Randy Quaid and wife request asylum in Canada

Media caption,
The couple spoke to reporters while handcuffed in the Government of Canada Building

Actor Randy Quaid and his wife Evi are seeking asylum in Canada, claiming they are being persecuted in the US.

The couple were arrested in Vancouver on Thursday on US warrants related to vandalism charges, issued last week after they missed a court appearance.

"We feel our lives are in danger," Evi Quaid told an immigration adjudicator.

Their lawyer showed the media a handwritten statement, in which the Quaids said they were "requesting asylum from Hollywood 'star whackers'."

Last month the Quaids were charged by US police with illegal occupation of their former home in Santa Barbara, California.

When they failed to show up in court to answer those charges last Monday, a warrant was issued for their arrest.

Image caption,
Their handwritten note refers to unspecified "star whackers"

The Quaids have been released from custody in Canada and are expected to attend a hearing later in the next week.

Quaid, 60, is best known for his roles in The Last Picture Show, Independence Day and National Lampoon's Vacation, and for being the older brother of actor Dennis.

At Friday's immigration hearing, Evi Quaid alleged that a number of her husband's actor friends - among them Heath Ledger and David Carradine - had been killed in recent years.

"Randy has known eight close friends murdered in odd, strange manners," she said in what the Reuters news agency called a "rambling" presentation. "We feel that we're next."

Ledger, with whom Quaid appeared in Brokeback Mountain, died in January 2008 from an accidental overdose.

Kung Fu and Kill Bill star Carradine was found dead in a Bangkok hotel room last year. A pathologist concluded he had died from asphyxiation.

The Quaids are alleged to have caused more than $5,000 (£3,188) in damage to the property in Santa Barbara, which they claim belongs to them.

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