VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Hollywood actor Randy Quaid, who has sought asylum in Canada, said on Thursday he is not crazy but rather the victim of a criminal conspiracy to take his wealth, and perhaps his life.
Quaid, his voice at times cracking with emotion, read a statement alleging a long-standing plot by former business associates, who he has called “star whackers”, to steal money through secret business deals and court cases.
Quaid and his wife, Evi Quaid, were arrested last week in Vancouver on a warrant from California after they missed a court hearing there on charges related to allegations they were illegally staying in a house they once owned.
“Up until a year ago, Evi and I had never had any run-in with the law whatsoever. We are not criminals, nor are we fugitives from justice, nor are we crazy,” Quaid told reporters.
“We are simply artists and film makers being racketeered on,” he said after a brief hearing before a Canadian immigration official in Vancouver.
He repeated an allegation he made last week that eight of his acting friends have been secretly murdered in recent years, and that he believes other Hollywood stars are being “played to get at their money.”
He declined to answer questions after reading the statement. Evi Quaid did not attend the hearing, which was set to resume Nov. 8.
Quaid, 60, is known for movies such as “The Last Picture Show,” “The Last Detail” and “Brokeback Mountain.” He is the older brother of actor Dennis Quaid.
Both Randy and Evi Quaid made applications for refugee status in Canada after their Vancouver arrest, but border authorities discovered Evi appears to automatically qualify for Canadian citizenship because her father was born in Canada.
Randy Quaid is pushing ahead with his refugee claim, and is exploring other options that could be available through his wife that would allow him to stay in Canada, his attorney Catherine Sas told reporters.
Reporting Allan Dowd; editing by Rob Wilson