Mayoral candidate Adam Giambrone is now admitting he had multiple "intimate" relationships with women other than his long-time partner, and that he initially lied when he said his affair with an aspiring model was limited to illicit text messages and meetings in public places.
Mr. Giambrone and his staff announced later this morning that he has withdrawn from the mayoral race but is remaining as chair of the TTC and as a city councillor. Please read: Giambrone offers brief apology, exits mayoral race.
Earlier today, in an e-mail to The Globe and Mail, John Laschinger, Mr. Giambrone's campaign manager, suggested Mr. Giambrone would stay in the race to replace David Miller, saying: "Nothing has changed."
Mr. Laschinger had credited Mr. Giambrone for apologizing, saying he enjoyed the "full support" of his live-in girlfriend, Sarah McQuarrie.
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At the time, Mr. Laschinger said the campaign stood by Mr. Giambrone's claim his dalliance with Kristen Lucas, 20, included "text messages and conversations in public places only."
"This has been a painful day for Adam," Mr. Laschinger said Tuesday. "He's embarrassed that his lapse in judgment reflects on [his girlfriend]Sarah, his family, his friends ... In this day and age, the public expects their politicians to be frank and full and transparent with them."
But in an audio recording of his statement to The Star last night, Mr. Giambrone said: "I have no excuse for my failure to disclose my relationships with other women. To have misled those around me in this fashion is the worst mistake of my life. In an effort to bring this chapter to a close, let me say that I did have intimate relationships for a period that lasted throughout most of last year with women other than my partner."
He went on to say: "I apologize to those I've hurt by my decisions and in the period ahead I pledge that I will do everything in my power to live by the lessons I've learned in this scarring experience."
Ms. Lucas told the Toronto Star the pair had sex on the couch in his City Hall office, and that their relationship deteriorated only when Mr. Giambrone opted "for political reasons" to trot out Ms. McQuarrie, his girlfriend of several years, in the weeks before his campaign launch.
At first, Ms. Lucas seemed eager for more exposure. She sent several photos of herself to a local gossip website yesterday morning because she disliked the portraits that appeared in the Star, according to David Robert, manager of drinktheglitter.com. "She wanted sexy pictures of her to be out there," he said. "She's like, 'They're going to get out anyways.' " But she shrank from attention as interest in the scandal swelled. Ms. Lucas swiftly deleted her Facebook and Twitter pages. Mr. Robert said she also disconnected her phone number and shut herself inside her house in East York to escape the media swarm.
"I think this is crazy for her," he said. "But, my god, I mean, [yesterday] morning she sent Canada's highest-rated gossip site 10 pictures of herself."
Mr. Giambrone's alleged transgressions have shaken up an already lively mayor's race, raising questions about whether the young councillor is still the best standard-bearer for progressives in Toronto.
His campaign was already off to a rocky start because of troubles at the TTC, where a fare hike, token hoarding and online photos and video of slacking transit workers have undermined his leadership bona fides.