'Robbie's not a drug addict': sister, mother defend Mayor Rob Ford
Published Thursday, November 7, 2013 5:48PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 7, 2013 8:48PM EST
Rob Ford’s mother and sister say the mayor’s drug and alcohol use is “not acceptable behaviour,” but insisted that he’s not an addict and will survive the scandal that’s making international headlines.
“Robbie’s not a drug addict,” the mayor’s sister, Kathy Ford, told CP24's Stephen LeDrew Thursday in an interview at her mother Diane Ford’s Etobicoke home.
“I know because I’m a former addict – or an addict if you’d want to say,” she said, adding that the mayor “couldn’t function” if he were addicted.
“If you want to consider binge drinking once every three months and you get totally plastered, which he just makes a fool out of himself…fine,” Kathy said.
She said her brother “does not drink every night,” but when he does consume alcohol, he goes “full tilt.”
Ford’s mother and sister were speaking out for the first time since the mayor admitted to smoking crack cocaine in a “drunken stupor” about a year ago.
On Thursday, a video showing an inebriated Ford swearing and talking about killing someone was posted by The Toronto Star. Ford told reporters that he was "extremely inebriated" at the time.
“It’s not acceptable behaviour. He’s the mayor of the city,” his mother told CP24.
Later in the interview, Diane Ford said her son does have a problem -- but not a drug problem.
“He’s got a weight problem,” she said, adding that the mayor’s size affects his demeanour.
“He’s got a huge weight problem and he knows that. And I think that is the first thing he has to attack.”
Diane Ford said she held a family meeting at her home last week, after Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair told reporters that police have recovered a video allegedly showing the mayor smoking crack.
The existence of that video was first reported by The Toronto Star and U.S. website Gawker in May.
“He talked, we listened. I talked, they listened,” Diane said of the family meeting.
“And we all had our say. It was a real outpouring of feelings.”
Diane said she didn’t tell her son to “shape up or ship out,” but she told him to get a driver, do something about his weight, get an alcohol detector in his car and watch the company he’s keeping.
She also told Ford to see a counsellor or a psychologist to get help.
“I think he will do that, absolutely he will,” she said.
“If he was really, really in dire straits…I would be the first one, I’d put him in my car and I would be taking him…He isn’t there.”
Diane also said Ford’s accomplishments have been overlooked in the wake of the ongoing scandal.
“It’s just so hurtful to the family and it’s just so hurtful to me as a mother.”
She said everyone knows that Ford has hurt himself, and that he’s just human – “a little too human.
“But there’s nothing that he can’t recover from.”