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Toronto mayor may seek treatment for substance abuse, lawyer says

TORONTO, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford may seek treatment for substance abuse issues, his attorney said Friday.

Dennis Morris said "it's an option he has to consider and he will be considering," CBC News reported.

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Earlier in the day, Ford's brother, Conn Ford, said his brother "needs to go away for a couple of weeks."

The comments came at the end of a troubled week for Ford. The mayor admitted he had smoked crack after police said a video appeared to show him smoking an illegal substance. On Thursday, The Toronto Star released a cellphone video on which he is staggering and slurring his words as he threatens to kill someone.

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In the video, Ford ranted, "I'm gonna kill that f---ing guy. I'm telling you, it's first-degree murder," in an unknown dining room.

Moments after the Star posted the video online, Ford apologized.

"The Toronto Star just released a video that I was very, very inebriated," Ford said. "All I can say is, again, I've made mistakes. I just wanted to come out and tell you I saw a video. It's extremely embarrassing. The whole world's going to see it. You know what? I don't have a problem with that."

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The Star said it didn't know the target of Ford's ire.

"I'll rip his f---ing throat out. I'll poke his eyes out ... I'll make sure that motherf---er's dead," Ford said on the video.

On Wednesday, Ford Chief of Staff Earl Provost said he couldn't discuss the video with the newspaper, which said other efforts to discuss the video with members of Ford's mayoral staff were unsuccessful.

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In the video, Ford waves his arms, stumbles and bumps into the dining room table, the Star said.

The Star said it bought the video for $5,000 from someone who recorded it from a computer screen belonging to another person who the Star was told had ties to people who in the room during Ford's rant.

Editor Michael Cooke said the newspaper bought the video because of the "huge public interest both in Toronto and worldwide."

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"We weren't paying a source for information," Cooke said, "we were purchasing a video, something newspapers and TV stations do every day. I've paid more for a book excerpt."

Ford officials confirmed Thursday the mayor hired Jerry Agyemang as his driver, a position he hasn't filled since taking office in 2010, the Toronto Sun reported.

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Earlier this week, Ford said admitted he has smoked crack cocaine but denied he lied earlier this year when he said he did not "use crack cocaine." He also said he intends to remain in office and run for re-election, despite admitting he has smoked crack cocaine.

When reports first surfaced in May that a cellphone video showed Ford smoking crack, he told reporters the allegation was "ridiculous," and an attorney for Ford told The Toronto Star its report on the allegation contained "false and defamatory" details.

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