Gawker Raises $200K to Buy Rob Ford Crack Video

By McCarton Ackerman 05/28/13

But the famed video may never surface, and the Toronto mayor maintains it does not exist.

Incriminating photo Photo via

With their "Crackstarter" campaign on IndieGoGo, gossip website Gawker has successfully raised the $200,000 needed to buy a drug dealer's video of Toronto mayor Rob Ford allegedly smoking crack cocaine. Gawker Editor-In-Chief John Cook and journalists from the Toronto Star claim to have seen the video on several occasions, which reportedly features Ford surrounded by drug dealers and taking a hit from a crack pipe. More than 8,300 users contributed donations that reached as high as $10,000 to bring the video to light, but it's unclear if the footage will even surface. Cook said he has been unable to reach the owner of the tape since May 19, while The Globe and Mail reported that police have interviewed a senior member of Ford's office in connection with a homicide allegedly linked to the video. The owner of the tape "may have been killed for its potentially valuable contents," claims an anonymous source. And Cook wrote in an update: "Folks who are involved in the crack trade tend not to be the most reliable people in the world. At this point, we have no idea why he is out of touch, or if he even knows about the Crackstarter campaign." Because IndieGoGo does not refund donors if a goal is reached, Cook has pledged to donate the money "to a Canadian nonprofit that addresses substance abuse issues" if the dealer does not hand over the tape. Meanwhile, Ford continues to deny all the allegations of drug use and maintains that there is no video. "I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine," he said, "As for a video, I cannot comment on a video that I have never seen or does not exist."

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.