Actor Randy Quaid and wife seek refugee status in Canada
Santa Barbara County California Sheriff’s Department booking photos show actor Randy Quaid, left, and his wife, Evi. The two have reportedly been arrested in Vancouver for failing to appear at a California court date
Douglas Quan, Postmedia News · Friday, Oct. 22, 2010
VANCOUVER — Hollywood actor Randy Quaid and his wife, Evi, say they are seeking refugee status in Canada.
In a bizarre hearing in Vancouver on Friday, the pair — who were arrested a day earlier in Vancouver on outstanding U.S. warrants — told an Immigration and Refugee Board that the actor has had eight close friends murdered in recent years and they fear they could be next.
In a handwritten note, given by their lawyer to media, the couple said: “Yes we are requesting asylum from Hollywood ‘STAR WHACKERS.’”
It wasn’t immediately clear what the ‘Star Whackers’ reference meant, but a report in an online report from a U.S. newspaper said it was the name of an original song mentioned in one of the couple’s past U.S. court filings.
They were whisked into a detention-review hearing before the Immigration and Refugee Board on Friday, past a cluster of reporters and photographers.
There, they said they feel they have been unfairly treated by the U.S. justice system. They promised they would appear at future hearings if released.
“I would not do anything to besmirch my reputation any further than it has been,” the actor said.
“I’m trying to do damage control.”
Added his wife:“I feel safe here.”
Vancouver police say they got a call for assistance on Thursday and while checking the identities of the pair — who turned out to be Quaid and his wife — authorities learned they were wanted on outstanding warrants.
Arrest warrants were issued for the couple after they reportedly failed to show up for a court hearing in Santa Barbara, California, on allegations they were squatting in the guest house of a home they once owned.
The formerly Oscar-nominated Quaid is best-known for his role as Cousin Eddie in the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies, but he has also held supporting roles in such Hollywood blockbusters as Brokeback Mountain, Kingpin and Independence Day.
Quaid and his wife say they entered Canada on Oct. 17, a day before bench warrants for their arrest were issued in the United States.
The Canada Border Services Agency argued at the detention review hearing that the pair should be kept in custody.
“Both are fugitives from justice,” said CBSA representative Jim Murray.
But Evi Quaid insisted they would not flee, if released.
“I say it in front of the world press,” she said.
Quaid’s arrest comes one day after Duane Chapman — better known as Dog the Bounty Hunter — threatened to come after the fugitive.
“I hope Randy Quaid and his wife are watching right now,” said Chapman, a reality TV star and bounty hunter, while appearing on the Lopez Tonight, a late-night TV show hosted by comedian George Lopez.
“We’re announcing that he has a chance to call these authorities to turn himself in,” Chapman said.
“At least do it for your wife and for how you were raised. If not, the Chapman family is coming after you.”
He said Quaid has been struggling lately and was not himself.
“We need to do, like, an intervention, Dog-style.”