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Gawker says it's seen video of Rob Ford smoking crack

Posted by Chris Bateman / May 16, 2013

toronto rob ford crackOne day it's fridge magnets, the next day it's, well, see for yourself. New York-based news and gossip blog Gawker says it's seen a video of Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine, and claims the tape of the alleged incident is available to the highest bidder.

In a sensational blog post, John Cook, the site's editor, claims he visited Toronto with the intention of buying the tape and was able to see a few seconds where Ford "seated, in a room in a house. In one hand is a a clear, glass pipe."

The story continues: "In the other hand is a lighter ... he is red-faced and sweaty, heaving with each breath. Finally, he finds his moment and lights up. He inhales."

The original recording, apparently taken in the last six months, is still at large - the men Cook says he met with are asking "six figures" and were offered $40,000 by a "a Canadian organization," a price they rejected.

The picture that accompanies the post shows Ford with a two people, one of whom Cook identifies as Anthony Smith, a 21-year-old college student. Smith was shot to death outside Loki Lounge on King West at the end of March.

The caveats: this is all alleged, the tape has not been made public, and the veracity of the claims has yet to be proven. Rob Ford and his office have not officially responded, though there is a message purporting to be from a lawyer, Dennis Morris, that accompanies the post calling the accusations "false and defamatory."

This one's still breaking - expect it to be huge.

UPDATE: 22:03

Toronto Star city hall reporter Robyn Doolittle claims she has seen the video at the centre of the Gawker story, but declined to provide further details. Perhaps crucially she referred to it as "the video of Mayor Rob Ford" on Twitter. Michael Cook, the paper's editor, is promising a "huge" story in tomorrow's paper.

UPDATE: 00:30

The Toronto Star says two of its reporters have seen the same video Gawker editor John Cook was shown. The narrative generally matches what we were told earlier: Rob Ford is allegedly seen, incoherent, warming a glass pipe with a cigarette lighter and briefly speaking to those around him. He calls the Don Bosco football team he coaches "fucking minorities," Liberal leader Justin Trudeau a "fag," then "inhales deeply."

Here's more.

UPDATE: 10:30

Toronto Sun columnist Joe Warmington says Rob Ford's office will release a statement later this morning regarding the allegations. Earlier today Ford was spotted leaving his Etobicoke home for City Hall. Watch this space.

UPDATE: 11:02

Rob Ford has arrived at City Hall to a throng of reporters over an hour after leaving his Etobicoke home. He said "wow, this is ridiculous" as he entered his office. Still no word on that statement or how it will be delivered.

UPDATE: 12:25

Rob Ford left his office to make the following brief statement:

"It's like I said this morning, these allegations are ridiculous. It's another story with respect to the Toronto Star going after me. And that's all, that's all I've got to say."

He's now reading the official proclamation at the PFLAG flag raising, flanked by reporters.

UPDATE: 13:13

Satirical Taiwanese news company Next Media Animation has given the Rob Ford scandal the (completely bonkers) digital cartoon treatment. Their version of events shows the Toronto mayor falling onto school children, running over cyclists and, yes, smoking from a glass pipe. The site is famous for its off the wall videos circulated in the immediate aftermath of major news stories.

UPDATE: 14:20

Rob Ford has left City Hall for the day. Some good news for the embattled mayor: the city has found he wasn't in breach a bylaw when he stuck magnets to parked cars during a recent Etobicoke and York Community Council meeting because "he is not in the business of being a bill distributor," reports the Globe and Mail's Sunny Dhillon.

Well, that's something I suppose.

"Have a good weekend, guys," Ford said as he left.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.



Alex / May 16, 2013 at 09:32 pm
McRib / May 16, 2013 at 09:40 pm
Red faced and sweaty, its him.
Welshgrrl / May 16, 2013 at 09:41 pm
Kickstarter launching to purchase this video in 3 ... 2... 1 ...
RS / May 16, 2013 at 09:47 pm
And here we...........go.
Borte / May 16, 2013 at 09:48 pm
Finally, some real weight loss.
Butternuts / May 16, 2013 at 09:56 pm
That dude's way too skinny to be Mayor Ford. Robby-baby hasn't been that svelte since his twenties.
sloanbuller / May 16, 2013 at 10:15 pm
The Star is now reporting to have seen the video.
Pops / May 16, 2013 at 10:20 pm
That's a hella story to be breaking, whether its true or not. Hot damn.
JailTime / May 16, 2013 at 10:22 pm
Put a fork in it, this pig's roasted.
Conbots / May 16, 2013 at 10:24 pm
Can not wait to see how the conbots will be defending ford if this is true.
I'm a conbot replying to a comment from Conbots / May 16, 2013 at 10:27 pm
If this is confirmed (and it already looks pretty solid) there is no defense he'll be out. One way or another...
W. K. Lis / May 16, 2013 at 10:39 pm
Should I get a fridge magnet of the photo?

BTW. You can get a printable magnet at a stationary store and print the photo on them.
CaligulaJones / May 16, 2013 at 10:40 pm
Hey, they counted Marion Barry out...
mike / May 16, 2013 at 10:45 pm
final nail in the coffin
Geoff / May 16, 2013 at 10:49 pm
Brace yourselves, Ford Nation.
Edward / May 16, 2013 at 10:51 pm
Major reputable media sources are now saying they have seen the video in question.
Justin / May 16, 2013 at 10:53 pm
Soren replying to a comment from Girls Drinking / May 16, 2013 at 10:53 pm
u2brothr / May 16, 2013 at 11:03 pm
Steven / May 16, 2013 at 11:08 pm
But did he inhale?
Hyphen replying to a comment from Steven / May 16, 2013 at 11:21 pm
According to Gawker, "Finally, he finds his moment and lights up. He inhales."
p / May 16, 2013 at 11:25 pm
who do you think is gonna buy it? The Toronto star or the Toronto star?
jesseW / May 16, 2013 at 11:25 pm
Somehow, the madness that has been the Rob Ford saga, has all felt like it was boiling down to this moment.
Shane / May 16, 2013 at 11:28 pm
Best Mayor Ever.
Rez / May 16, 2013 at 11:30 pm
Can't wait for tomorrow's paper!
EyesWide / May 16, 2013 at 11:42 pm
Wow I used to feel bad for Rob Ford and his past actions and allegations, but this news has changed everything and is quite unexpected and dramatic. How in the bloody hell did this fat walrus fuck become mayor? The video sounds to be true, and I know this will escalate quite quickly like no tomorrow.
Mr Kanyo / May 16, 2013 at 11:44 pm
I voted for Kevin Clarke.
John / May 16, 2013 at 11:45 pm
You can when you are the role model coach to a youth football team and the mayor of the fifth largest city in z north America...
Bel / May 16, 2013 at 11:45 pm
Gawker is great at driving traffic to it's site whether vrai ou faux.
kevinclarkeformayor replying to a comment from Mr Kanyo / May 16, 2013 at 11:48 pm
Yay! I voted for Kevin Clarke too! :) I thought everyone forgot about him. heh heh
someoneisgettingfired / May 16, 2013 at 11:54 pm
UPDATE: Star posted their article:
MG replying to a comment from Conbots / May 16, 2013 at 11:55 pm
I expect there will be supporters explaining it away as a 'youthful' indiscretion, and how their populist common hero is 'only human.'
Earnest Scribbler / May 16, 2013 at 11:59 pm
For what it's worth, there is no lawyer in Ontario named "Dennis Morris". I consulted the Law Society of Upper Canada membership database ( and there's nobody by that name registered. Could it have been an out-of-province lawyer? Possible, but unlikely. Is it bullshit? Maybe. Maybe the whole story is bullshit. As Franklin Roosevelt said just the other day, you can't trust everything your read on the Internet. It might be fake.
D replying to a comment from Earnest Scribbler / May 17, 2013 at 12:05 am
Looks like you didn't search right...;currentPoint=2&iD=sM2DQxCepeY%3D&iD=1368763453605

That's the same lawyer he's used in the past
Dee replying to a comment from sean / May 17, 2013 at 12:06 am
Is this a serious question?
mike / May 17, 2013 at 12:11 am
its over
Ford will have to resign
Interesting... / May 17, 2013 at 12:14 am
There's 36 comments here. Is this blowing up? It feels like this should be blowing up. This broke I think a couple of hours ago at this point. It's interesting to note who is NOT yet carrying the story: City, CP24, CTV, and National Post.
Interesting... / May 17, 2013 at 12:16 am
Oh...and CBC. Strangely CBC is mute as well currently. Do you think they're bidding? It's probably a crazy, crazy night to be a reporter in Toronto!
Interesting... / May 17, 2013 at 12:17 am
And OF COURSE....The Sun has no story either.
Ben replying to a comment from Interesting... / May 17, 2013 at 12:21 am
Twitter is on fire.
Pops / May 17, 2013 at 12:23 am
And there's a campaign to purchase the vid:
cathy / May 17, 2013 at 12:26 am
I'm starting to feel REALLY sorry for his kids.
mike / May 17, 2013 at 12:30 am
I want to feel bad for him but he never felt bad for the kids and parents of kids he affected. How about those garbage workers who were made to be scum bags and kicked to the curb. They had kids as well

Karma is a bitch
Interesting.... replying to a comment from Ben / May 17, 2013 at 12:34 am
yeah I would imagine. I think it's interesting the mainstream media is completely quiet. Aren't we being so well served in our democracy? Thank god for twitter and blogs!
evan / May 17, 2013 at 12:34 am
Pops, maybe the reason Gawker or the Star won't pay the money is integrity? Does anyone really want to hand $100000 dollars to a crack dealer?
Ed Ball / May 17, 2013 at 12:38 am
Why did they instagram the video?
Stan Smith / May 17, 2013 at 12:43 am
OhYarp / May 17, 2013 at 12:51 am
I love the irony, that Ford is now being subject to the perils of unrestrained capitalism. This is free market capitalism plus democracy! I donated $20 to the campain to buy the video. Suck on that tightie righties.
OhYarp replying to a comment from Jack / May 17, 2013 at 12:55 am
Hey Jack - so the hypocrisy that right-wingers are heavily in favor of a massive state-funded multi-decade boondoggle called "the war on drugs"? They shove this hypocrisy down our throats using our own tax dollars.

So Jack, I do think it's a big deal. If you are right, which you sort of are, you should be supporting legalizing recreational drugs in this country and not supporting some kind of "free ford" movement.

orlly / May 17, 2013 at 01:08 am
It's interesting to note that the Gawker article notes that Rob's brother (whose name isn't listed) also buys from the network of dealers Rob runs with.
Dr. Colon Oscopy / May 17, 2013 at 01:16 am
As of 8:30 this evening I can safely say that the voters of this great city no longer have to worry about the alleged massive amounts of crack cocaine that were allegedly stashed in The Mayor's rectum posing a threat to our fish and water fowl populations.
In other unsurprising news: Former Conservative Senator, Mike Duffy, has cancelled his plan to publicly announce that Rob Ford is his son. He was heard to mutter something about trees and the proximity of falling crack apples before he hitched up his gigantic jockey briefs and waddled off to get hosed down by his entourage of lichtspittels and boozy barflies.
NiceOneTO / May 17, 2013 at 01:28 am
As much as we're all cool here and all, I'd also like to thank the great people of Toronto for actually voting this guy into office. Ford may suck but those of us who, by the droves.. enabled him to legitimately take the highest office in the city. Thank you so, so much.

Congratulations Ford Nation! You've successfully managed to get an actual crackhead elected Mayor of Toronto!
David / May 17, 2013 at 01:33 am
I'm not a fan of our mayor, but I would not believe this story without solid proof. And a video on Gawker could not ever be construed as proof.
The Mayor replying to a comment from David / May 17, 2013 at 01:45 am
Oh hey, Dave, buddy, pal o' mine, ur shutch a great guy. Here...have a fridge magnet. Need a bump? Don't be a stranger. Call me any time. Day or night. You look like my kinda guy. Need a bump? C' a man. It won't hurt ya..jush axe my brother. Hey Rug..ya needa bump yet...come over here and meet Dave. Dave says he's not here man. Yuk yuk yuk
Alan Simon / May 17, 2013 at 02:07 am
Looks like a crowdfunding initiative is underway! I'm donating!
Alan Simon / May 17, 2013 at 02:08 am
Only takes 100,000 donations of $1 and we get to see the vid. I don't usually pay for videos online, but I think I will for this one.

Let's crowdfund the shit out of this...
JP / May 17, 2013 at 02:41 am
Maybe someone can help refresh my memory..

But I totally remember there being a story somewhere around a year or 6 months ago saying that a Toronto newspaper was sitting on a huge Rob Ford scandal. It was eluded to in an article.. I assume it wasn't this, since this crack tape seems to be recent.

God knows what other Rob Ford gems are out there!
Al replying to a comment from Alan Simon / May 17, 2013 at 07:46 am
No matter what money is raised, Ford and the developers who back him will beat it. The tape will never see the light of day.
MIKE / May 17, 2013 at 08:05 am
Cmon ppl. Allegedly. Funny how everyone automatically assumes Ford toots the kibble when the Toronto Star and tabloid Gawker say so. Add a photo of Mayor Ford with a few black ppl and he's a full out crackhead junkie. Way to show your ugly side, racist pinkos.

Justine / May 17, 2013 at 08:38 am
Cocaine is one hell of a drug.
Jodie / May 17, 2013 at 08:40 am
Leave him alone!! He's probably just smoking some weed, big deal. The Toronto Star has always been a piece of shit newspaper. You cannot prove its crack so no story. He could even say it's tobacco! Move along, this is some illegal immigrant trying to get rich. Don't fall for it!
Jer / May 17, 2013 at 08:48 am
No honor among thieves I guess.

Conspiracy theory time: the one guy in the photo whose face isn't blooded is dead already according to the Toronto star article. Let's see if the other people involve end up dead.
bo / May 17, 2013 at 08:48 am
Until there's pictures, it didn't happen.

The Star managed to get a photo when he was caught red-handed with the KFC on that breaking page one story
Templeton replying to a comment from Jodie / May 17, 2013 at 09:04 am
Is your comment satire?
tre / May 17, 2013 at 09:05 am
Wow, could this be the reason for the murder of Anthony Smith? If so, this is even bigger than you can imagine.
Templeton replying to a comment from MIKE / May 17, 2013 at 09:06 am
Did you even read the story, at Gawker and at the Toronto Star?

is your comment a joke of some kind?
tre / May 17, 2013 at 09:09 am
Who is the hockey analyst? I wanna know. / May 17, 2013 at 09:27 am
He was already booked for smoking Cannabis (Marijuana) so most likely it's a Marijuana pipe. Let's all make accusations...

The Toronto Star needs to be sued for defamation of character no ifs ands or buts about it...
joe / May 17, 2013 at 09:36 am
Crack or no Crack, Id still pick this guy over Mcguinty type politician.

Maybe the $3000 he raised was for a weekend binge!

Check his office expense book for Crack Receipts.
Alex Greene replying to a comment from Geoff / May 17, 2013 at 09:38 am
Crack Nation, you mean...
Alex Greene replying to a comment from / May 17, 2013 at 09:41 am
So, assuming for a minute that your "most likely" scenario is true, you're saying we should ignore the fact that our mayor is hanging out with drug dealers? I wonder what chief Blair has to say about it?
Bobbie McPhee / May 17, 2013 at 10:05 am
Ive started a crowdfunding to purchase the video and make it public. Only takes 100,000 donations of $1 and (hopefully) we will get to see the vid. If unsuccessful, all the money raised will go to CAMH.

Let's crowdfund the shit out of this...
ani / May 17, 2013 at 10:15 am
this administration has been a walking joke since it begun, Toronto can deal with a mayor that isnt media savvy or eloquent, but a crack smoking fiend?? I refuse to believe this isnt an SNL skit
ani / May 17, 2013 at 11:11 am
Edit: I wonder if the Anthony Smith murder has anything to do with this alleged drug scandal? because then it goes from a momentary indiscretion to a full on cover-up...either way, if I had possession of that tape I'd be getting the hell out of doge
Hugh Jass / May 17, 2013 at 12:58 pm
So he smokes crack - big deal! We already know he licks crack...this is just kind of a natural progression. Let's just hope that he doesn't take the next step (the one that would really kill his career) and shows us his crack!!!
Passion Pye / May 17, 2013 at 01:18 pm
Never, never, never. They have doctored that photo. That's not Mr Ford's body. They put a face on some guy. People, do any of you guys know what's it like to be accused and not able to defend yourself? Well Mr Ford's defence is of God. He will be vindicated. Bet your bottom dollar.
Picpie / May 17, 2013 at 04:55 pm
ugh...the boroughs shouldn't be able to vote...
Dispassionate Aye replying to a comment from Passion Pye / May 17, 2013 at 08:44 pm
HUGE difference between "not (being) able to defend yourself" and just simply not defending yourself. Pretty sure he has the means (money, lawyers, a media eagerly waiting for... ANYTHING) to defend himself.
Irony / May 17, 2013 at 11:51 pm
Given the running and hiding that has taken place since this broke, maybe it wasn't the best week for Rob to stick his home phone number on people's cars...
mike replying to a comment from Alex / May 18, 2013 at 01:37 am
rob ford sister cathy ford does heroin
Roy / May 18, 2013 at 02:56 am
Hopefully this big reveal comes back and bites the star and its reporters(?) look even more second rate and desperate then they already do. The Star won't be happy until they put enough stress on Rob that he takes a heart attack. That would make you's feel accomplished wouldn't it.
Chris Donovan replying to a comment from John / May 18, 2013 at 08:49 am
That would be the fourth largest city in North Ameica.
Josh / May 18, 2013 at 09:28 am
So who are the other two people in the video? The photo shows one person on either side of Rob Ford and the one on his left has their face blurred out - what's up with that?
Abby / May 18, 2013 at 09:40 am
This is an awesome Gawker promotion targeted right at Canadians. I never heard of the site before but I'm gonna start checking it out regularly as I'm sure many Canadians have visited their site this week for the first time. Incremental traffic!!
Jeff / May 18, 2013 at 11:05 am
WHO CARES?! None of us can or should be fired from our jobs for what we do on our personal time. If this was to be true, Mr. Ford should be sent for help at a treatment center like any drug user NOT fired, asked to leave office and run out of town. What one does on their own time is their own business unless it effects their work performance.
Jeff / May 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm
Has everyone forgotten that BILL Clinton smoked marijuana whether or not he inhaled - he smoked it, he's a drug user. He stayed in office, his wife is still in office and people look up to him. This is no different
Jeff / May 18, 2013 at 12:29 pm
ALSO one more thing than I'm done - have we all forgotten that Obama admitted Cocaine use as well? It is not clear if he ever smoked it, but he has admitted to snorting cocaine. In his book, "Dreams From My Father," he acknowledges that he used cocaine as a high school student but rejected heroin. "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though," he said.;page=1

Dr. Colon Oscopy replying to a comment from Jeff / May 18, 2013 at 01:33 pm
The delusions you're suffering from are consistent with cocaine abuse, Jeff. The following is a summation of clinical observations of crack cocaine use:

Crack use depletes the natural production of dopamine (in the brain), leaving the user increasingly dependent on crack to provide the dopamine needed to function. It's a downward spiral that is difficult to escape. Crack and meth both provide an intense high that quickly ropes the user into addiction by depleting the neurotransmitters involved in pleasure and reward. The user must continually seek more and more drugs in order to replace just the normal levels of neurotransmitters and more yet is required to achieve a high. This dangerous vortex leads to psychosis from brain damage.

Explains a lot of the bizarre behaviours of the TwinMayors, doesn't it, Jeff. It also explains why Doug is MIA. He's probably trying to round up a new supply now that their "man" has gone rogue. Play me off stage Lou

John Labatt / May 18, 2013 at 01:36 pm
There is lots of video`s of Rob Fords smoking crack whats so special about this one.
Jeff / May 18, 2013 at 03:05 pm
If everyone is such defenders of the universe why aren't you all going out tonight and kicking in bathroom stalls all over the city and straightening out coke users everywhere, you're not, you don't care, its just another way to bring Rob Ford down, its everywhere.
Tony / May 18, 2013 at 03:09 pm
Ok idiots, when you smoke weed you light the top of the pipe not the bottom. When you light the bottom you are smoking crack or meth, very simple.

Jeff replying to a comment from Tony / May 18, 2013 at 08:34 pm
Simmer Down on the knowledge Tony! or we gonna throw down!!
Sean Carter replying to a comment from Jodie / May 19, 2013 at 01:42 am
Rob Ford is a blithering idiot with no leadership skills whatsoever. It's fine to agree with his ideology, but you cannot claim that this man is fit to lead. Doug Holyday would have been an excellent mayor who would have implemented the same agenda as Ford without the circus sideshow, because Mr. Holyday is a man of class and integrity while Ford is an oaf. There will always be scandals with Rob Ford because he is incompetent and EVERYONE knows this to be true, even his supporters though they refuse to admit it.
Johnny / November 13, 2013 at 08:58 pm
I want to f@ck him in the ass and drink his cum while on crack.
LISA / November 22, 2013 at 06:11 pm
Ali / November 23, 2013 at 07:26 am
Suck it up u people. A leader is the holistic image of the people. Admit that most of us r on crack :P BTW If I had not known George Carlin is passed away, I 'd have thought he is mocking our crack smoking mayor in the first part of the video :D
Ali / November 23, 2013 at 07:41 am
How about this video...?
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