Controversial Author Banned From the U.S.

Joanne Cachapero
NEWARK, N.J.— Author Sebastian Horsley was banned from entering the U.S. last week, after several hours of questioning by U.S. Customs agents at New Jersey’s Newark airport.

The controversial writer was to appear in the U.S. for a promotional tour for his new book, but was accused of “moral turpitude” and promptly put on a plane to be returned to England.

Horsely’s novel “Dandy in the Underworld” is slated to be released in the U.S. this month, by HarperCollins Publishers. The book, which has already been released in the U.K., is Horsley’s writings on his dysfunctional family life, drug use and patronage of more than 1,000 prostitutes, as well as his own sexual adventures as a one-time male escort.

Officials prevented his being allowed in the country in connection with his apparent drug use and pro-prostitution stance.

"It is unfortunate that his voice, in person, is being stifled," HarperCollins Publisher Carrie Kania said in a statement. "Sebastian has written a cautionary tale of a life lived vividly — an unapologetic, honest, funny and torturous book. Sebastian's memoir is about choice, some conventional, some unconventional."

Horsely, who was traveling under a waiver program that allows U.K. citizens to enter the U.S. with a visa was subject to refusal, according to U.S. Customs spokesperson Lucille Cirillo. "Travelers who have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, which includes controlled-substance violations, or admit to previously having a drug addiction are not admissible," Cirillo said.

Horsely, who has gained notoriety as a flamboyantly dressed “dandy,” also is an artist with several gallery exhibitions to his credit. His Crucifix Lane Project involved Horsely visiting the Philippines and allowing himself to be nailed to a cross in order to prepare for a series of paintings which resulted.

He wrote a regular column for the Erotic Review, as well as a short-lived sex column in British newspaper The Observer. Horsley’s writings also were included in The World’s Best Sex Writing 2005, published by Running Press Books.

A book launch party in New York that was to be thrown in Horsely’s honor was changed to a support rally, after guests heard he had been denied access at the airport.

“The press coverage has been amazing, awe-inspiring, and frankly inspiring,” Horsley wrote in his MySpace blog. “The press and public are gathering, in some small way, to support honesty and truth.”