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Ford started using drugs after father died in 2006, new book alleges

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford stands with his wife Renata at a city hall news conference on Nov. 14, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young.

One of the journalists who claims she’s seen the video of Mayor Rob Ford smoking from a crack pipe is out with a new book, detailing Ford’s rise to power and his family’s history of alleged criminal activity and substance abuse.

Robyn Doolittle’s book, Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story, takes a close look at the personal life of the mayor as it traces his upbringing and the dynamics of a family that became wealthy through the hard work of his father. Doug Ford Sr. first built a successful label-printing business and later became a cabinet minister in the Mike Harris government of Ontario.

It was the death of the Ford Sr. in 2006 that Doolittle claims triggered the substance abuse that has recently come to light.

“He was just utterly devastated by the death of his father. Also, that was the kind of person that they never wanted to let down and suddenly that figure was no longer there. So you didn’t have the guilt and you also had the grief. That seems to be the moment he went off the rails,” Doolittle told 680News political affairs specialist John Stall.

“According to those close to him, this was the moment when things changed — for the whole family. The authoritarian figure was gone. The boys had lost their hero,” Doolittle writes in her book.

“This seems to be the period when Ford transitioned to using crack cocaine, although his drug of choice continued to be alcohol,” Doolittle writes.

Doolittle also documents the concern of Ford’s wife Renata, who allegedly told a confidante during a recorded conversation that Ford said he would give up the pills but not the cocaine when he was elected mayor.

According to Doolittle, the conversation took place after Ford was elected mayor.

“He still thinks he’s going to party,” Renata is quoted as saying. “He thinks that he, oh, you know, ‘I’ll get off the pills, but I’m not giving up the blow.’ ”

Apparently Renata has since denied the conversation.

“The Fords think of themselves as the Kennedys. They talk about it. They’re the Canadian Kennedys,” a source close to the family told Doolittle.

Doug Ford Sr. kept a “thick roll of bills” within a wall of the basement. It was “enough cash to buy a luxury car,” Doolittle writes. The money disappeared when the home was being renovated in April 1988 and Ford Sr. demanded the children take lie detector tests to find out who may have stolen the cash.

Apparently the Ford brothers passed the test but Kathy, the sister, and her husband at the time, Ennio Stirpe, did not.

“Predictably, the unremittingly strict Doug Ford St. lost it,” Doolittle writes.

Doolittle approached the both the mayor and his brother Coun. Doug Ford for interviews but was denied.

She even offered to publish a transcript of the full interview with Coun. Ford if it happened, but it didn’t.

Doolittle is scheduled to be on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Thursday.

She’ll be talking about the book at a launch event at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, along with Kristine Stewart, the head of Twitter Canada, on Monday night.