Doug Ford may be “putting money in your pocket,” but there’s one Canadian who claims he’s taking it out of hers. In a stunning twist dramatic enough to keep up with even American politics, Renata Ford — widow of the former Toronto mayor — is suing Doug Ford and his brother Randy for their alleged mishandling of the late Rob’s estate and the company started by their father.
In the released court documents, Renata alleges that the brothers have deprived her and her children of millions of dollars by cheating them out of shares in the family company, Deco Labels, and money from Rob Ford’s life insurance. The $16.5 million lawsuit also alleges that Doug has been receiving “extravagant compensation” from the company despite its declining profits which Renata links to Doug’s “negligent” management.
The suit also claims that after Rob Ford died in 2016, Doug put Renata and her two children in “a highly stressful and unfair financial position” which continues to this day. The filed document says that at the time of Rob’s death, Doug suggested to Renata that they “get rid of the lawyers and settle this on our own” and that she sell her 200 Deco shares to him because they would only bring her stress. She declined both proposals and claims that Doug, as executor of Rob’s estate, was untruthful about the contents of the will.
In a statement Monday, Doug acknowledged that he knew about the lawsuit before it became public and said that Renata and her lawyers had been threatening to tell the press of its existence for weeks. He asserted that the allegations are “completely false” and that he and his brother will “strongly refute them in court.”
Later, both Ford and his mother Diane called the accusations “heartbreaking” and “unfortunate” for Rob’s children Stephanie and Dougie. Diane also said in a release through Doug’s spokesperson that Renata “has serious struggles with addiction.”
In what has proven to be a wild Ontario election, this latest twist is being billed as Ontario’s own “October Surprise.” With only three days until voting closes, Doug has implied that the timing is politically motivated.
“Our family has always stood behind the kids and behind Renata. We have never wavered,” he said at a campaign event Tuesday, “And we’re shocked; that’s what it comes down to. We’re floored. And with three days before an election, I’ll let you decide the motive.”