Russell Brand's Canada ban claim a joke
U.K. comic had plane problems, couldn't make it to Ontario show
Russell Brand made waves on the internet by tweeting he had been forced to postpone a show in Ontario because he was denied entry into Canada — but it turns out the British comedian was joking.
The 36-year-old comic, last seen in a remake of Arthur, told fans via Twitter on Saturday that his show at Casino Rama in Orillia, north of Toronto, had to be put off.
"I'm sorry. I can't enter Canada. We must abolish the borders between our nations AND our minds," he posted.
"HELP! I'm gonna be late for Casino Rama show unless someone can force Canadian customs officials to let us land in Orillia!"
But after media reports of Brand's ban claim spread over the internet and in the media, the casino and Canadian border officials offered a different story.
Casino Rama said the U.K. funnyman was in California and his private jet was experiencing problems, making it difficult for him to get to Orillia in time.
In an email to CBC News on Sunday, a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews confirmed the Canada Border Services Agency did not deny Brand entry into Canada.
"Apparently he had aircraft problems and was making a joke," spokesman Michael Patton wrote.
Despite the prank, it's not unusual for Brand to have problems in foreign countries.
In May, the performer was deported from Japan while visiting his pop singer wife Katy Perry on her Asian tour, due to prior criminal convictions.
A self-confessed heroin addict in recovery, Brand was arrested in 2001 and charged with criminal damage and indecent exposure after stripping naked while covering the May Day protests for MTV. Those charges were eventually dropped.
The comedian has a dozen arrests under his belt, including one for suspected battery charges after he allegedly attacked a photographer.