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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

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16.

exlax    

obama sent a drone to nuke the place

510 days ago
17.

kickahippie    

he should have reported this to the cops. the employee begging him not to because of losing a job is totally bunk because they'd be more likely to get fired for it all being POSTED ON TMZ.

510 days ago
18.

SDnRnRoll    

Here comes Jesse Jackson.

510 days ago
19.

blakhoode    

He should buy the deli and destroy them all!

510 days ago
20.

chacalosa    

He does look like he would steal some meat though....

510 days ago
21.

BB not bb    

Well it could happen to anyone. He can look kind of scary. He did play Idi Amin in a movie once. I think it was an honest mistake. Sometimes if you have a big stomach and are wearing a jacket, stores think that you are walking out with something.


The police probably wouldn't say anything if he did call them. The clerk was seemingly sorry if he was afraid of losing his job.


These delis probably lose alot of money do to shoplifting and want to find out who is stealing from them. I think it is often high school kids who want a thrill.


Maybe someone very poor and hungry might take a sandwich also. You can't expect everyone to know who you are. This clerk might not have seen his movies or even understand English very well.


Sometimes if you are a humble looking person, people suspect you of things also. They figure you must be down and out. Most people are so arrogant if they have anything going for them that maybe the foreigners think that is normal.

510 days ago
22.

Sjango    

Racist mofo i would have kick someones booty

510 days ago
23.

RaisingStar    

sad. I had a nightmare once staring Forest. I was pregnant at the time

510 days ago
24.

Sam    

Italian deli is awesome.

510 days ago
25.

NOT ELMO    

Don't worry Fo-rest Whi-Taker, At least You are Beautiful....

510 days ago
26.

HoTMZ    

Well, maybe he caused a lot of suspicion who knows until you get the deli worker's side of the story.

510 days ago
27.

Elyse    

HA! When assumption goes wrong.

510 days ago
28.

Truth    

AL SHARPTON'S FAT ASS WANTS MEDIA TIME... IN 5, 4, 3, 2.... 1. HEEYYYY... WTF DID MY TELE SCREEN GO BLACK?? TIME TO LOWER THE CONTRAST. #TRUTH!!

510 days ago
29.

the artist formerly known as hand turkey    

No store employee has the authority to "frisk" you. I would have told them if they think I stole something, call the cops--better yet I would call the cops, but let them touch me? Not happening.

510 days ago
30.

Gigi    

I am white and I have been accused of being a shoplifter on two separate occasions. It was extremely embarrassing both times and both times it was at stores where I was a regular customer and spent a LOT of money. I don't think its always a race thing. I think a lot of stores just have employees that think they are experts at reading body language or something but then get it WRONG. I never got an apology in either case. Not even a freakin' 10% off coupon.

510 days ago
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