A Dandy Deportation…

Slate's blog on legal issues.
March 21 2008 1:33 AM

A Dandy Deportation…

I hate, once again, to be the guy to bring our blog down from the empyrean of Supreme Court analysis and that whole "Unitary Executive" thing, but can we talk -- just for a minute -- about what went down at Newark Airport on Tuesday when a British memoirist was denied entry to the US  because, it seems his book described using lots of drugs and having sex with prostitutes?

Now I get why if you are, say a Governor of New York who has made his reputation by busting callgirl rings, actually being caught on a federal wiretap being all John-y is aproblem, but writing about it in an arch tell-all memoir?

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The Times indicates that Sebastian Horsley, whose memoir, "Dandy in the Underworld," was published last week by Harper Perennial, was "detained by United States customs authorities for eight hours and questioned about his former drug addiction, use of prostitutes and activity as a male escort."  The results were, of course, that he was denied entry to the US and returned to England (even though he's visited many times before without any trouble).

So here's the question for all of you:  What's a poor memoirist to do when confronted at the border with his own tell-all-tome?  How does he avoid getting booted for "moral turpitude"?  And do you think the book was sufficient evidence of his moral failings, or did the deportation rest on the admissions he made (presumably by confirming facts in the book) in the interview?

Thoughts and schemes welcome.

David Feige is a television writer and the author of Indefensible. He spent 15 years as a public defender and served as the first trial chief of the Bronx Defenders.

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