Actor Randy Quaid and his wife Evi have been arrested in Canada on a US warrant that was issued after the couple failed to appear in a Santa Barbara court on felony vandalism charges. Quaid, known for playing quirky roles like "Cousin Eddie" in "National Lampoon's Vacation," told a Canadian court that he and his wife are seeking asylum from "the murderers of Hollywood," reports The Washington Post.
For those of you who need a brief refresher: the couple was arrested for squatting in a guest house they previously owned. They apparently fled to Vancouver, Canada, were arrested in shopping mall, and are now seeking asylum as refugees.
Randy Quaid, 60, and has wife are being held on $500,000 bail each. The Washington Post quotes Evi: "We feel our lives are in danger. Randy has known eight close friends murdered in odd, strange manners ... We feel that we're next." Specifically, Evi was referring to the deaths of actors Heath Ledge and David Carradine, and worried that her husband would be the next victim of a "Hollywood murder." Interestingly enough, neither of those deaths occured in Hollywood, but I digress.
The Quaids are now seeking asylum in Canada based on their self-proclaimed refugee status. Generally speaking, a refugee is someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their home country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution. Whether or not an immigration judge will grant asylum to the Quaids will depend on how well they fit within the definition of a refugee.
Typically, a refugee fears persecution on the basis of race, religion, political opinion, or nationality. Here, the Quaids are seeking asylum from the "murders of Hollywood." Although unconventional, the plea for asylum is pretty consistent with this couple's overall approach to the law and life. The couple has their second meeting with Canadian immigration officials later this week.