Toronto Mayor Rob Ford punched back Tuesday at a Toronto Star story alleging he has a drinking problem and was booted out of a gala last month over fears he was intoxicated.
He was supported by six members of the 2013 Garrison Ball organizing committee, including two co-chairs, who issued a signed letter confirming they did not ask the mayor to leave the event “for any reason” on Feb. 23.
Ford, meanwhile, came out swinging at the Star for asking about the allegations at City Hall Tuesday after he presented Canadian boxing legend George Chuvalo with a key to the city of Toronto.
“Number one, it is an outright lie. It is the Toronto Star going after me again and again and again — they’re relentless, that’s fine. I’ll go head to head with the Toronto Star anytime,” Ford insisted. “Let’s just wait until the election and we’ll see what happens.”
A visibly agitated Ford accused those at the paper of being “pathological liars” making “lies after lies and lies.”
“Why don’t you take me to court? Let the courts decide,” Ford said.
The Star reported Tuesday that Ford was asked to leave last month’s Garrison Ball “because organizers were concerned he was impaired.”
Ford attended the event with his two children and did not drive himself away from the gala that night, QMI Agency learned.
“He had a driver,” a source said.
In an interview Tuesday on CP24, Star Editor-in-Chief Michael Cooke encouraged Ford to take the newspaper to court if “he feels that our story is wrong and there is a slur on him.
“I expect his lawyers’ bills will be paid by the taxpayers ... We could defend this story. The story is correct. We stand by the story; it is airtight,” Cooke said.
Ainslie — a member of Ford’s executive committee — was the only politician who talked to the Star on the record about the Garrison Ball. He said he urged Ford’s chief of staff to “have the mayor leave the event.”
Defence Minister Peter MacKay released a statement Tuesday confirming he chatted with Ford “briefly” at the event.
“He looked fine to me,” MacKay stated.
This latest allegation comes to light just a few weeks after former political rival Sarah Thomson accused Ford of being “intoxicated” at a Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee fundraiser. Thomson claimed Ford “grabbed my ass” and made an inappropriate remark on March 7.