"Yes I have smoked crack cocaine... Probably in one of my drunken stupors."
That's what embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford just dropped on the media during a surprise press conference just after noon ET on Tuesday.
According to The Toronto Star, Ford qualified:
" 'I am not an addict,' he told the media.
" 'I wasn't lying. You didn't ask the correct questions,' Ford explained to why the admission was so long in coming.
"Ford said he smoked crack about a year ago. 'I don't even remember.' "
As we've reported, Ford has been dogged for months by rumors of a video that allegedly shows him smoking crack. The existence of the video was first reported by the Toronto Star and Gawker back in May, but the story took a dramatic turn Thursday when Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair said authorities now had that video and confirmed that the images of Ford on the video are "consistent with that which had previously been described in various media reports."
Ford apologized over the weekend but stopped short of admitting he had smoked crack.
"I'm the first one to admit, friends, I'm the first one to admit, I am not perfect. I have made mistakes ... and all I can do right now is apologize for the mistakes," he said Sunday on his weekly radio show.
But Ford also made it clear that he intends to "ride this storm out."
Ford repeated that sentiment during Tuesday's press conference when, as the CBC reports, he said, "I've made mistakes and all I can do is move on."
Update at 12:52 p.m. ET. Audio Of The Conference:
CBC Radio has posted audio of the press scrum. A reporter asks Ford, "Do you smoke crack cocaine?"
Ford replies: "Yes I have smoked crack cocaine."