Two British touists were barred from entering the United States after joking on Twitter about “destroying America”.
Leigh Van Bryan and Emily Bunting’s Twitter feeds were monitored by US special agents who also took exception to a comment about “digging up Marilyn Monroe”, the Sun reported.
Upon the pair’s arrival in LA – where they hoped to spend a three-week holiday – they were held by armed guards, questioned for five hours on suspicion of planning to “commit crimes” and then put in cells overnight.
Van Bryan, 26, claims he was forced to share a cell with Mexican drug dealers.
Despite explaining he had used the term “destroy” as slang for partying, and insisting the Tweet about Marilyn Monroe was a joke, the pair were put on a flight back to Britain the next day.
They were also searched for shovels – after border agents voiced suspicions Bunting would act as a look-out while Van Bryan raided the Hollywood starlet’s tomb.
He told the Sun: “It’s almost funny now but at the time it was really scary. The Homeland Security agents were treating me like some kind of terrorist.
“I kept saying they had got the wrong meaning from my tweet but they just told me ‘you’ve really f***ed up with that tweet, boy’.”
Van Bryan and Bunting, 24, have now been told they must apply for visas from the US Embassy in London before flying to the US again, the Daily Mail reported.