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TRANSCRIPT & VIDEO: Mayor Ford admits to smoking crack cocaine

Mayor Rob Ford arrives to host his weekly radio show in Toronto on Nov. 3, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted Tuesday that he has smoked crack cocaine but he’s staying in office. Here’s what he told reporters at city hall:

“With today’s announcement, I know I embarrassed everyone in this city and I will forever be sorry. There’s only one person to blame for this and that is myself. I know that admitting my mistake was the right thing to do. And I feel like a thousand pounds have been lifted off my shoulders.

I can’t explain how difficult this was to do. I hope, I hope that nobody but nobody has to go through what I have gone through.

I know what I did was wrong. And admitting it was the most difficult and embarrassing thing I have ever had to do.

Folks I have nothing left to hide.

I would do anything, absolutely anything to change the past. But the past is the past and we must move forward.

I want to be clear I want to be crystal clear to every single person. These mistakes will never, ever, ever happen again.

I kept this from my family, especially my brother Doug, my staff,  my council colleagues because I was embarrassed and ashamed.

To the residents of Toronto, I know I have let you down and I can’t do anything else but apologize.I apologize and I’m so sorry.

I know. I know I have to regain your trust and your confidence. I love my job. I love my job. I love this city, love saving taxpayers money and I love being your mayor.

There’s important work that we must advance and important decisions that must be made. For the sake of the taxpayers of this great city, for the sake of the taxpayers, we must get back to work immediately. We must keep Toronto moving forward.

I was elected to do a job and that’s exactly what I’m going to continue to do.

In 2010, I made a commitment to Toronto voters. I have delivered on that commitment and I will continue to deliver on that commitment of saving taxpayers money. But they have a choice.

We live in a democracy and on October 27 of 2014 I want the people of this great city to decide whether to they want Rob Ford to remain their mayor.

Again, I sincerely, sincerely, sincerely apologize.

God bless the people of Toronto. Thank you very much.

Earlier in the day, Ford admitted to smoking crack cocaine:

“Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine. But no — do I? Am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago. I answered your question, you ask a question properly, I’ll answer it. Yes, I’ve made mistakes, all I can do now is apologize and move on.

“All I can say is I’ve made mistakes and you guys kept referring to alcohol, it was a couple (of) isolated incidents. There’s been times when I’ve been in a drunken stupor, that’s why I want to see the tape. I want everyone in the city to see this tape. I’d like to see this tape — I don’t even recall there being a tape and a video and I know that and I want to see the state that I was in but that’s exactly it. I don’t know what else I can say.

“So I wasn’t lying, you didn’t ask the correct questions. No, I’m not an addict, and no, I do not do drugs. I’ve made mistakes in the past and all I can do is apologize, but it is what it is and I can’t change the past. And I can apologize to my family, my friends, my colleagues and the people of this great city. I can’t change it.

“I told you, probably approximately, probably saying around about a year ago but I don’t know exactly, that’s why I want to see… I don’t even remember, after some of the stuff that you guys have seen, the state I’ve been in — it’s a problem.”