The Great Randy Quaid Hotel Scam
The Who’s Keith Moon once tossed a television set into a hotel swimming pool. Amy Winehouse dyed her hotel bathtub black along with her hair. Russell Crowe threw a telephone in the face of a hotel concierge.
In the grand scheme of celebrities behaving badly in hotels, actor Randy Quaid’s arrest for skipping out on a $10,000 bill at San Ysidro Ranch, near Santa Barbara, seems tame. Or at least less messy.
But that’s not to say less illegal. He and his wife Evi face charges of conspiracy, burglary and (the strangely specific count of) defrauding an innkeeper. And, according to law enforcement officials, they weren’t first-time offenders. The duo has knocked over some of Southern California’s best hotels.
Here’s where and how the Great Quaid Hotel Scam went down:
San Ysidro Ranch, Santa Barbara: The Quaids, who got married at San Ysidro Ranch 20 years ago, return this year for a $10,546.96 vacation. They allegedly charge their bill on a bunk credit card, and then months later, pay half of it by check.
Marfa, Texas: Randy and Evi are arrested in Marfa, where they have a home, but Evi doesn’t go down without a fight. She reportedly verbally and physically assaults Presidio County Sherriff’s Deputies, who wrestle her onto the hood of their car in order to make the arrest. Sherriff’s deputy James Davis tells the Daily Beast: “It was a psychotic episode with her. Evi was slapping at and pulling at officers, not really assaulting but resisting full on … fussing and fuming. I finally got a hold of her, put her down on the hood of the car and put the cuffs on behind her back.” The duo post $20,000 bail each before releasing a statement to the website TMZ that says: “I promise the state of California, Texas does not bother people over hamburgers ordered by room service, supposedly burglarized.”
Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles: Santa Barbara County Detective Rod Forney alleges that a year ago the Quaids skipped out on a $17,000 bill at Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles.
Avalon Hotel, Los Angeles: A private investigator hired by the Quaids to look into restraining orders filed against them by employees of Actors’ Equity (in the wake of Randy being banned from the union and fined $81,572 for harrassing castmates in a production of Lone Star Love) alleges that she met with the couple at the Avalon Hotel, where they plunked down a bogus credit card to cover their room charges and a meal with her.
Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel, Santa Barbara: Randy and Evi skip out on a night’s lodging (approximately $500).
Nob Hill Hotel, San Francisco: After their Mercedes disappears from the hotel’s parking lot in July 2008, the Quaids decide not to pay their $55,243 bill. Much belatedly, they settle up.
Santa Barbara Airport: The Quaids’ former private investigator says the couple was so delinquent in returning a Hertz rental car they’d picked up at the Santa Barbara Airport that the company considered declaring it stolen. They eventually returned it in El Paso, Texas.
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