Mike Tyson’s 1992 rape conviction still haunts him, as it is grounds for New Zealand officials to deny him entrance into the country for a November event called “Day Of The Champions”.
Tyson was initially granted the go-ahead by New Zealand Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson because his speech was set to garner proceeds for a children’s charity, Life Education Trust. But the group bowed out and withdrew their support yesterday, and Wilkinson saw no need to keep Tyson on the guest list.
“Given that the trust is no longer supporting the event, on balance, I have made the decision to cancel his visa,” Wilkinson said in a statement.
Tyson’s past could be the thing that keeps him out of Australia–where he’s scheduled to speak on five tour dates–as well. However, tour promoter Max Markson says he doesn’t think Australia will keep him out, and that it’s possible New Zealand will reverse their decision if he can find a suitable charity to back him up.
“He’ll only be in the country for 20 hours, I don’t think he’s a danger to anybody, and thousands of people want to see him,” Markson said.