TORONTO — Rob Ford did not officially enter the U.S. when he flew to Chicago last week bound for rehab, reports said Tuesday, but his lawyer insisted “100 per cent” that the Toronto mayor is getting inpatient substance-abuse treatment.
Ford’s whereabouts remain a mystery, and lawyer Dennis Morris said they should stay that way.
“The media should, I don’t know, put things on pause a little bit,” Morris said in an interview. “Let the man do his rehab. Once he gets out we can just see how it worked.”
Ford left home last week after announcing he was taking a leave of absence and suspending his re-election campaign to seek “immediate” help for alcohol abuse.
He announced the decision hours after the Globe and Mail reported that a drug dealer had shown two of its reporters video of Ford allegedly smoking what was said to be crack, reportedly recorded days earlier in his sister’s basement.
The Toronto Sun also published an audio recording of Ford at a bar making anti-gay remarks, using an ethnic slur, and saying he would like to “jam” rival candidate Karen Stintz.
Morris said at the time that it was not possible to know what was in the pipe seen in stills from the alleged new video.
He also said that the mayor flew to Chicago, but was not in a program in that city.
The Globe and Mail reported Tuesday that when Ford landed in Chicago he voluntarily withdrew his application to enter the country and quoted the consul general of Canada in Chicago as saying Ford “was not denied entry, per se.”
Morris refused to say where Ford ended up, but said he is in a treatment facility.
“I can’t comment other than saying 100 per cent,” Morris said, adding that the mayor is “doing very well.”
News that a video appeared to show Ford smoking crack cocaine broke nearly one year ago. When the scandal reared its head anew in November, following Ford’s admission that he had smoked the drug, he said he was seeking help from a team of professionals, though did not elaborate other than to say he was exercising.
“I don’t think he misled anybody at the time,” Morris said Tuesday.
“But it wasn’t the extensive help that he’s getting now because as you saw, whatever help he received wasn’t as inpatient, so now it’s different.”