Mike Tyson Banned From Entering UK Due To Prior Rape Conviction

Mike Tyson has been banned from entering the UK, forcing the former boxing heavyweight champion to cancel part of his promotional tour.

The 47-year-old was scheduled to arrive in London this week for a number of appearances, including a book signing of his new autobiography, Undisputed Truth, and a Q&A session. However, British immigration rules adopted last year prohibit anyone with a conviction resulting in a jail sentence of more than four years from entering the UK.

“There was a change in the UK immigration law in December 2012 of which we were unaware,” said a spokesman for HarperCollins. “For this reason Mike had to change location to Paris to salvage his press obligations for the UK.”

In 1992, Mike Tyson was convicted of raping an 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant and sentenced to six years in prison, followed by four years of probation. He was incarcerated at the Indiana Youth Center — now the Plainfield Correctional Facility — in April of that year, and released in March 1995. He was also convicted for assault in 1999 and cocaine possession and driving under the influence in 2007.

According to UPI, Mike Tyson hoped to bring his one-man Broadway show, Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth, to Britain in March, but it appears that won’t happen now.

“We would not comment on the details of an individual case. We reserve the right to refuse entry to the UK to anyone who is convicted of serious criminal offenses,” a spokesperson for the British Home Office said. “In December 2012 we toughened up the rules on entering the UK, replacing the previous discretionary approach with a clearer, stronger framework including mandatory refusals based on the length of, and time since, sentence.”

Last year, New Zealand associate immigration minister Kate Wilkinson rescinded Mike Tyson’s visa after the charity Life Education Trust withdrew their support for the former champion’s visit.

[Photo credit: Eva Rinaldi / Flickr]