LOS ANGELES — Japanese officials delayed Paris Hilton at Narita Airport while they decide whether she will be admitted to the country after pleading guilty to a misdemeanour drug charge in Las Vegas.
An emailed statement by Hilton’s rep, Dawn Miller, said the 29-year-old was stopped by immigration authorities upon her arrival in Japan on Tuesday, one day after her plea.
Hilton was scheduled to appear at a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday to promote her fashion and fragrance lines, but that appearance was cancelled.
Narita Airport’s immigration office questioned Hilton “for hours” to determine if she should be allowed to enter the country, the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau said.
Authorities adjourned questioning and asked Hilton to stay at a hotel in the airport so they could continue immigration procedures Wednesday, Kyodo reported. There was no answer at the immigration office early Wednesday.
Under Japanese law, immigration authorities are empowered to deny entry to those who have been convicted of drug-related offences.
Tokyo was the first stop on Hilton’s planned Asia tour, during which she planned to visit Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and open a new retail store in Jakarta, Indonesia. Both countries have strict anti-drug laws and immigration procedures, and it was unclear whether Hilton would continue her travels.
Miller’s statement said Hilton was disappointed with the scrutiny by Japanese authorities.
“Paris was contractually bound to her business trip and didn’t want to let down her brands and many Asian fans,” the statement said. “She intended on fulfilling her contract and is trying hard to do the responsible thing, but this is beyond her control. She is very disappointed by tonight’s events.”
Hilton rose to fame after appearing with Nicole Richie on the series The Simple Life and has since starred in another reality series and minor films.
The Asia trip had been planned before Hilton’s arrest last month in Las Vegas, when an officer found a small amount of cocaine in her purse. She pleaded guilty Monday to drug possession and obstructing an officer and was placed on informal probation for one year. The terms of her sentence did not restrict travel overseas.