American actor Randy Quaid says he's won his legal fight to stay in Canada, after the Canada Border Services Agency dropped inadmissibility proceedings against him.
At a news conference with his wife and lawyer on Wednesday morning in Vancouver, Quaid said he and his wife Evi were relieved by the news.
"When Evi and I came to Canada last October we could never have envisioned how things would unfold and how our lives would change. Today we're here to say thank you Canada. Thank you for your warm welcome. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to live in peace," he said.
Randy and Evi Quaid applied for refugee status in October, claiming they were being persecuted in the U.S. and were possible targets of so-called "Hollywood star-whackers" who were bent on killing actors.
Evi Quaid said friends such as actors David Carradine and Heath Ledger were "murdered" under mysterious circumstances and she was worried something would happen to her husband.
"We feel our lives are in danger," she said at the time of their refugee application.
It turned out that because Evi Quaid's father was born in Canada, she was granted Canadian citizenship on Feb. 10. That allowed her to sponsor Randy as an immigrant.
U.S. bench warrants
The Quaids are facing felony burglary charges and misdemeanour counts in the U.S. for allegedly moving back into and vandalizing a home they once owned in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Both are wanted on $500,000 bench warrants. Neither of the couple has shown up for any court hearings since a criminal case was filed in October and have already forfeited $1 million in bail.
Randy Quaid won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Emmy for his portrayal of U.S. President Lyndon Johnson in LBJ: The Early Years, but he's perhaps best known for his roles in the National Lampoon's Vacation movies as well as Brokeback Mountain and Independence Day.
Quaid was also scheduled to receive an award Wednesday from Vancouver Film Critics Circle for his work in the 2008 film Real Time.