The strange legal odyssey of Randy and Evi Quaid came to conclusion Wednesday when a judge dismissed charges against the actor while his wife pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor in their hotel bill-skipping case.
Under terms of the plea deal, hashed out behind closed doors in Santa Barbara Superior Court, both escaped additional jail time – they already served several hours for missing court dates – but Evi must perform 240 hours of community service within a year.
Outside of court, Randy Quaid said the case taught him “you pay your bills when you leave, and I suppose that’s something we can work on in the future.”
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Joking that he sang Johnny Cash songs like “Folsom Prison Blues” when he was behind bars, Randy also tells PEOPLE he feels that he was treated a bit more harshly by authorities because of his celebrity status.
“Usually, with celebrities, they tend to try to make an example of you,” Quaid says. “But I’ll roll with that. I don’t hold grudges.”
Randy, 59, and Evi, 46, were accused of failing to pay a more than $10,000 hotel bill at an exclusive Santa Barbara resort. They had faced three felonies, but in the end Evi pleaded to the lesser misdemeanor of defrauding an innkeeper.
Since their arrest last September in Texas, the eccentric couple – they brought Randy’s 1988 Golden Globe trophy to one court date – repeatedly skipped hearings and recently were declared fugitives. When they finally showed up to court Monday they were detained for approximately three hours before posting $100,000 bail each.
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The Quaids had maintained that the charges were the result of a misunderstanding, and they thought they could pay the bills later by mail. Prosecutors said that the Quaids presented invalid credit cards and skipped out on bills for several thousand dollars.
Evi says she plans to do her community service by working with the homeless in Los Angeles and developing a theater program for them.
“We want to create a homeless theater for men in Los Angeles,” she said outside of court. “The creative process is something that homeless men are cut out for, and they are a profound resource.”
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