herald

Wednesday 16 January 2019

Cocaine case lands Paris in more hot water as she's held in Japan

Japanese officials questioned Paris Hilton at Tokyo's airport for a second day today while they decide whether she will be admitted to the country after pleading guilty to a misdemeanour drug charge in Las Vegas.

The 29-year-old celebrity socialite was stopped by immigration authorities upon her arrival at Narita International Airport yesterday, one day after her plea, according to an emailed statement by Hilton's representative, Dawn Miller.

Hilton spent the night at an airport hotel after being questioned by officials. She was scheduled to promote her fashion and fragrance lines at a news conference in Tokyo today, but that appearance was cancelled.

"We met her this morning. The process of determining whether she can enter Japan or not is still ongoing," said Kazuo Kashihara, an immigration official at Narita.

He declined to give a reason for the delay, but under Japanese law, immigration authorities are empowered to deny entry to those who have been convicted of drug-related offenses.

Officials at the US embassy in Tokyo declined to comment.

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 drug laws, though an official in Indonesia, which does not bar foreigners convicted of crimes in other countries, said she was unlikely to be denied entry.

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 today's events."



Guilty

The Asia trip had been planned before Hilton's arrest last month in Las Vegas, when an officer found cocaine in her purse. She pleaded guilty on 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.

"We have no legal basis to restrict her from travelling throughout the United States or throughout the world," Clark County District Attorney David Roger said.

hnews@herald.ie

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