TORONTO – Mayor Rob Ford has broken his week-long silence to say he does not use crack cocaine.
In a statement at city hall, Ford slammed the media and those who have judged him “without any evidence.”
Ford’s statement came an hour after his executive committee publicly urged him to address the raging scandal.
Ford had spent the past week evading reporters since the American website Gawker and the Toronto Star reported viewing a cellphone video they said was taken by a drug dealer.
The outlets said the video appeared to show Ford smoking crack cocaine.
Ford said he had kept quiet on the advice of lawyer.
Earlier in the afternoon, his executive committee urged him to address the raging crack-video scandal after his deputy mayor said residents were becoming increasingly concerned about the situation.
In an open letter, the six-member committee also sought to reassure citizens that city business was continuing.
“We ask the mayor to definitively address the allegations before him,” the letter said.
“The allegations need to be addressed openly and transparently.”
In response to the pressure, Ford was apparently preparing to read a statement late Friday afternoon.
Ford has spent the past week evading reporters and ducking in and out of city hall.