doesn't have a drinking problem unless"you want to consider binge drinking once every three months" a problem. "Robbie does not drink every night," she said.

His mother, Diane Ford, said her son's big issue is food — not drugs.

“He’s got a huge weight problem and I think that is the first thing he has to attack because that will change your whole demeanor,” she said.

Ford has been dogged by drug allegations since a video surfaced in May that appeared to show him smoking crack cocaine. 

For months, the mayor denied using the drug and maintained the video "does not exist."

Toronto's police chief last week confirmed that investigators had a copy of the crack-pipe video, but said it couldn't be released as it constitutes evidence before the courts.

Police said that video had been recovered during an investigation dubbed "Project Brazen 2," a huge surveillance operation into a friend of the mayor who occasionally served as his driver.


The Toronto Star said that it bought the latest video for $5,000 from "a source who filmed it from someone else's computer." The newspaper said it was told "the person with the computer was there in the room." 

Its release led to renewed calls for the 44-year-old to resign.

City Councilor James Pasternak urged Ford to make a "dignified exit," The Associated Press reported. 

"The video is very disturbing," he said. "It's very upsetting, it's very sad."

Councilor Denzil Minnan-Wong, a former Ford supporter, told reporters council must act because Ford has not been dealing with the situation to the satisfaction of the public.

"If he can't find the exit I think we need to show him the door," Minnan-Wong added.

City Councilor Giorgio Mammoliti, a Ford ally, told The Associated Press that the mayor should enter rehab.

Municipal law in Canada's biggest city has no stipulation for the forced removal of a mayor from office, unless he was convicted and jailed for a criminal offense. Police have not charged Ford with anything. 

The mayor has said that he plans to run for re-election next year.

NBC News' Tracy Connor, The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.