Mike Tyson, the former world heavyweight boxing champion and convicted rapist, has been refused permission to enter Britain because of his criminal record.
The 47-year-old was due to arrive in the UK at the weekend to promote his autobiography, Undisputed Truth, but made for Paris instead after being told he would not be able to come to London because of immigration rules that were toughened up last year.
Upon hearing that he had been banned from entering the country, Tyson said: “I was greatly disappointed when I learned of United Kingdom’s immigration law changes that went into effect December 2012.
“I have been coming to the UK consistently in the past decade so this change is disheartening since it affects my current entry standing.
“I apologise to my fans that were inconvenienced, however, please know I am currently working diligently with the proper authorities to regain access next year for my UK tour.
“I am currently stationed in Paris, attending to press that was scheduled for my visit this week in London.
“I am very much looking forward to talking about my book, Undisputed Truth, and UK tour, and very appreciative of the British press for being so accommodating in the interim.
“I have a great deal of respect for the laws of the United Kingdom and will continue taking the proper steps for re-entry.”
Tyson’s programme in Britain was to have included a photocall with journalists and a book signing at Waterstones. He was due to leave on Friday.
Publisher Harper Collins said: “There was a change in the UK immigration law in December 2012 of which we were unaware. For this reason Mike had to change location to Paris to salvage his press obligations for the UK.”