Sarah Thomson speaks to reporters in front of Toronto City Hall about her allegations Mayor Rob Ford grabbed her "ass".
Credits: Don Peat/Toronto Sun/QMI Agency
TORONTO - Why didn't the public rise up in anger against Toronto Mayor Rob Ford when former mayoral candidate and Women's Post publisher Sarah Thomson accused him of sexual assault and substance abuse at a party held by the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee Thursday evening?
Perhaps most of the public doesn't believe her. A crowded room full of potential witnesses which has so far provided none and the shifting nature of her story hour by hour perhaps made people forego their usual inclination to come to the defence of a woman wronged.
Thomson took to social media suggesting inappropriate activity by Ford.
Early Friday morning Thomson told John Moore and Dave Agar on Newstalk1010 that the mayor "grabbed my ass."
She also said Ford was "out of it" and perhaps has a substance abuse problem for which he needed help. She claimed to have gone to the mayor's "handlers" to remove him from the event.
Just before 9 a.m. Mark Towhey, Ford's chief of staff, told Moore that Thomson did not talk to the staff, that they were nearby the whole time and that her story is not true.
At about 9:45 a.m. Thomson came on the radio with me and when asked whether she had actually spoken to the mayor's staff she backed off that claim and said that she had talked to a conservative who knows the mayor.
As a political person herself, Thomson knows the difference between handlers and friends. The difference is huge in political circles and it is a major inconsistency in her story. Consistency and credibility matter when making serious, possibly criminal, accusations.
She told me she did not go to the police because, "I don't hate Rob," and "I just wanted to get the conversation started."
Was she drinking? "A beer, that's all I had."
A half hour later she told reporters outside City Hall that she had spoken to a police officer the night before about the incident; another inconsistency and an amazing thing to forget to mention earlier.
At 11:15 a.m. Richmond Hill councillor Carmine Perrelli told me that he, along with others, encountered Thomson at the event.
"She mentioned to the group that Mayor Ford had grabbed her backside," Perrelli said. "She said that, ‘I am going to use my friend here to set him up, to take a picture of him, so that I can use it against him in the next campaign.'"
That statement, if true, would seem to suggest Thomson was more interested in political opportunity than offence or victimhood, a position most of the people writing to me found curious.
I asked Perrelli whether he had seen Thomson drinking. Scotch, he replied; another inconsistency in her "one beer" story.
After 5 p.m Friday Thomson told Newstalk 1010's John Tory that Perrelli couldn't tell cranberry juice from scotch. Her assistant Sarah Patterson called in to say that Perrelli himself was, "fairly inebriated."
Thomson said, "They always blame the victim." But many women calling throughout the day said that they were themselves victims and Thomson's story did not "ring true."
Only Ford and Thomson know what happened. Lawyer Steve Skurka told Tory that consistency matters, or the police may not take it seriously.
Late Friday afternoon 84.7% of Newstalk1010 listeners polled did not believe Thomson.
Thomson admits the affair may end her political career.