British author Sebastian Horsley, whose memoir, Dandy in the Underworld (Sceptre, 2007), depicts a lifestyle of copious drug use and exploitation of prostitutes, was denied entry into the United States last Tuesday. U.S. customs officials at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport detained Horsley, adorned in top hat and three-piece suit; after eight hours of questioning about his drug addiction and sexual exploits, he was deported.
The forty-five-year-old author was traveling under a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows British citizens to enter the United States without a visa. Lucille Cirillo, a CBP spokeswoman, said that travelers who admit on a customs form to having been convicted of a crime of "moral turpitude" or narcotic addiction may not be admitted to the country, the Associated Press reported.
Horsley, who has traveled in the past to New York and Boston to visit relatives, was visiting the country to promote the U.S. publication of his book, released last week in paperback by Harper Perennial, with a party and press tour in New York City. "I'm absolutely shattered and upset and gutted about not being able to come to America," the author told the New York Times. "I was very much looking forward to meeting everybody." Carrie Kania, publisher of Harper Perennial, said that the celebration would go on despite Horsley's absence, citing the publisher's continuing support of the "very important" book.