The actor Randy Quaid (pictured) has been in the news today. He was brielfly detained by Canadian border officials and, although swiftly released, he is facing deportation to the United States. He and his wife fled the States in 2010 after facing charges of vandalism of a Santa Barbara property.
He claimed the vandalised property was owned by him, and the couple pleaded not guilty to $5000 damage to the property, but then fled the country before a further court hearing. He and his wife went to Canada – his wife Evi has dual US-Canadian citizenship. While in Canada he applied for “refugee” status, bizarrely claiming that his life was in danger from “Hollywood star whackers.” and organised crime.
At his refugee request hearing in Canada he claimed that eight fellow actors had been “murdered in odd, strange manners.” Among those he said were killed by the “Hollywood star whackers” were Heath Ledger and David Carradine. His request for permanent residency was rejected. He appealed, but in 2013 was told he would not be granted permanent residency, a decision which then went for judicial review before Canada’s feederal court.
As part of his application for judicial review, a statement released on his and his wife’s behalf claimed their lives were still being threatened and that “organised crime and its victims are serious issues and can not be tossed off until the claim is heard.” The statement then slipped into the bizarre: “The refugee claims should remain intact, as should Evi and Randy Quaid’s heads remain attached to their necks. It is their firm belief that their lives are at stake and being racketeered on.”
This judicial review has failed and, although the US has not requested extradiction, he is facing deportation on Wednesday. If he re-enters the United States he will be arrested to face the original criminal damage charges as well as charges of failing to appear in court in 2010. Quaid has told Associated Press that he wants to return to the States and “move on with my life.”
The Quaids’ wierd assertions and their fleeing from justice are an incredible over-reaction to charges that, if proven, would probably only have got them a fine. Their actions have also resulted in a huge waste of time and great expense for taxpayers in both the US and Canada as they try to evade answering the charges. As for the claims of “Hollywood star whackers” , they suggest that Quaid has mental health issues he needs to address. They are also an insult to the families of Heath Ledger, David Carradine and the other Hollywood stars he claims have been murdered. The Quaids’ judgement was also brought into question when, during their time in Canada, they posted expletive-ridden videos on YouTube denouncing the US authorities for having the audacity to charge them.
It seems to me that the actor – older brother of Dennis Quaid and best-known for the films Kingpin, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and The Last Detail – is just another egotistical celebrity who thinks that the rules of society don’t apply to him. It is time for him to return to the States and face up to the outstanding charges. As a Canadian citizen, his wife is not obliged to return with him as there is no extradition warrant against her and is not facing deportation.