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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

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. 


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611 days ago


Rather than playing the victim, a little grace on his part would have been more appropriate. Humor goes a long way as mistakes are made at businesses on a daily basis and it isn't all racist and intentionally mean.

611 days ago


............White People o_0

611 days ago


Wow surprised he even got frisked for a deli item. I wouldve wanted some kind of compensation. Im sure that wouldnt have happen to Brad Pitt if he was in the same spot at the same time at the deli. Just for you racists make a comment saying Im sticking up for him cause Im black well guess im not.

611 days ago


They are not allowed to do that. He should've allowed them to call the cops so that they could tell that guy he was about to make an ass out of himself and frisk an incredible actor. If I ever pass this place on a walk, I'll be sure to spit my gum out on the sidewalk in front of the store.

611 days ago

Mickey T Finn    

This store is on the Upper East Side, you LA douchebags!

611 days ago


Well eating in Bloombergs New York City is Russian roulette with food considering the rat and mouse feces in every bite.

611 days ago


I think it's illegal for an average citizen to frisk you. I hope he sues!! FYI - you know those people at the door who stop you and want to see your receipt and purchases? You don't have to stop and show them anything! It's illegal for them to force or detain you, but most people do it because they think they HAVE to.

611 days ago

Shane Taylor    

An employee can NOT frisk any person, to do so, leaves them open to assault charges...

611 days ago

Dr Samuel Weiscrak    

Just wondering how all of you claiming racial profiling know the employee wasn't black too? That'd be funny if he's black and racially profiled him, totally happens too. You don't have to be white to think the black guy did it! Srsly! LMAO

611 days ago

BB not bb    

There is a climate of suspicion in this country. Foreigners come here and get the idea that that is the way to be an American. It could have been some illegal alien on a power trip. Maybe it was an honest mistake, imagine that.

When you have security checks nearly everywhere in public, police randomly frisking people on the street, TSA looking at your nude body scan or frisking you for contraband after pawing through your bags, all of these things make this a very distrusting and disrespectful society to begin with.

The rent is probably very high there, so for a store just selling cheap items like bread and olives, they probably have to be careful about their inventory.

611 days ago


When things like this happen, I feel like, as a country, we've regressed to 1985 ( or beyond but this reminds me a lot of the 80s). There's a big part of me that wishes FW would sue. Hopefully, the negative press will suffice to are mind shopkeepers to operate within the bounds of he law or risk litigation that they likely cannot afford.

611 days ago


Yikes! Caught shopping while black!

611 days ago


We need more news

611 days ago


Forest should've called the police, I hope he sues, hope the employee gets fired and last but not least hope customers will no longer go to that deli!

611 days ago
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