Mike Tyson: rape conviction stops him visiting UK

Former heavyweight boxer 'stuck' in Paris after book tour organisers realise he can't satisfy visa rules

LAST UPDATED AT 15:06 ON Tue 10 Dec 2013

MIKE TYSON, the former world champion boxer and convicted rapist, has been barred from entering the UK, The Times reports.

Tyson, 47, is "stuck" in Paris, the paper says after the organisers of his book tour realised changes to the UK's immigration rules mean he would be stopped from entering Britain.

The controversial former sportsman is promoting his autobiography, Undisputed Truth. He had been tweeting about his visit to the UK for some time, the Times says. In one message he asked British fans: "who is brave enough to get in the ring and ask me a question?"

It is understood that Tyson called off his visit to the UK at the last minute when it was realised that changes to immigration rules introduced last year would make it impossible for him to enter the country. Tyson was convicted of raping a teenage beauty queen in 1992 and served three years of a six-year jail term.

He also has convictions for assault, cocaine possession and driving under the influence.

A spokesman for Tyson's publisher, HarperCollins, which was organising the planned UK tour, 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".

Tyson has visited the UK since he was convicted of rape, but not since the immigration rules were tightened, the Times says. He was refused entry to New Zealand in 2012.

The situation bodes badly for an eight-date British tour of his one-man theatre show that was booked for March next year. The autobiographical performance, which is also called /The Undisputed Truth/,  was described as "messy, energetic, muscular" by Variety.

Tyson has always denied the rape charge despite his conviction, the Times says, although he wrote about his "obsessive womanising" in his autobiography. "I was an extremist at everything I did, including sex," he said. · 

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