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Toronto Mayor: ‘I Do Not Use Crack Cocaine’

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford at a city council meeting on Tuesday.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he doesn't smoke crack cocaine and isn't an addict, in response to a video that surfaced recently purporting to show him using the illegal drug.

Last week Ford called the cellphone video obtained by The Toronto Star "ridiculous" and blamed the newspaper for "going after me."

Friday's comments from Ford were more emphatic.

"I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine," he said at a news conference. "As for a video, I cannot comment on a video that I have never seen, or does not exist."

He didn't take questions from reporters and said he'd held his silence on the matter for the past week because his lawyer advised him "not to say a word."

Last week, the Star reported that two of its reporters had viewed a video that appeared to show Ford smoking crack. The newspaper says the footage was being "shopped around Toronto by a group of Somali men involved in the drug trade." The website Gawker has also obtained the video, but it has not been verified by other news organizations.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit www.npr.org.

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