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The Globe and Mail

Randy Quaid still jailed in B.C. despite release order

Actor Randy Quaid is escorted from an immigration hearing in Vancouver on Oct. 22, 2010.

Darry Dyck/The Canadian Press/Darry Dyck/The Canadian Press

Oscar-nominated actor Randy Quaid, famous for roles in such films as National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and Brokeback Mountain, remains in jail despite an order for his release Friday after his arrest on outstanding warrants in California.

Monday's disclosure from the Canada Border Services Agency means that actor Dennis Quaid's older brother spent the weekend in detention. Randy Quaid's wife, Evi, is also in custody.

The couple last week declared they were seeking refugee status in Canada for fear of being murdered in the United States by "Hollywood Star Whackers."

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Following an Immigration and Refugee Board hearing, the couple were cleared for release on $10,000 bond each and fulfilling various reporting conditions.

But the border agency confirmed Monday they were not released.

"They remain in detention," Shakila Manzoor, a communications adviser to the agency, said in a statement.

Ms. Manzoor did not disclose what held up the couple's release.

Nor would the couple's lawyer, Brian Tsuji.

"I have nothing to add to what (CBSA) have said," he said in an interview.

Ms. Manzoor noted the couple are scheduled to appear at a hearing on Thursday afternoon.

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And she also had a point to make about the fate of the couple's dog.

During Friday's hearing, Ms. Quaid had worried aloud about the fate of a puppy travelling with them.

Ms. Manzoor noted that, in line with border-agency procedures, any pets accompanying detained persons would be placed in the care "of an appropriate animal shelter."

An official at the City of Vancouver animal shelter confirmed that Vancouver police brought the Quaids' dog to the shelter after the couple's arrest on Friday, but declined to release any further information.

Also, Ms. Manzoor said the board would not be releasing any further information on the case, which has drawn far-flung media attention.

On Friday, the Quaids sent Mr. Tsuji out of a closed hearing room to read a handwritten note from the couple that declared: "Yes, we are requesting asylum from Hollywood Star Whackers. Evi and Randy Quaid."

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The 60-year-old actor and his wife say they want to start a new life in Canada.

During an emotionally charged hearing that came after they were arrested in Vancouver on outstanding warrants in California, Ms. Quaid said they were worried about friends "murdered" in Hollywood such as actors Keith Carradine - who is alive, though she may have been referring to his deceased brother, David - and Heath Ledger, who starred in Brokeback Mountain, and Chris Penn.

None of the actors' deaths were ruled suspicious or homicides.

The couple have been dogged by legal troubles for skipping a court date in California over allegations of vandalizing a Santa Barbara home they formerly owned. They also have been charged for allegedly defrauding an innkeeper in Montecito, Calif.

After the couple were ordered released, Ms. Quaid told The Globe and Mail she and her husband sought to "find asylum from murderous rings in Hollywood" that consisted of lawyers.

The Quaids arrived in the Lower Mainland on Oct. 17 and were arrested Oct. 21 on the outstanding warrants.

"I wanted to restart my career and get it going again. [Vancouver]seemed like a good place to do it," Mr. Quaid told the hearing after he and his wife waived their privacy rights during the proceedings and welcomed a crowd of reporters into the hearing room at a downtown skyscraper.

He noted he has had acting gigs in Canada over the last 40 years. Brokeback Mountain, for example, was filmed in Alberta.

"I love Canada," he said. "I would not do anything to besmirch my reputation any further than it has already been.

Mr. Quaid was nominated for an Oscar as best supporting actor for his role in The Last Detail, released in 1973.

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About the Author
B.C. reporter

Ian Bailey is a Vancouver-based reporter for The Globe and Mail.  He covers politics and general news. Prior to arriving at The Globe and Mail, he reported from Toronto and St. John’s for The Canadian Press.  He has also covered British Columbia for CP, The National Post and The Province. More

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