New Zealand Bans Mike Tyson

Visa revoked over rape conviction

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 3, 2012 3:15 AM CDT

(Newser) – Mike Tyson isn't going to be allowed into the country whose Maori people inspired his facial tattoo. The former boxing champ and convicted rapist had been due to visit New Zealand next month for an event in Auckland, but his visa was withdrawn after an outcry from women's groups, reports Reuters. Government officials say they decided to revoke Tyson's visa after a youth charity involved with the event withdrew its support for his visit. Days earlier, Prime Minister John Key had said he was personally opposed to Tyson's visit, the Telegraph reports.

Before the reversal by immigration authorities, Tyson said, "I am coming to New Zealand and there’s nothing they can do about it" when told of the prime minister's opposition. "I’m sorry they feel disappointed and I’m just living my life." People who have been sentenced to longer than five years in prison require a special waiver to be allowed to visit New Zealand, and Tyson received a six-year sentence for the 1992 rape of a beauty pageant contestant, although he only served three. When a Radio New Zealand interviewer asked him about the rape conviction, an angry Tyson said, "I didn't do the crime, I was set up, I don't care what people say."

Mike Tyson speaks a press conference at a hotel in Hong Kong last month.   (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)
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