For almost two years, the video, notorious even though it had never been seen by the public, was embargoed under court order. It was being used as evidence against Rob Ford’s driver, Alexander Lisi, who was on trial for allegedly using the video to extort a now-convicted gang member. The charge was dropped today, thus lifting a publication ban.
In the minute-long clip, Ford is seen holding a pipe and muttering about “the kids,” minorities, and being portrayed as right-wing radical. He then realizes that the conversation, and the fateful hit of the crack pipe, may have been recorded. “I don’t know if that camera’s not on bro,” he says.
When news first broke of the existence of a video showing Ford smoking crack, he denied it by saying he could not comment on a video “that I have never seen or does not exist.” But as evidence mounted that the video was real, he justified his crack-smoking by saying it occurred during one of his “drunken stupors,” arguably a low point for the office of the mayor of Toronto.
Ford passed away on March 22, following an 18-month battle with cancer.