U.S. website Gawker says an alleged drug video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford may be “gone,” and nearly $200,000 raised to buy the video could go to charity.

Gawker editor John Cook and two Toronto Star journalists reported they had seen the video, in which Ford appears to smoke a crack pipe, but CTV has not independently verified its existence.

The mayor has denied the video exists and says he does not smoke crack cocaine.

In a post on Gawker’s website Tuesday, Cook wrote that an intermediary spoke to the purported seller of the video, who said it was “gone.”

Gawker had crowdsourced a total of $201,254 minus fees to buy the video.

“If this doesn't happen soon, we will -- as we initially promised when we launched the campaign -- select a Canadian nonprofit that addresses substance abuse issues to receive the money,” he wrote Tuesday.

Ford has faced a constant barrage of media attention since Gawker and the Toronto Star first reported on the alleged video in mid-May.

Since then, Ford’s chief of staff Mark Towhey has left his position, along with several other staff members.