Toronto Mayor Rob Ford wipes his face during council at City Hall in Toronto, November 13, 2013.
Credits: REUTERS/Mark Blinch
TORONTO - Embattled Mayor Rob Ford dug in even further Thursday.
As Ford's frustrated allies and outraged enemies called for him to step down, Ford held a press conference with his wife Renata at his side to assure residents he is getting help and apologize for using "graphic" language hours earlier.
Moments after that press conference, Ford sparked a chaotic scene as he used City Hall security and his taxpayer-funded driver to push his way through the sea of media called into the office for the speech.
"For the past six months, I have been under tremendous, tremendous stress. The stress is largely of my own making. I have apologized and I have tried to move forward. This has proven to be almost impossible," Ford said.
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"The revelations (Wednesday) of cocaine, escorts and prostitution have pushed me over the line."
Ford admitted he used "unforgivable language" Thursday morning to address the allegations.
"These are 100% lies," he said. "When you attack my integrity as a father and as a husband, I see red.
Today, I acted on complete impulse in my remarks.
"I fully realize in the past I have drank alcohol to excess. I wish you to know, I am receiving support from a team of health-care professionals, I am taking accountability and receiving advice from people with expertise."
He refused to elaborate on the "particulars of this support."
"I wish you to understand I am accepting responsibility for the challenges I face," Ford said. "I would ask you please, please respect my family's privacy."
The mayor then ignored questions from reporters.
Earlier in the day, an irate Ford admitted to possibly drunk driving and promised to sue his ex-staffers who alleged to Toronto Police that he had a prostitute in the mayor's office and did drugs.
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"It's unfortunate I have to take legal action, I don't appreciate people calling Alana a prostitute - I never had a prostitute here, I'm very happily married at home, this is very disturbing against my wife," Ford told reporters as he arrived at City Hall.
"Unfortunately I have to take legal action against Isaac Ransom and George Christopoulos and Mark Towhey. I have to take legal action against the waiter that said I was doing lines at the Bier Markt."
Towhey was Ford's chief of staff, Christopoulos his press secretary and Ransom worked on communications in the mayor's office.
Ford also lashed out about the claim in the police document made public Wednesday that he told a female staffer "I banged your p---y" and made other disturbing suggestions during the St. Patrick's Day party in 2012.
In an interview with police, Ransom told investigators the mayor "became inappropriate with (Olivia) Gondek" and "claimed to have slept with her."
Gondek has denied the statement.
Ford shocked reporters by addressing the allegation.
"And the last thing was Olivia Gondek, it says I wanted to eat her p---y, I've never said that in my life to her, I would never do that. I'm happily married, I've got more than enough to eat at home."
According to the court documents, a suspected escort was allegedly part of Rob Ford's much-talked-about 2012 St. Paddy's bash. The woman in question was mentioned by the mayor's former special assistant of communications, Isaac Ransom.
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"It hurts my wife when they are calling a friend of mine a prostitute. Alana is not a prostitute - she's a friend," Ford said Thursday. "It makes me sick how people are saying this."
"I have no other choice, I'm the last one to take legal action, I can't put up with it anymore. I've named the names, litigation starting shortly. I've had enough."
On his way up to the city council meeting, Ford also admitted he's possibly driven drunk and consumed alcohol while driving.
"I might have, I might have," Ford said. "I might have had some drinks and driven which is absolutely wrong but outside of that, I've said what I have to say."
Asked how he could still be mayor if he's admitted to impaired driving, Ford shrugged.
"You know what, I'm not perfect, maybe you are but I'm not," he said. "I know none of you guys have never ever had a drink and got behind the wheel."
He repeated his refusal to take a leave of absence.
"You guys can take a leave of absence not me," he told reporters.
- With files from Maryam Shah and Chris Doucette
"It hurts my wife when they call a friend of mine a prostitute. Alana is not a prostitute. She's a friend. And it makes me sick how people are saying this. So unfortunately, I have no other choice. I'm the last one to take legal action, I can't put up with it anymore. So I've named the names. Litigation will be starting shortly. I've had enough. That's why I warned you guys yesterday be careful what you wrote. That's all I have to say for now. And the next thing I want to call Mayor Bratina in Hamilton and tell them we are going to have to spank their little tiger cats. Oh and the last thing was Olivia Gondek, it says it says that I wanted to eat her pussy. Olivia Gondek. I've never said that in my life to her. I would never do that. I'm happily married. I've got more than enough to eat at home. Thank you very much." - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, November 14, 2013
OLIVIA GONDEKMORE: Tales of booze, drugs, suspected escorts in new Rob Ford docs