Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is being sued by his sister's ex-boyfriend for allegedly conspiring to have the man beaten in jail to prevent his illicit behaviours from becoming known.
A lawsuit submitted on Wednesday (local time) by Scott MacIntyre alleges the mayor was behind an assault at a Toronto jail in March 2012 that was intended to keep MacIntrye quiet about Ford's abuse of alcohol and drugs.
The lawsuit alleges MacIntrye was threatened with "dire consequences" if he did not remain quiet. He was in jail after being charged with threatening the mayor, for saying he would expose his "unsavoury activities", the lawsuit says.
MacIntrye alleges Ford conspired with Payman Aboodowleh, who coached football with Ford, to have one of their former players, who was also in jail at the time, to beat MacIntyre up.
Ford and Aboodowleh arranged for staff members at the Metro West Detention Centre to "ensure there was no supervision or surveillance of the area" where the alleged assault occurred, the lawsuit says.
Ford's lawyer, Dennis Morris, said the allegations are "without fact or foundation".
When questioned further if the mayor had conspired in any way to harm MacIntyre, Morris said: "The answer is no."
Ford offered no comment when reporters asked him about the lawsuit.
The mayor acknowledged last year that he had smoked crack, but he has rebuffed pressure to resign.
The lawsuit also names Ontario's Ministry of Correctional Services, which is responsible for the province's jails, Aboodowleh and Aedan Petros, the former football player who MacIntyre alleges attacked him.
MacIntyre is seeking US$1 million (NZ$1.2m) in damages.