Sneed: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford flies to Chicago as he seeks addiction treatment
BY MICHAEL SNEED May 2, 2014 12:42AM
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford leaves his home early Thursday May 1, 2014, in Toronto. Ford will take an immediate leave of absence to seek help for alcohol, he said, as a report surfaced about a second video of the mayor smoking what appears to be crack cocaine. | Frank Gunn/Canadian Press via AP
Updated: June 3, 2014 6:38AM
The Rob report . . .
Seen a Ford lately?
Sneed is told that embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who claims he has taken a leave of absence to seek help for alcohol addiction, flew via private jet to Chicago on Thursday afternoon.
It was not known whether Ford, a hot mess whose addictions have become fodder for the international media, was seeking treatment in Chicago, near where his firm, DECO Labels & Tags, is located in suburban Wood Dale — or whether he was en route elsewhere.
◆ Crack shot: Ford, who came under fire in 2013 after a video allegedly showing him smoking crack and videos showing him drinking heavily were obtained by the Canadian media, took the leave of absence from his office Wednesday after a new video surfaced, purportedly showing him smoking crack from a copper pipe.
◆ Pot shot: “I have a problem with alcohol, and the choices I have made while under the influence,” Ford stated. “I have struggled with this for some time . . . I have decided to take a leave from campaigning and from my duties as mayor to seek immediate help.”
◆ Last November, William Moyers, a spokesman for Hazelden addiction treatment centers, referred to Ford as a man “ . . . unable to get out of the way of his own ego and the media spotlight long enough to take care of himself. Instead, day after day, he chooses to mount the stage for another act of his own tragic play. It would be comedy if the mayor were trying to be funny. But he is dead serious, so it is sad.”
◆ Moyers told Sneed on Thursday: “All these months later, maybe Ford has finally realized his way isn’t working and he will do the right thing to get help. But I can’t confirm or deny he is here.”
◆ Backshot: In 1990, singer Elton John flew to Chicago for drug, eating disorder and alcohol treatment at Parkside Lutheran General Hospital, now known as Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. In his memoir, the singer wrote about his treatment at the hospital, which he credited with the ability to treat all his addictions at once.
A royal visit . . .
Prince William, an heir to the British throne, was spotted in Chicago on Thursday awaiting transport to the wedding of an old pal in Memphis this weekend.
“He was just a regular guy . . . pretty normal . . . wearing a baseball cap, a blue sweater and jeans,” said a Sneed pal who spotted da prince exiting an American Airlines flight from London at O’Hare International airport early Thursday afternoon.
“He said this was his second trip to Tennessee,” said the source,who claims the prince “refused to let anyone take his picture and he was accompanied by someone who was either a bodyguard or an assistant.”
Sniffing royalty, an enterprising HUB 51 sent his nibs a batch of pulled chicken nachos while he waited in a private lounge.
◆ Backstory: Prince William and his younger brother, Prince Harry, are heading to Memphis to attend the wedding of one of their rowdier Brit buddies, nightclub owner Guy Pelly, who is marrying Holiday Inn heiress Lizzy Wilson at a polo club near Graceland, Elvis Presley’s mansion.
◆ Buckshot: The Brit press Thursday went hog wild over reports that Prince Harry, who had arrived in Miami on Wednesday to attend a bachelor party and hang out with Brit buddies before heading to Memphis, split up with his socialite girlfriend, Cressida Bonas. But the Miami press claims Prince Harry was behaving himself this time.
Ooh la la! Now comes word that French President Francois Hollande has already broken up with actress Julie Gayet, the woman for whom he left his partner of eight years, Valerie Trierweiler.
◆ Translation: Gayet told the Euro press she got tired of the media scrutiny, and all the attention — especially the dramatic increase in the number of people who were googling for nude pictures of her.
Sneedlings . . .
Friday’s birthdays: Bianca Jagger, 69; Mickey McGuire, 80, and Guy Chipparoni, ageless and priceless.