De Blasio: He, wife paid for daughter Chiara's video

Chiara de Blasio, daughter of mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, describes her struggles with depression and substance abuse in a video posted to YouTube on Dec. 24, 2013.

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and his wife paid for the production of the Christmas Eve video message in which their teenage daughter admits to a history of substance abuse and urges others in her position to seek help, he said Sunday.

Chiara de Blasio, 19, says in the spot that she also suffered from depression. She says she underwent outpatient treatment and sees a therapist.

De Blasio, speaking at an unrelated news conference, would not disclose the video's cost or the timing of its release.


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John Del Cecato produced the video, de Blasio spokesman Wiley Norvell later said. Del Cecato, a Manhattan-based campaign consultant, has produced ads for President Barack Obama and produced a campaign spot featuring de Blasio's son, Dante. Del Cecato did not return requests for comment.

De Blasio would not discuss Chiara's struggles but said she was brave to speak out.

"We're so proud of our daughter," he said. "It took courage. It took strength. It was an incredibly genuine explanation in her own words of what she confronted and how she overcame it."

Also Sunday, de Blasio said his spokeswoman Lis Smith remains with his transition team, but is on vacation. Smith's future with de Blasio came into question after reports she is dating former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, whose comptroller campaign she worked on. Smith declined to comment.

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