x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

US drops extradition pursuit of Randy Quaid

The actor Randy Quaid and his wife are to be left in peace in Canada - but arrest warrants remain in force in the US.

The actor, whose brother is his fellow actor Dennis Quaid and who is best-known for his role as Cousin Eddie in National Lampoon's 1989 film Christmas Vacation, fled the US for Canada last year with his wife Evi after they were involved in a bizarre chain of alleged thefts, bad debts and other misadventures.

The couple have been holed up in Canada - where they were seeking refugee status - fighting extradition to answer charges of stealing from a property they once owned.

But the US Department of Justice has now called off the pursuit, with representatives explaining the process was stretching its resources. The district attorney for Santa Barbara County in California, Joyce Dudley, said: "Extradition is generally reserved for more serious offences."

Quaid has suggested that his woes are due to some sort of Tinseltown conspiracy, accusing a faceless bunch of "star whackers in Hollywood" of not only trying to destroy his career but to murder him for his wealth.

"I am being embezzled from by this monstrous ring of accountants, estate planners and lawyers who are mercilessly slandering me and trying to kill my career and, I believe, murder me in order to gain control of my royalties," he said outside an immigration hearing in October.

Dennis Quaid has said little about his brother's plight, telling People magazine in April: "I love my brother. That's all I can say."

While the Quaids may have successfully ducked the extradition request, Dudley warned the couple that their American arrest warrants remain active.