The Ford-Doneit-Henderson Affair

Posted on June 21st, 2010 3 great comments. Room for one more!

It’s been a while since the Toronto mayoral race had a scandal, don’t you think, dear reader?

The last one toppled Adam Giambrone, reducing Jammers to a sobbing wreck as he was delivering his stepping-down speech. To be honest, we all kinda saw that one coming, didn’t we? Young guy, in politics since he was in diapers; he was overdue for a political misstep. According to the Toronto’s Sexiest Councillor poll (you haven’t voted yet?), he gives most of the councillors a run for their money, and even I’ll grudgingly concede that he’s a fairly good-looking guy, so the fact that it was a sex scandal that took him out (the standard had sex with another woman kind), really didn’t come as a surprise.

The latest one involving Rob Ford, however, was a bit of a surprise. To say it came out of left field would be a bit of an understatement.

Seems Rob got himself tangled up with a Dieter Doneit-Henderson (first name pronounced “Deeter”, second like “doughnut”), a gay guy with Fibromyalgia living somewhere on the west end of the city. From what I could glean; just outside of Rob’s electoral district anyway.

dieter doneit-henderson, mars building, college street, toronto, city, life

This is the picture Dieter posted of himself on his Posterous account, and you can get more insights on this pleasant fellow on his Twitter account.

A little while ago Rob made a few remarks about mostly gay people and IV drug users getting AIDS. He said he was speaking statistically and although I believe he didn’t mean any harm by it, as a politician and a public figure, it just wasn’t a great move. So Mr. Ford contacted Dieter (or was it the other way around?), to try to mend the fences with the LGBT community. Of course, the remark resurfaced again during the campaign but it didn’t get much traction after Rob’s olive branch manoeuvre.

For a while, all was quiet on the Ford front until last week when Dieter released a recording of a conversation he’d had with Rob. Here’s an excerpt (followed by a response from Doug Ford, Rob’s brother and campaign manager):

In the conversation, Mr. Doneit-Henderson asks Rob to procure OxyContin for him for his Fibromyalgia. In case you’re not familiar with it, OxyContin is a strictly controlled opioid painkiller, similar in effect (and addictive qualities) to Heroin but not as strong, in pill form, and legal (with a prescription). Rob, however, doesn’t seem to know what the drug is, let alone where to get it, but promises to try to help Dieter one way or another.  In typical Ford fashion (at least based on past fumbles), he suggests that Dieter try to get it on the street and that he’ll try to talk to his own family doctor to see what can be done. Rob also makes a few references to dealers, piling gaffe upon gaffe.

Thing is, no one would even have known about this had it not been for Dieter recording the phone conversation (without telling Rob), and three weeks later releasing it to the media. Correction, shopping it around to the media — only two media outlets decided to pick it up.

Mr. Doneit-Henderson defends his actions by saying, essentially, that he had been jilted by someone who he thought was a friend and that he had received menacing phone calls from Rob’s office telling him to never call Mr. Ford again. Unfortunately, that part has not been substantiated and, from all accounts, no one from Mr. Ford’s office called Dieter.

The story came out in a rather sloppy fashion with suggestions that Rob offered to buy Dieter the drugs on the streets (this was never mentioned in the conversation), and Mr. Ford countered with a similarly sloppy rebuttal stating that Dieter had come after him and his family stating in the phone call that Dieter was standing on his front lawn and making other veiled threats (also something I have not heard mentioned in the recording or subsequent transcripts).

So that’s the scandal, pretty much in its entirety.

By pure coincidence I happened to run into Rob near Yonge-Dundas Square on Friday night where I got to talk to him and Doug. They were having a chat with some guy who was complaining about a pricing problem at the nearby Canadian Tire store.

Here’s where I became convinced that Rob, as he had stated, was simply trying to help out. In much the same fashion as he had offered help to Dieter, he gave the Canadian Tire guy his business card and told him he would do what he could to try to help out. Unless the interaction was staged for my benefit, here was Rob being Rob (potentially setting himself up for more problems), doing what he said he does.

While I was waiting to shake hands with Mr. Ford (I’d like to shake hands with all the candidates), his campaign manager said that his office had received 19 letters of support from people around Toronto, one of them coming from Sarah Thomson, another mayoral candidate who had apparently also had dealings with Dieter. I emailed Ms. Thomson’s campaign manager as soon as I got home to try to verify this information but, unfortunately, didn’t receive a reply. So, although I can’t verify whether or not this actually happened, this is what I was told and, given Dieter’s rampaging political involvement, wouldn’t be surprising.

Rob was still adamant that Dieter had threatened him and his family, but I’m not convinced of this. At least, I haven’t heard or read anything to that effect. In any event, Mr. Doneit-Henderson’s excuse for recording a private conversation is super weak and given his less-than-pleasant attitude towards most people with whom he disagrees, this whole affair comes across as personal retribution against someone who wouldn’t help him get drugs. As harsh as that may sound, that’s the impression I’m left with. I mean, just look at the photo that Dieter stuck on one of his Posterous posts:

rob ford, libel, defamation, toronto, city, life (Original image was removed — please see below *)

That’s well beyond bad taste, wouldn’t you agree?

So do I think Rob needs to maybe take a few lessons on public speaking? Yup. Do I think his comments regarding getting drugs on the street were inappropriate? Yeah. Do I think he sometimes speaks before he thinks? Sure. If this is what would make him a poor mayor then yeah, that’s a fair and demonstrable argument.

But do I think that Rob Ford’s heart was in the right place? Based on my own experience, yes. Do I think he was set up? I have very little doubt that he was. And do I think Dieter is a whiny brat with too much time on his hands and nasty, spiteful attitude? Most certainly yes.

My money’s still on George Smitherman to win the mayoral race although his media silence of late has made that much less certain. I like Rob Ford as a person but his vision seems to be too myopic and limited; little cuts and little changes where massive action is required. I’m now on the fence about who the best candidate for the city is, but even though I’m not a Ford backer, I will say that this “scandal” is nothing short of bullshit. He may not be the most diplomatic personality in the race, but I genuinely believe Rob Ford is trying to help Torontonians. If he’s guilty of anything, it’s of trying to be a little too helpful.

And in the meantime I hope that Dieter crawls back under whatever rock he crawled out from under and starts praying that he’s not sued for slander, libel, defamation, and all the other nasty insinuations he’s been making. Then there’s the issue of recording phone calls without telling the person on the other end that he was doing so — just slimy.

* The image that originally appeared above was removed at the request of Rob’s campaign office. It was one of Rob’s standard council photos (I’m sure you can find another one around here somewhere), but with a less-than-pleasant caption beneath it. I don’t typically update content after the fact but what was written there justifies its removal. That’s Rob face on there and some very unkind words beneath it, so I figure he has the right to ask me to remove it. After all, my intention wasn’t to insult Rob or to perpetuate Dieter’s insult either. And unless Dieter can prove the caption in a court of law, what he said is actually libelous (as in, untrue). Beyond even that, really, not a nice thing to say about a person who tried to help him, even if he had had a falling out of some sorts. The offending image may still be available on Dieter’s Posterous blog but, to be honest, I hope it soon isn’t. (updated June 23, 2010)

3 Comments on “ The Ford-Doneit-Henderson Affair ”

  • DDH
    June 22nd, 2011 1:23 am

    One question…

    Why are you assuming that I created the picture you were asked to remove? I am many things, a graphic artist is not one of them…Every picture I ever posted on my political blog (TOPoliTico – The url provided to you as asked for in the above form & which was set up to counter the lies of Ford & Levy war sourced from pictures which are still, to this very day, available on Google Images)…You can go there yourself, don’t take my word for it!

    Finally, it may not be a nice thing to say about Mayor Ford, but the truth hurts & furthermore the truth should not be suppressed, as it has been in our case, so grossly… nor should you have been forced to change any part of your story, by anyone…Even the parts about me which are categorically incorrect…

    It’s called freedom of speech & I respect your right to it, even if you are wrong.

    Best Wishes,


    PS…Be my guest & call the TPS, central or Div 23 – I give you my personal authorization to do so (or I will even arrange for it, for you, so that your readers must not remain misled) & so you can become aware of another fact which has been withheld from Toronto Taxpayers, who have a right to know…The TPS never so much as called me about Ford’s slanderous claims & who after listening to the evidence Ford provided, deemed that if any charges would be laid, they would be against him, not us, as it was him who without prompting made the insane offer that nearly cost him his bid to become Mayor, hence the huge effort to discredit us…

    Another point that has intentionally been omitted is that the only reason the call was being recorded was at the request of the TorStar itself, as they had been blatantly lied to by Ford when they wanted to do their follow up to report on if he kept his promise that now infamous day in our home (The offer, which we never asked for, was entirely recorded digitally by the TorStar) but it was a case of his word against ours, hence why they asked me to record the next call I have with him, which happened to be the now infamous call, but how could I have know in advance that he’d say & do what he did?

    FYI…The never authorized for that call to be made public in the first place.

    As for the TPS, they came out 2 days after he smeared us & accused him of lying about a statement he made, which was made at the same time as the other smears, which was that our MPP had already gone to the police about us, which was a blatant lie & even more critical, our MPP came out & denied EVER having “instructed” Ford to goto the police as he claimed she had done & topped that conversation off with “You both were both a pleasure to deal with, why anyone has the opposite impression is beyond us & we’d be delighted to help you both should any other service be needed by either of you in the future”

    The TPS MIGHT confirm that it is US who went to the Police about Ford & they might just tell you that they are currently investigating 8gigs worth of evidence that proves Ford ordered & paid for (still is) for a covert, yet very public hate & smear campaign to discredit us which has included severe hate crimes (Including Antisemitism, Homophobia & Inciting Hate – To name only a few of the ongoing charges they are investigating) – The have evidence of hundreds of them & one attempt to silence me permanently, when the perp threatened for weeks to come to our private home, an address he claimed he received from Ford himself & cause us harm…I thought it was just your run of the mill crazy on the net, that was, until they actually showed up as promised and attempted to run me down with their car.

    The story about Ford being caught in Lie#1 of hundreds is here, in case you missed it:

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  • Patrick
    June 22nd, 2011 4:58 pm

    Hi Dieter,

    I was being pretty careful with my wording and stopped just shy of saying that you created that image (I believe you can verify this above). However, you did have it posted on your site accompanying some rather sharp language and were clearly critical of Rob Ford. So, while I will easily concede that you may not have created the image, I’m fairly certain that you shared the view expressed in it. And also, I don’t think you’d have to be a graphic artist in order to have produced it…it was literally just a campaign image with a few words pasted on top.

    Now, about Rob being a “wife beater” (I don’t remember if those were the exact words but it was something very similar), you’re right, that’s not a nice thing to say, and it’s called libel unless you can actually prove it. If you can, I’d be happy to retract my words and repost the image along with a big headline reading “DIETER WAS RIGHT!”. Until then, the law exists specifically to prevent people from making baseless defamatory remarks. In the same way, I can only suspect what your motivations were but can’t state that as a matter of fact.

    The other thing about libel / slander is that it’s not up to the police to press charges like that — it’s a civil matter and up to the offended party to pursue. Well, technically, there is a criminal aspect to it, but that’s rarely employed (it certainly hasn’t been in this case). Again, that doesn’t mean it’s not true, or even that you’re necessarily wrong in having said what you said, it just means that it’s not the TPS’ place to pursue civil litigation on behalf of a citizen. And I can’t back your claims without proof, but if you have it, send it my way and I promise you it’ll be front and center. I’m not a huge fan of Rob Ford and I can tell you that I would have no issue with disclosing damning evidence against him.

    That all being said, I admit that what I’ve heard and read in the media has me convinced about what I’ve written here (obviously, I wasn’t timid with my words). That doesn’t mean that I can’t be entirely wrong or that further evidence exists that could prove your case. As it stands, however, it’s currently a case of he-said-he-said, and I can only stand on the side of the mot well-supported evidence. I wouldn’t put it past Rob to make some uncouth remarks, and from there it’s not a huge stretch to image he might be capable of more, but again, without proof it’s nothing but conjecture.

    I would welcome you to contact me at with anything supporting your statements. My blog isn’t affiliated with any news organization (though I tend to link to the Toronto Star for references more often than not), and although I’d have to preface your material with a few warnings (i.e. I can’t personally prove or disprove this), I’d be happy to give some weight to your part of this story.

    Regards and I hope things work out!

  • The True
    January 30th, 2015 2:14 am

    Hello, I am looking for information about Dieter Wilhelm Doneit. He also calls himself Eli S. Yakov. He emigrated in 2011 (?) to Israel, and for a year after Germany / Berlin. In Germany he was always looking for men where he could live free un who took care of him. Doneit says he has Fybromyalgie. This is not detectable. Doneit is drug dependent. It must always be at the center, through lies and fantasy. he is a psychopath. He whines and find people to help him. these people he shamelessly uses.

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