TORONTO (Reuters) – The infamous video of late Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking from what appears to be a crack pipe while slurring his words has been made public after a Toronto court lifted a publication ban on Thursday.
The video was posted online by CBC and the Toronto Star. It shows Ford mostly muttering inaudibly while a woman off-camera speaks about politics and uses profanities in respect to Justin Trudeau, now Canada’s prime minister, as Ford lights the pipe and inhales.
Ford, who died in March, can be seen with sunlight streaming onto his face while holding the pipe and gesticulating.
“I fucking take these kids under my wing,” he says in what appears to be a reference to a high school football team he coached. “They say I’m this right wing, radical fucking guy,” Ford continues before lighting the pipe, inhaling, and blowing out.
For months after reports of the video’s existence surfaced in 2013, Ford denied that he had ever smoked the drug. He eventually admitted that he had done so probably “in one of my drunken stupors”.
A friend and former driver for Ford, Alexander Lisi, was charged with extortion against a now-convicted gang member who had a cellphone clip of the video. That charge was dropped on Thursday, leading to the publication ban being lifted.
Ford died 18 months after he was diagnosed with pleomorphic liposarcoma, a rare cancer found in soft, fatty tissue of the body.
He was never charged in relation to his drug use.
(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Toni Reinhold)