US to Dandies: Fuck You

No, not those Dandies, a real dandy! It’s not really music related, but strange and fascinating just the same—the United States customs service denied entry to an avowed British dandy. Yes, a dandy, like you see in old timey books and movies. Imagine Tim Roth in Rob Roy without the sword and a bit more of the femme style.

British writer and self-styled dandy Sebastian Horsley was denied entry to the United States after arriving to promote his memoir of sex, drugs and flamboyant fashion.

Horsley said he was questioned for eight hours Tuesday by border officials at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey before being denied entry on grounds of “moral turpitude.”

Moral turpitude? Can that be a real exclusion? It’s like being arrested for “disorderly partying,” a charge with which a GLONO contributor was actually accused back in the day.

Horsley was traveling to New York for the U.S. launch of “Dandy in the Underworld,” his account of a life dedicated to sex, drugs and finely tailored clothes. Apparently, he was sporting a top hat and long velvet gloves.

“My one concession to American sensibilities was to remove my nail polish. I thought that would get me through,” said Horsley.

I guess we now know why Babyshambles can’t tour the US.

'allo guvna!

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British Writer Denied Entry to US

Friday, March 21, 2008

By JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press Writer

LONDON —

British writer and self-styled dandy Sebastian Horsley was denied entry to the United States after arriving to promote his memoir of sex, drugs and flamboyant fashion.

Horsley said he was questioned for eight hours Tuesday by border officials at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey before being denied entry on grounds of “moral turpitude.”

The 45-year-old author was traveling to New York for the U.S. launch of “Dandy in the Underworld,” his account of a life dedicated to sex, drugs and finely tailored clothes.

“I was dressed flamboyantly — top hat, long velvet coat, gloves,” Horsley said. “My one concession to American sensibilities was to remove my nail polish. I thought that would get me through.”

According to Lucille Cirillo, a spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Horsley was traveling under the CBP’s visa waiver program, which entitles citizens of some countries — mostly in the European Union — to enter the United States for business or leisure without applying for a visa. Travelers can be refused entry if they admit on a customs form to being convicted of a crime or to being addicted to narcotics, Cirillo said.

She declined to specify what responses Horsley listed on the form.

“We interviewed the individual extensively and the CBP officers decided he was not admissible under the visa waiver program,” she said.

Horsley can still apply for a visa to return to the United States, Cirillo said.

“They knew more about me than I did,” Horsley said Thursday in an interview from his London home. “They said, ‘We know you’re a heroin addict, we know you’re a crack addict, we know you’re involved in prostitution.'”

Horsley’s book — billed as an “unauthorized autobiography” — vividly recounts years of heavy drug use and frequent visits to prostitutes. He says he has been drug-free for three years.

He said his only conviction stemmed from an arrest 25 years ago for possession of amphetamine sulfate, for which he was given a conditional discharge. He said he has visited the United States seven or eight times without incident.

“Dandy in the Underworld” was released in Britain last year to good reviews. Carrie Kania, of the book’s U.S. publisher Harper Perennial, an imprint of HarperCollins, said the book was “a cautionary tale of a life lived vividly.”

“It is unfortunate that his voice, in person, is being stifled. But the book will live on,” Kania said.

Horsley achieved his greatest notoriety in 2000 when he had himself crucified in the Philippines as part of an art project.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

3 thoughts on “US to Dandies: Fuck You”

  1. That anyone could be denied entry to the country that produced William S. Burroughs, Wayne/Jayne County and Hunter S. Thompson on the grounds of moral turpitude is pretty unbelievable… and silly. Is this 8 years almost over? I’m tired of feeling like a chump for being an American.

  2. The minute I read this the song ‘Dedicated Follower of Fashion’ popped in my head. I can’t believe they questioned the poor guy for 8 hours.

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