NARITA, Chiba Pref. — American model and actress Paris Hilton dropped her entry request and left Japan on a chartered flight Wednesday after being stopped and questioned at Narita International Airport the previous day about her conviction for cocaine possession, sources familiar with the matter said.
The 29-year-old star of “The Simple Life” was stopped by immigration upon arrival Tuesday, just a day after pleading guilty to a drug charge in Las Vegas, according to an e-mailed 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 on Wednesday, but the appearance was canceled.
“We met her this morning. The process of determining whether she can enter Japan or not is still ongoing,” Kazuo Kashihara, an immigration official at Narita, said earlier in the day.
Under Japanese law, immigration authorities are empowered to deny entry to anyone convicted of drug-related offenses.
Tokyo was the first stop on Hilton’s Asia tour, which was to take her to Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, where she intends to open a new store.
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 all the scrutiny in Japan.
“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.”
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 possessing drugs and obstructing an officer and was placed on informal probation for one year.