Action News 5's Donna Davis spoke exclusively with State Senator Ophelia Ford who explained her outburst at a Capitol Hill hearing Monday. Ford also explains why she collapsed the next day at a hotel bar, and what she thinks about constituents who say her problems are not health-related.
It all began with an outburst Monday in Nashville.
Senator Ford says she hasn't been feeling well but that there was nothing strange about her statements at Monday's Department of Children's Services hearing.
"My reaction the other day was normal because people don't know how many children are dying," says Ford.
But lawmakers say that was not the topic of Monday's hearing.
Ford adds, "it was, just because of the ignorance of the, what do you call your people?"
Ford was asked about the newly released 911 call, where the caller says Ford fell off a hotel bar chair the day after the rant.
Ford says she was not intoxicated.
"I might have a glass of wine, but that ain't true. My problem is blood related," insists Ford. "I'm called a chromic anemic, and I'm not eating. I'm not eating well."
Ford insists she fell off the barstool because of her anemia and not eating properly.
She says she was in the bar but only to get soup.
As for complaints from constituents who say they cannot reach her in Memphis or Nashville, Ford says, "I don't know. I have no idea why they can't reach me." "Check with my legislative assistant. I have argued with him, and scolded him. You can't think that you can protect me. You can't protect me. You gotta tell me about everything that comes through my office," Ford explains.
And to people who speculate the Senator has a problem with alcohol, the Senator says, "I'm sorry. They a damn lie is what they are. Okay, listen, they a damn lie."
Strong words from Senator Ford.