TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford faced fresh controversy on Thursday from a lawsuit filed by his sister’s former boyfriend alleging Ford conspired to have him threatened and beaten while in prison.
Ford’s lawyer called the allegations filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and released late Wednesday false and irresponsible.
The plaintiff in the lawsuit is Scott MacIntyre, the former common-law spouse of Ford’s sister, Kathy Ford. MacIntyre was charged after a January 2012 altercation with the mayor, and later pleaded guilty to threatening him.
The mayor, who gained global notoriety after he admitted in November that he had smoked crack cocaine while in a “drunken stupor” and had driven after drinking, is running for re-election as the mayor of Canada’s largest city.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Rob Ford’s criminal lawyer Dennis Morris said the allegations in the filing are “without fact or foundation.” He called them “irresponsible and spurious.”
The filing says MacIntyre sent Kathy Ford a letter from jail. Ford learned about the letter, and “understood it to be a threat” by MacIntyre to go public with details of the mayor’s drug and alcohol abuse.
The suit alleges that Ford, until recently a high school football coach, conspired with one of his assistant coaches to have MacIntyre threatened and assaulted. Two former players incarcerated with him delivered verbal threats, the filing alleges. It does not identify MacIntyre’s assailants.
The defendants are Rob Ford, his assistant coach Payman Aboodowleh, former team member Aedan Petros and the Ontario government.
Reuters could not immediately reach Petros, Aboodowleh or any representatives for comment on the allegations.
The Globe and Mail newspaper, which had been investigating the story before the lawsuit was filed, said Petros did not reply to written requests for an interview, including a letter with detailed questions that was delivered to him through correctional services.
The province did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
With additional reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson