Randy Quaid, the actor, and his wife Evi are seeking asylum in Canada claiming they are on a Hollywood celebrity death list.
The American couple were arrested in Vancouver last week on US arrest warrants related to allegations that they vandalised their former home in Santa Barbara, California.
However, when they were brought before an immigration hearing on Friday, the pair said they wanted to stay in Canada because they believe their “lives are in danger”.
They warned they are at risk from “Hollywood star whackers”, who they claim are responsible for the recent deaths of several of Mr Quaid’s actor friends, including Heath Ledger and David Carradine.
"We feel our lives are in danger," Mrs Quaid told the Immigration and Refugee Board hearing.
"Randy has known eight close friends murdered in odd, strange manners. We feel that we're next."
Arrest warrants were issued for the pair after they failed to attend a US court appearance last week on charges of squatting in their former home.
They were arrested in September on suspicion of burglary and entering a building without consent, while Mrs Quaid faces a further charge of resisting arrest.
It is alleged that they caused more than $5,000 (€3,582) damage to the property in Santa Barbara, which they claim belongs to them.
The Quaids were released from custody following the immigration hearing on a C$10,000 (€7,030) cash bond and are due attend a further hearing on Thursday.
Following Friday’s hearing, their lawyer, Brian Tsuji, delivered a statement from the couple, saying: "Yes, we are seeking asylum from Hollywood star whackers."
Mr Quaid, famous for his roles in The Last Picture Show, Independence Day and National Lampoon's Vacation, claimed he has been persecuted for 20 years in the US.
Ledger, with whom Quaid appeared in Brokeback Mountain, died in January 2008 from an accidental overdose, aged 28.
Kill Bill star Carradine was found dead in a Bangkok hotel room last year. A pathologist concluded the 72-year-old had died from asphyxiation.
Mr Quaid, who is the brother of actor Dennis Quaid, and his wife had been in Canada almost a week when they were arrested.
The couple said they came to Canada to relax, and were talking with a lawyer in Vancouver about moving to the country when they learned the warrant had been issued.