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Toronto reporter sues troubled mayor for pervert accusation

English.news.cn   2013-12-14 09:52:29            

TORONTO, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) --- The embattled mayor of Canada's largest city was served with a libel notice Friday for some comments he made about a local city hall reporter during a televised interview.

Daniel Dale, a reporter from Toronto Star, a Canadian daily newspaper, has decided to proceed with legal action after Toronto Mayor Rob Ford made comments suggesting the journalist was a pedophile in a Vision TV interview with Conrad Black, a former media baron.

"His comments to Black were no one-time slip; they seemed to be the first shots in a bewildering campaign against my good name," Dale wrote in an article Thursday, explaining why he has decided to go forth with the defamation lawsuit. "At a Tuesday news conference, he (Rob Ford) pointedly said he stands by every word. Today, he repeated many of his false claims on American radio."

The notice by Dale's lawyers was filed against both the mayor and Vision TV, producers of The Zoomer, for broadcasting Ford's remarks twice "even though their interview was filmed days before it aired."

The Star will be covering Dale's legal costs while he continues his job at city hall.

Michael Cooke, the Star's editor, tweeted Thursday afternoon, " Daniel Dale will sue over the pervert accusation with the Toronto Star's full and complete support."

Ford's insinuation was related to an instance in May 2012 when Dale was found adjacent to Ford's backyard looking at property the mayor had hoped to purchase. He said Dale had committed the worst invasion of his privacy that day.

"Daniel Dale is in my backyard taking pictures. I have little kids. He's taking pictures of little kids," Ford told Black in the interview. "I don't want to say that word, but you start thinking what this guy is all about."

"When you've got young kids, that freaked me right out," he added.

Dale denied ever taking photos of the mayor's home or family, and said he was writing a story about the plot so he went to take a look at it. A police interview supported that claim after finding no photos of the sort on Dale's phone.

It's just the latest in a slew of Ford-related events that's made headlines around the world. The Toronto mayor has been embroiled in a media firestorm for months after reports surfaced of a video of him smoking what appeared to be crack cocaine.

Ford denied the existence of the video for months, until last month, when he admitted to using the illegal drug.

He has repeatedly refused to step down despite the numerous calls for him to resign. Toronto City Council has ultimately voted to remove Ford's key mayoral powers.

Editor: Shen Qing
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