LONDON – Convicted child molester Gary Glitter, the British glam rocker whose crowd-pleasing anthem "Rock and Roll (Part 2)" is played at sporting arenas across the United States, was denied entry by China into Hong Kong on Wednesday after Thailand refused to admit him, a British diplomatic official said.
Glitter, 64, was released from a Vietnamese prison on Tuesday after serving two years and nine months of a three-year sentence for committing "obscene acts" involving two girls, ages 10 and 11, from the southern coastal city of Vung Tau, Vietnam.
He flew to Hong Kong on Wednesday night; earlier, he refused to return to England upon being denied entry into Thailand, a Thai immigration official said.
Photo Essay: Gary Glitter
But a spokeswoman for the British Foreign Office says Chinese authorities have refused to allow him into Hong Kong. She says it is unclear what will happen to Glitter next and that his current status is a matter for the Chinese authorities.
She spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government policy.
The rocker received a new passport in November, meaning he can travel to any country that will have him, the U.K.'s Daily Mail reported.
Lt. Gen. Chatchawal Suksomchit, the chief of Thailand's immigration police, said Glitter was denied entry because under Thai immigration laws, those convicted of child sex abuse in a foreign country can be barred.
Glitter flew out of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam on Tuesday and was booked to change planes in Bangkok en route to London.
A Thai immigration official at the airport said Glitter refused to board the London-bound plane, complaining of an earache. Immigration officials, he said, gave the airline permission to take Glitter to an airport clinic where the doctor checked his complaint. He was then returned to the airport's transit area.
The Daily Mail reported that Glitter claimed he was suffering a heart attack, but was later diagnosed with costochondritis, an inflammation of the ribs that causes chest pain.
"Rock and Roll (Part 2)" — also known as "The Hey Song" because of the only intelligible word in the anthem — has often been played at U.S. sporting events, particularly when the home teams scores or wins.
After Glitter's conviction in March 2006, the NFL asked teams to stop playing the song. Subsequently, some professional and college teams in the U.S. and Canada have discontinued its use.
In a recent interview with Vietnamese newspaper Cong An Nhan Dan (People's Police), Glitter said he was thinking about resuming his singing career and that he might move to Hong Kong or Singapore. His lawyer, Le Thanh Kinh, has said Glitter does not want to return to Britain.
In his 1970s heyday, Glitter performed in glittery jumpsuits, silver platform shoes and bouffant wigs. He sold 18 million records and recorded a string of British top-10 hits. "Rock and Roll (Part 2)" cracked the top 10 in the United States.
Despite his lengthy jail sentence (which was reduced for good behavior), Glitter could still have more than $9 million stashed in the bank due to selling most of the rights to his back catalog, the Daily Mail reports.
Glitter's fall from grace began in 1997, when he brought his laptop computer to a repair shop and an employee there discovered he had downloaded thousands of hardcore pornographic images of children. Two years later, British authorities convicted him of possession of child pornography, and Glitter served half of his four-month jail term.
In November 2005, police in Vietnam launched a weeklong manhunt for Glitter after allegations arose that he had been molesting girls at his seaside villa in Vung Tau. He was arrested at the Ho Chi Minh City airport.
He was convicted in March 2006 in a verdict that said that Glitter had molested the girls repeatedly at his villa and in nearby hotels.
Glitter's sentence was reduced by three months last year for good behavior during Vietnam's annual Lunar New Year prison amnesty.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.