Randy Quaid’s legal battles are once again headline news, after the troubled actor was arrested last Saturday while attempting to cross into the United States from Canada. An outstanding California warrant posits that Quaid and his wife, Evi, were found squatting in the guesthouse of their previously owned home back in 2010. The felony charges describe various acts of minor vandalism: destroyed furniture, mirrors, and a damaged fireplace. In classic rich people behaving badly fashion, the Hollywood Quaids decided to play hooky on their various court dates, and ultimately fled the U.S. Quaid has defended his decision to seek asylum amongst our more forgiving Northern neighbors, claiming that he was being hunted by “Hollywood Star Whackers,” whom he blames for the deaths of friends David Carradine and Heath Ledger. Speaking from a Quebec detention center last week, Quaid told the Associated Press that he was looking to resolve his legal issues and “move on with my life.” As of now, the Quaids’ Southern migration has led to a sort of vindication; Quaid and Evi were finally released from jail in Vermont on Thursday after a judge ruled that there was “no legal reason” for continued incarceration.
Randy Quaid earned his Hollywood laurels starring in films like National Lampoon’s Vacation and Independence Day. But just like in a big-release blockbuster, in real life there’s a woman behind the man, albeit one with far fewer lines and way less name recognition. Enter Evi Quaid. Prior to pleading not guilty to being a fugitive from justice, Evi Quaid had already spent decades living life on the edge. According to IMDB, the director formerly known as Evzenya Motolanez left home at the age of 12. She got expelled from five New England boarding schools for various acts of “bad behavior,” ranging from dress code violations to nocturnal expeditions. In 1988, Evi and Randy met on the set of his film Bloodhounds of Broadway. They were introduced during the day, and he proposed to her at a Chinese restaurant that very same night. According to Evi, “Then we went home and brushed our teeth and fucked...When we brushed our teeth it was like we’d been doing it all our lives.”
Evi continued to pursue her creative passions, with a particular penchant for the female nude; nude portraits of Evi herself have featured heavily in Helmut Newton’s exhibitions. She appeared in Vogue twice in the ’90s, and was known around L.A. as “All About Evi” for her loud style, undeniable presence, and socialite status. Evi wrote and directed her first feature film, The Debtors, in 1999, making her one of the only women in Hollywood history to direct her own husband in a feature film. The film's release was blocked by its backer, reportedly due to objections over a scene involving a squirting rubber penis.
But Randy and Evi are no Brangelina—or, depending on your taste for Hollywood hysteria, they're Brangelina but way better. In a now infamous 2011 Vanity Fair interview with the Canadian outlaws, author Nancy Jo Sales describes on-the-run Evi as a “former Hollywood ‘It girl’ who once modeled nude for Helmut Newton and put up a show in a gallery in L.A. consisting of giant photographs of her pierced vagina,” bedecked in “a black YSL blazer, vest, pants, and combat boots—fugitive chic.” Badass aesthetic aside, Evi is arguably the most wanted Quaid. After all, it was Evi who jumpstarted the couple's legal battles back in 2009, when she was charged with defrauding an innkeeper, conspiracy, and burglary after dashing out on a $10,000 hotel bill. The case was eventually resolved with three years of probation for Evi, but not before she inexplicably gave a handwritten statement to TMZ claiming that the bill had been paid in full, accompanied by a copy of a cashier’s check made out to $5,546.96.
The Vanity Fair profile covers the bumpy terrain of Evi’s incendiary memories and deeply held conspiracy convictions. She insists that Madonna attempted to seduce her husband, before claiming that Dennis Quaid’s ex, Meg Ryan, was deeply jealous of Evi, “always copying my style.” From spiteful celebrity gossip to strange party behavior to micro-managing her husband’s creative career, Sales paints a picture of a deeply disturbed woman. But Evi reaches her full potential when Randy is cast in the musical Lone Star Love—Evi proceeds to film rehearsals with her video camera, write threatening emails to producers, and even send various production members nude photographs of herself. Other allegations (many of which Evi doesn't bother to refute) include rampant pot smoking, Ambien rages, and actual on-set violence, culminating in Evi kicking a 76-year-old secretary in the shins. Because of Lone Star Love, Randy was eventually expelled from Actors’ Equity, and fined for the two lost weeks of work on the show—naturally, he never paid the fines.
While both Quaids seem to firmly believe in what they call “the Hollywood Star Whackers” theory—a complex conspiracy web through which the couple is allegedly being hunted for their money, their royalties, and their lives—Evi is the one holding all the cards. The 2011 piece ends in a haunting voice-over from Randy, as the article spans over years of Evi-orchestrated bad behavior, unemployment, and social and professional estrangement: “‘They wanted to separate us...because Evi is very intuitive and very smart. She’s the smartest person I know. You can call her crazy, you can call her whatever you want, but she is my lifeline, and if she wasn’t with me, I don’t know where I’d be.’”