'I apologize': Chow regrets meeting with Iron Sheik
Published Monday, April 28, 2014 12:21PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, April 28, 2014 10:26PM EDT
Toronto mayoral candidate Olivia Chow has apologized for a campaign appearance with the Iron Sheik, the infamous professional wrestling villain who has a penchant for profanity-laced tweets.
In a Twitter post on Monday, Chow said she does not "condone (the former wrestler's) hurtful & unacceptable comments."
"I should have read them and didn't. I apologize," she said.
The Sheik -- whose real name is Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri – met Chow on the weekend. She posed for pictures with 73-year-old wrestling star, who is in the city to promote his latest project at the Hot Docs film festival.
The meeting came after a failed lunch date with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
Vaziri had planned to meet Ford for a friendly arm-wrestling match on Saturday, but the Toronto mayor did not show up.
Ford and the wrestler were going to meet at Belly Buster Submarines on King Street West, the Iron Sheik said in a message posted to Twitter. But Dan Jacobs, the mayor's chief of staff, said Ford had no knowledge of the invite.
Saturday’s planned meeting was the second time that The Iron Sheik has unsuccessfully tried to meet the mayor.
In November, he showed up at city hall amid the height of Ford's crack-cocaine scandal. He attempted to challenge Ford to an arm wrestle, but Ford never left his office and Vaziri eventually left the premises.
Saturday's no-show, however, did not stop Vaziri from extending his support to the mayor.
Vaziri -- who has admitted to trying crack cocaine during a period of his life following his daughter's murder in 2003 -- said he understands the criticism Ford faced after the mayor admitted to smoking crack.
"I want to tell Mr. Rob Ford if I make it, you can make it too," he said on CTV News Channel on Monday morning.
The Iranian-born champion of the ring is in Toronto for the world premiere of "The Sheik," which debuted at the city's annual documentary festival Hot Docs on Saturday.
The documentary, directed by Igal Hecht, outlines Vaziri's rise to infamy as a top villain for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
"We wanted to honour him and we wanted to make sure his legacy was maintained," Hecht told CTV News Channel.
Though Vaziri started as a WWE villain, "he's the good guy now," Hecht said. The film follows Vaziri's career as a body guard, Olympian and professional wrestler.
"He's had one of the most colourful, storied lives," he said.
With files from CTVNews.ca's Kendra Mangione