Mon, Nov 01, 2010 - Page 13 News List

PLANET POP

Hollywood actor Randy Quaid, who has sought asylum in Canada, said on Thursday he is not crazy but rather the victim of a criminal conspiracy to take his wealth, and perhaps his life.

Quaid, his voice at times cracking with emotion, read a statement alleging a long-standing plot by former business associates, who he has called “star whackers,” to steal money through secret business deals and court cases.

Quaid and his wife, Evi Quaid, were arrested last week in Vancouver on a warrant from California after they missed a court hearing there on charges related to allegations they were illegally staying in a house they once owned.

“Up until a year ago, Evi and I had never had any run-in with the law whatsoever. We are not criminals, nor are we fugitives from justice, nor are we crazy,” Quaid told reporters.

“We are simply artists and film makers being racketeered on,” he said after a brief hearing before a Canadian immigration official in Vancouver.

He repeated an allegation he made the week before that eight of his acting friends have been secretly murdered in recent years, and that he believes other Hollywood stars are being “played to get at their money.”

He declined to answer questions after reading the statement. Evi Quaid did not attend the hearing, which was set to resume Nov. 8.

Quaid, 60, is known for movies such as The Last Picture Show, The Last Detail and Brokeback Mountain. He is the older brother of actor Dennis Quaid.

Both Randy and Evi Quaid made applications for refugee status in Canada after their Vancouver arrest, but border authorities discovered Evi appears to automatically qualify for Canadian citizenship because her father was born in Canada.

Randy Quaid is pushing ahead with his refugee claim, and is exploring other options that could be available through his wife that would allow him to stay in Canada, his attorney Catherine Sas told reporters.

In other celebrity news, singer Mariah Carey will give birth to her first child next spring, she announced on NBC television’s Access Hollywood Thursday.

“Yes, we are pregnant, this is true!” said Carey, 41, alongside her husband, the rapper and actor Nick Cannon, 30.

The news put an end to months of rumors and speculation that the superstar was pregnant.

The couple do not know the sex of the baby and would not reveal Carey’s due date.

Her next album, Merry Christmas II You, is scheduled to go on sale tomorrow. Carey has sold 175 million records since the start of her singing career in 1990.

A final chapter in Anna Nicole Smith’s made-for-tabloids life story has ended with a jury absolving her doctor of prescribing excessive drugs and convicting a psychiatrist and Smith’s lawyer-boyfriend of conspiring to fake names on prescriptions.

The nine-week trial brought the aura of glamour surrounding the late Playboy model to the courtroom through photos and videos of the beautiful blond who starred in her own reality TV show.

In death, she still managed to be the star of the high profile trial.

Howard K. Stern, who was Smith’s manager, lawyer and lover, was acquitted Thursday of seven of the 11 charges originally lodged against him. Superior Court Judge Robert Perry had already dismissed two charges against Stern. The jury found him guilty of two conspiracy counts and specified they were for obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and giving a false name for a prescription.

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