Randy Quaid says he would like to return to the United States one day, but he and his wife still fear they are being persecuted by California prosecutors and tabloid media.
Although U.S. officials recently refused to seek extradition of the actor and his wife from Canada to face felony vandalism charges in Santa Barbara, Calif., authorities in the coastal town say they’ll still have the couple arrested if they return to the States.
The Quaids, who have missed several court appearances in the case, claim they are the victims of corrupt forces and are demanding an investigation.
“I feel like we’ve been driven out of the country and that the door’s been slammed behind us,” Quaid said in a phone interview from British Columbia on Friday. “And for what, these phony little trespassing, vandalism charges? Santa Barbara can sleep better tonight knowing the Quaids are out of their hair.”
The couple’s current trouble began in September 2010, when they were arrested on charges of causing more than $5,000 damage at a hillside home they were renting.
It was the second bout of trouble for the couple in Santa Barbara. Months earlier the pair resolved a case in which they also missed several court appearances related to charges they defrauded an innkeeper; the case against the actor was dropped, but his wife was placed on probation after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor.
The Quaids’ behavior and statements have led many to question their sanity. Randy Quaid says he’s not bothered by that but wants to be recognized for his acting again.
“What I wish more than anything is that I could start getting press about my work as an actor,” he said in the Friday interview. “That is what I do. I’m not a criminal.”
Fugitive warrants issued by a Santa Barbara judge remain active.
“They’re fraudulent warrants as far as we’re concerned,” Evi Quaid said. “Randy Quaid is no more a fugitive from America than Uncle Sam is. I mean, he’s the star of ‘Independence Day.’ ”
Her husband also appeared in the “Vacation” films and “Brokeback Mountain.”
This article was published by the Journal Gazette on July 25, 2011.
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