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Day by day: A timeline of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's 'crack video' scandal

TORONTO - Since May 2013, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been embroiled in a controversy over a video that allegedly shows him appearing to smoke crack cocaine. Other videos surfaced later showing him in expletive-laced tirades. Here are some notable moments in the Rob Ford video controversies:

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2013:

May 16 - The Toronto Star and U.S.-based news site Gawker report that Mayor Rob Ford was seen on video smoking what appears to be crack cocaine and making racist and homophobic comments. They also say the video is being shopped around by a group of men allegedly involved in the drug trade.

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May 17 - Ford calls the allegations "ridiculous" and accuses the Toronto Star of "going after" him. Ford's lawyer Dennis Morris calls the reports "false and defamatory" and says it's impossible to tell what a person is smoking by watching the video.

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May 24 - Ford issues a short statement insisting "I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine." He adds he can't comment on a video that he has never seen and does not exist.

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May 26 - On his weekly radio show on Newstalk 1010, Ford says he's "moving forward" from the allegations and plans to run for re-election. He attacks the media for their coverage of the growing scandal, calling them ``a bunch of maggots.''

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May 30 - The Toronto Star alleges Ford told senior aides not to worry about the alleged video because he knew where it was. The mayor refuses to comment, but says he won't step down.

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June 13 - Toronto police raid several homes including an apartment building where reports have said the alleged video was located. Police Chief Bill Blair won't say if there's any connection to Ford.

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June 15 - Reports in the Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail say two of the suspects arrested in the raid also appear with Ford in a widely publicized photograph connected to the alleged crack video scandal. Ford has said he poses for photos with "everybody."

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Aug. 18 - The Star says two of Ford's associates tried to obtain the alleged crack video after the allegations surfaced. Doug Ford dismisses it as "just another attack" by the paper.

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Oct. 1: Ford's friend and occasional driver, Alexander Lisi, is arrested and charged with four drug-related offences, including trafficking marijuana. Ford defends Lisi the next day, calling him a friend and a "good guy."

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Oct. 31: Chief Bill Blair announces Toronto police recovered a copy of a video file that depicts images of Ford "consistent with those previously reported in the press." Blair said police have no "reasonable" grounds to criminally charge the mayor based on the video. But he said they charged Lisi with extortion for allegedly making "extortive efforts to retrieve a recording."

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Nov. 3: Ford apologizes on his weekly radio show on Newstalk 1010 for making mistakes including appearing in public while "hammered" and texting while driving. But he tells AM640 the next day: "I'm not an alcoholic, I'm not a drug addict."

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Nov. 5: Ford admits he smoked crack cocaine about a year earlier while in one of his "drunken stupors." Despite the admission after months of denials on the drug use question, he insists he had been truthful. "I wasn't lying," he told reporters. "You didn't ask the correct questions. No, I'm not an addict and no I do not do drugs." Ford says he has nothing left to hide.

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Nov. 7: A video is posted online by the Toronto Star and Toronto Sun that shows Ford spewing obscenities and using threatening words, including "kill" and "murder." The mayor tells reporters moments after the video is posted that he was "extremely" drunk and is "extremely" embarrassed.

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Nov. 13: Newly released parts of a court document show former staffers of the mayor told police he was intoxicated at work, drank while driving and associated with suspected prostitutes. The release came shortly after Ford admitted buying illegal drugs while in office.

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Nov. 14: Ford sends shockwaves through city hall when he spouts an obscenity on live TV while denying allegations in the court document that he told a female aide he was going to have oral sex with her. He later apologizes and says he is getting professional support. City councillors call on him to resign. Ford refuses.

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Nov. 18: City council votes by a wide margin to slash Ford's mayoral budget and hand many of his duties to the deputy mayor. Ford calls it a "coup d'etat" and vows it will be war in the October 2014 municipal election.

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Dec. 9: In a televised interview with Conrad Black, Ford claims that Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale was in his backyard in May 2012, "taking pictures of little kids." He says "I don't want to say that word but you start thinking what this guy is all about." Dale later serves Ford with a libel notice, alleging Ford insinuated he is a pedophile. He later announces he is not proceeding with the lawsuit after Ford apologizes and retracts his comments, though only after a first attempt at an apology that Dale found unsatisfactory.

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2014

Jan. 21 - After weeks of adamant vows that he had given up alcohol, Ford admits he had been drinking the previous night after a video emerged on YouTube of him in a rambling, profane rant using Jamaican patois. Ford says he had been on personal time at a west-end Toronto restaurant and did not think the language he used was offensive.

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Jan. 31 - While visiting a Vancouver suburb for the funeral of a friend's mother, Ford gets a ticket for jaywalking. He says he was singled out by police. The Toronto Star reports that hours later, he was served drinks after closing hours at a pub in Coquitlam. It quotes an unidentified witness as saying Ford went into a tiny staff washroom only to emerge more than an hour later "talking gibberish." Ford and the pub's owner do not comment.

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Mar. 3 - Ford made a highly-anticipated appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," with the host introducing him by saying, "our first guest tonight has tripped, bumped, danced, argued and smoked his was into our national consciousness." Ford told Kimmel he wasn't elected to be perfect but to clean up the financial mess at City Hall.

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Mar. 14 - Ford's brother and fellow city councillor Doug Ford accuse actor Kevin Spacey of being an "arrogant S.O.B." While the mayor was waiting to appear on the "Jimmy Kimmel Live" talk show in Los Angeles, Doug Ford said they were told they couldn't talk to or take a picture with Spacey. The comment is made on their "Ford Nation" show on YouTube. The next day Spacey posts a doctored photo on Twitter of himself between the Ford brothers on the "Ford Nation" set with the caption "All you had to do was ask, guys. Here's your pic."

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Mar. 19 - A detailed description of the so-called Ford crack video is included in document released by a Toronto judge. The document, containing police allegations used to obtain search warrants in an ongoing investigation involving Ford, says the video was filmed on Family Day weekend in 2013. Police also allege another video shows an alleged gang member describing how to "catch a mayor smoking crack."

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Apr. 3 - An Ontario Superior Court judge ordered the release of information that police allege they heard on wiretaps, but has not been proven in court, including one between an alleged gang member and a woman whose home police allege is a "frequent hangout for crack cocaine users." Police say it suggests the crack video was make at that home. And Ford said that he felt his name has been "cleared" when Ontario Provincial Police announced they had stepped back from a lengthy criminal investigation into his activities.

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Apr. 30 - Ford's lawyer said the Toronto mayor would take a leave of absence to seek help for substance abuse. Dennis Morris said Ford "realizes he needs help for substance abuse" but would not say what steps his client would take.

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