In the movie Independence Day, Quaid’s character insisted he had been abducted by aliens. Turns out he may not have been acting:
The Hollywood actor best known for his role as deadbeat cousin Eddie in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and his wife will be released from custody on $10,000 bail each after asking for refugee protection in Canada during an immigration hearing on Friday.
Oscar-nominee Randy Quaid, 60, and his wife Evi, 47, made the verbal plea for protection at a Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board hearing in Vancouver on Friday afternoon.
The couple, arrested in Vancouver on immigration violations earlier this week, claims they fear for their lives in the U.S. After a detention review hearing, they were told they would be released after putting up bail and agreeing to weekly reporting.
Outside the hearing, the Quaids’ lawyer read a statement saying the couple was seeking asylum from “Hollywood star-whackers.”
The couple said that they fear for their lives in the U.S., and Evi claimed that nine close friends of her husband have recently been murdered, including actors David Carradine, Heath Ledger and Chris Penn. Carradine was found hanging by a rope in a hotel room in Thailand last year, Ledger died of an overdose of a mix of prescription medications in 2008 and Penn died of heart disease in 2006.
Celebrity bounty hunter Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman issued a public challenge to Quaid and his wife Thursday night, urging him to turn himself into U.S. authorities or face capture by the TV tough guy.
“At least do it for your wife and for how you were raised. If not, the Chapman family is coming after you,” the bounty hunter told comedian George Lopez on his late night show, Lopez Tonight.
Chapman also said he’d like to have an intervention with Quaid, saying his life appears to have spiraled out of control.
Update: The Quaids probably shouldn’t get too comfortable up here:
…immigration lawyer Richard Kurland says there are limits, and he doubts the claim will pay off for the couple.
“Statistically you have a better chance of being hit by a meteor than see a profile like this from the United States succeed in a refugee claim,” he said.
The fact that the Quaids are both American fugitives doesn’t help either. A judge in Santa Barbara issued $50,000 bench warrants for the couple earlier this week after they skipped an arraignment hearing in their felony burglary case.
“Serious criminality is not an open door to Canada’s refugee process,” Kurland said.
They are accused of squatting in the guest house of a Montecito Home they once owned together and causing more than $10,000 damage. Evi was also charged with resisting arrest.
Canada Border Services Agency officers arrested them in Vancouver on Thursday afternoon.
If the couple is allowed to access the refugee system, Kurland says the process will take a minimum of one to two years. During that period, they will have access to Canadian benefits, including work permits, medical care and welfare.
The Quaids were released on $10,000 bail each. Their next hearing is on Thursday, at which point they’ll have to discredit the California charges and prove fear of prosecution back home – or their stay in Canada will be brief.
“It can literally mean from the hearing room to the back of an immigration truck and a one-way ride to the U.S. border, where you’re dropped to … American law enforcement officials on the spot,” Kurland said.