Doug Ford says he’ll fight a $16.5-million lawsuit launched by his brother Rob’s widow that alleges he is a “negligent” manager of their family business, and has left its finances in tatters as he pursues the premiership.
“With two or three days before an election, I’ll let you decide the motive,” the Progressive Conservative leader said at a televised news conference Tuesday morning.
“When the lawyers say, ‘Pay up or we’re releasing it,’ … that’s just wrong, to put a gun to someone’s head.”
Taking questions for the first time since the existence of the lawsuit was revealed Monday, Ford said he was “shocked” and “floored” by the allegations.
In the lawsuit, which was filed Friday, Renata Ford and her two children allege Doug has deprived them of millions of dollars, including shares in Deco Labels and a life insurance policy, while taking an “extravagant” salary as the company has lost $5 million in the last seven years.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
“Those statements are false. They’re without merit. That’ll be proven in court,” Ford insisted before heading out to visit PC campaign offices throughout the GTA.
Asked if he would release audited financial statements from Deco and reveal his annual salary from the company, Ford twice changed the subject to repeat the claims are false.
He maintained “we’ll always be there” for his niece and nephew, and said “I have protected Renata in the toughest times … I’ve bent over backwards, broken down brick walls to take care of Renata.”