Ontario PC leader Doug Ford has categorically denied shocking allegations levelled against him and the Ford family in a $5 million civil lawsuit launched by the widow of his brother, former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
The bitter court dispute launched by Renata Ford comes on the heels of failed negotiations over Rob Ford’s estate and accuses Doug Ford and his brother Randy of breach of trust, conspiracy and “negligent mismanagement” of the family business.
“These claims relating to Deco are completely false and we will strongly refute them in court,” Doug Ford said in a statement. “I have also stood by my brother and his family through so many of their challenging times, and will always be there for Stephanie and Dougie.”
“Renata’s lawyers have been clear to us throughout this campaign, that either we hand over money, or they would go public with these false claims, and that is exactly what they have done, with three days to go until the election,” he said.
The lawsuit specifically alleges the two brothers, who are the trustees of their deceased brother’s estate, denied money due to Rob Ford’s children – Stephanie and Douglas.
It also alleges Doug Ford has been using money from his father’s estate to prop up the family business and to pay himself “extravagant” compensation for running Deco Labels, the company founded by Doug Ford Sr.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Diane Ford, Doug and Rob Ford’s mother, also provided a statement to the Toronto Sun denying the allegations.
“It is heartbreaking that Renata has chosen to bring forward these false and baseless allegations against our family, right in the middle of the provincial election campaign,” Dianne Ford said.
“As a family, our one goal is to ensure Rob’s children are cared for and their financial futures are secure. Renata has serious struggles with addiction, and our hope is that she will accept help for the sake of herself and my grandchildren.”
The drug and alcohol issues of the city’s former mayor have been widely reported, culminating in the now infamous video of Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine.
Renata Ford’s own struggles with substance abuse issues have also been widely reported. She was arrested in 2016 following his death over and faced impaired driving charges in court.