MONTREAL (AP) — American actor Randy Quaid was ordered released Thursday by Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board but still faces being sent back to the United States next week.
Quaid appeared before the board for a detention review. A Canada Border Services Agency official told the board member hearing the case that Quaid was arrested because it was felt he wouldn't comply with an order to leave the country next Wednesday. But that fear was rejected by the board member and Quaid was ordered released.
Quaid, 65, was informed this week he would be sent back to the United States, where he faces an outstanding warrant and pending criminal charges.
Sporting a massive beard and shoulder-length grey hair, Quaid was silent during the hearing as his wife, Evi, sat in the audience. They both left the downtown Montreal office, politely declining comment.
Quaid said in interview with The Associated Press from a detention center in Laval, Quebec on Wednesday that he would like to resolve his legal issues in California and "move on with my life."
Quaid's bid for permanent residency in Canada was denied in 2012, and it can take years for deportation to follow. He was arrested in Montreal in May after becoming the subject of a nationwide arrest warrant when he stopped checking in border authorities. He later apologized and was released, with the requirement to check in every two weeks.
The actor and his Canadian wife fled the U.S. in 2010, saying they were victims of persecution. Quaid has sought to stay in Canada, saying he was being hunted by "Hollywood star-whackers" who had killed his friends David Carradine and Heath Ledger.
The couple faces legal problems in the U.S. They began in 2010, when the Quaids were charged with trespassing and causing more than $5,000 in damage to the guesthouse of a California home they once owned. They were allegedly squatting in it when they were arrested. Two days before they were charged, they traveled to Vancouver, British Columbia.
Santa Barbara Senior Deputy District Attorney Lee Carter said Wednesday there is an active extradition order for Quaid on a felony vandalism case, and prosecutors would be seeking his extradition if he's returned to the United States. Carter said Quaid and his wife also face felony charges for failing to appear at a November 2010 court hearing while out on bail.
Randy Quaid is the older brother of actor Dennis Quaid and is best known for his roles in films such as "National Lampoon's Vacation" and "Independence Day."
He told the AP the couple's behavior, statements and videos they've posted to social media, including a sex tape, are an act and a way of expressing themselves.