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Forest Whitaker

Blasts NYC Deli

I Was Falsely Accused of Stealing

2/16/2013 1:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0215-forest-whitaker-milano-gettyForest Whitaker is furious with a NYC deli ... telling TMZ he was wrongly accused of shoplifting Friday morning ... and even FRISKED IN PUBLIC in a humiliating violation of his rights.

Whitaker -- an Academy Award-winning MILLIONAIRE -- says he was on his way out of the Milano Market on the Upper West Side Friday when he was stopped by a deli employee and accused of swiping an item from the shelf.

An eyewitness tells TMZ ... the employee proceeded to frisk Whitaker in plain view ... treating him as if he were a common criminal.

Shocker, the employee's pat down yielded zilch ... and Forest left the establishment baffled and angry.

Whitaker's rep tells TMZ, "This was an upsetting incident given the fact that Forest did nothing more than walk into the deli. What is most unfortunate about this situation is the inappropriate way store employees are treating patrons of their establishment.

Frisking individuals without proof/evidence is a violation of rights."

The rep adds, "Forest did not call the authorities at the request of the worker who was in fear of losing his employment. Forest asked that, in the future, the store change their behavior and treat the public in a fair and just manner.”

We called Milano Market for comment -- but no one wanted to talk. 

425 COMMENTS

No Avatar
136.

Leighton    

That's ridiculous; I would have sought legal action if I were him. If they think I stole, call the cops--don't put your damn hands on me though.

523 days ago
137.

J.E.B.    

Forest, you're too nice. I'd have kicked that deli employee to the curb, and got him fired. There's NO excuse for that deli worker's behavior!

523 days ago
138.

Mike    

the picture you are showing is the Milano Market on 89th Street on the Upper East Side, not the store in Morningstar Heights where this happened!

523 days ago
139.

Trizone    

Why didn't he call the cops? Because the cops would've been worse. The employee did violate his rights if the employee frisked physically searched him without cause! Why did he not file a report?

523 days ago
140.

Jason    

Im still not sure that "stop and frisk" is something that extends out to store employees. What was the employee worried about ? Five bucks worth of pepperoni? What were they thinking?

523 days ago
141.

en Todo Momento!!    

wait, so a employee can frisk people? news to me. what next? a employee performs an 'official' arrest and takes the 'suspect' to the 'police' in their own private vehicle? well i see a very bright future for citizen enforced law and justice! in the midst of new york!

523 days ago
142.

clarkcountycriminalcops    

"Frisking individuals without proof/evidence is a violation of rights."

Yet the NYPD does it thousands of times a year.

523 days ago
143.

john cunningham    

i havnt heard you talk much about washington and colorado decriminalizing pot or all the other state and cities now considering it.

523 days ago
144.

Courtney    

It is very sad that Mr. Whitaker was treated this way. I hope he considers legal action.

523 days ago
145.

prince luvr    

Omg id sue the **** outta them

523 days ago
146.

TrixLaRue    

WTH....does he think he is the first person to be accused of doing something he didn't? Good Lord...another star crying profusely about regular stuff...

523 days ago
147.

TrixLaRue    

you people are ridiculous...just fire the employee and be done with it...drama queens.

523 days ago
148.

Spotlight    

Goes to show money does not change anything.

523 days ago
149.

lucybu    

He shows just what a class act he is. Most people black or white, would've had the employees job. It's infuriating to say the least.

523 days ago
150.

Raymond    

Why not call the cops but then leak it to the media? The guy now lost his job anyway.


Don't know who the arse is, but one's certainly part of this chain of communication.

523 days ago
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