Mystery woman recalls rehab days with 'sweet' Rob Ford

Jenny Yuen, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:04 PM ET

BALA, Ont. - The woman charged with impaired driving while behind the wheel of Mayor Rob Ford's Cadillac Escalade said they were "best buddies" in rehab.

LeAnne McRobb broke her silence Wednesday about the days she spent inside the GreeneStone Muskoka rehab facility where she struck up an almost instant friendship with Ford -- whom she describes as a "sweet guy" who wanted to help her.

McRobb said Ford also had friendly nicknames for her and recalled her meetings with both the mayor's brother, Doug, and his friend and driver, Sandro Lisi.

"(Ford) likes making up these little names he calls people," McRobb told QMI Agency during a meeting at a restaurant in Bala, a town in Muskoka about 200 kilometres north of Toronto.

"He tends to call females 'little birds,' but he didn't want to call me that. He called me a 'little monkey' because I'd be bouncing around and doing yoga and never (be) in a bad mood. Our friendship grew fast. He said I was his best buddy in rehab."

McRobb said Ford had a few other nicknames for her, including "little buddy, monkey" and "country pumpkin" - Ford had mixed up the common expression, "country bumpkin," meaning a simple country person.


LeeAnne McRobb, who met Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in rehab in Muskoka in May and was charged with driving his vehicle while impaired, speaks to the Toronto Sun in Bala on Wednesday July 9, 2014. She is wearing the watch that she had left in Ford's room. She is holding Ford fridge magnets which she found in his vehicle and took with his permission. (Michael Peake/QMI Agency)

Click here to see more photos of Rob Ford’s mystery rehab ‘buddy’

McRobb, 36, said she struck up a conversation with Ford about fishing on May 3 or 4 -- less than a week after the Toronto mayor enrolled himself into rehab for alcohol and substance abuse treatment. The friendship evolved from there.

"I introduced myself and ... I was the only girl that was local to the community," McRobb said. "I think that surprised him because he laughed at a lot of the different things.

"I've had my hunting licence ever since I was 16, just little things like that, that I don't think he was used to hearing from a woman."

She described the embattled mayor as "a solid person" who "listens" and would often speak fondly about his two children during his time there.

"Anyone who is loyal to him will always be loyal to him," McRobb said. "I think (being mayor) is good for his health. I want to come down and campaign for him."

Asked if she maintains contact with Ford, she said: "I did talk to him quickly this morning but he doesn't have a lot of time now like he did when he was in GreeneStone -- but I miss him."


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