Actor Randy Quaid and his wife told Canada's immigration board Friday they are seeking refuge in Canada because they are afraid of a shadowy group responsible for killing their Hollywood friends.
Quaid, 60, and his wife, Evi, were released on cash bonds of $10,000 each after they appeared before an Immigration and Refugee Board hearing in Vancouver, British Columbia.
They were arrested Thursday afternoon in a shopping area of an affluent Vancouver neighborhood on U.S. warrants related to vandalism charges.
The pair told an adjudicator that the actor has had eight close friends murdered in recent years and fear they could be next.
"We feel our lives are in danger," Evi Quaid told the board hearing.
Their lawyer gave the media a note in which the couple said, "Yes we are requesting asylum from Hollywood 'STAR WHACKERS.' "
Among "murdered" friends were actors Heath Ledger, who died in 2008 from an apparent drug overdose, and David Carradine, who died from what police said was auto-erotic asphyxiation, the Vancouver Sun reported.
They said they feel they have been unfairly treated by the U.S. justice system and promised they would appear at future hearings if released.
"I would not do anything to besmirch my reputation any further than it has been," the actor said. "I'm trying to do damage control."
Added his wife: "I feel safe here."
The Quaids, who said they needed to prepare their case and care for their puppy, hugged when the decision was announced.
Their next hearing is set for Oct. 28.
The Quaids are wanted in Santa Barbara, where they missed a court hearing Monday on felony vandalism charges. Santa Barbara County Senior Deputy District Attorney Lee Carter said Friday that the Quaids bail increased to $500,000 apiece.
Evi Quaid said she's been told by a jail nurse that her blood pressure is dangerously high due to stress and that Randy Quaid's mother has been hospitalized in the U.S. as a result of the stress from their legal troubles.
The Quaids said they came to Canada for legitimate reasons and had no intention of skipping out on a warrant issued for their arrest in the United States.
A U.S. judge issued arrest warrants Monday for the couple after they failed to show up at a California court hearing stemming from their arrests last month on suspicion of illegally squatting at a home.
Quaid and his wife face felony vandalism charges after more than $5,000 in damage was found in a guest house of a Montecito, Calif., home they had previously owned.
They face no charges in Canada.
The Quaids frequently missed court appearances in an earlier U.S. case involving charges they defrauded an innkeeper. That case was resolved in April with Evi Quaid pleading no contest to a misdemeanor. The charges against her husband were dropped.
Randy Quaid is best-known for supporting roles in films such as "Independence Day" and "National Lampoon's Vacation" as Cousin Eddie. He is the older brother of actor Dennis Quaid.