Speed Reads

happening now

Rob Ford to take leave, seek help for drinking problem

Aaron Vincent Elkaim/Getty Images

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford announced Wednesday that he will take a leave of absence to seek help for a drinking problem.

"It's not easy to be vulnerable and this is one of the most difficult times in my life," he said in a statement. "I have a problem with alcohol, and the choices I have made while under the influence. I have struggled with this for some time."

The news came after another video showing the mayor smoking what is said to be crack cocaine surfaced. The footage was part of a set of three videos that a drug dealer claims to have shot of the mayor early Saturday morning, according to The Globe and Mail, whose reporters have viewed the tape. Ford's lawyer, Dennis Morris, told the Toronto Sun that "If [the recording] is accurate, then that's reason enough to take a leave. He just thinks it's time. Certain things allegedly have happened over the last few days, and I think he realizes that it's time to address the difficulties."

Ford is seeking re-election this year, with the vote set for Oct. 27.