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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
91.

Jillian    

Before they outright accuse someone of shoplifting, they better have proof!! I wouldn't want that to happen to me and it shouldn't have happened to Forest either! They were absolutely WRONG!

522 days ago
92.

Marilyn    

Gee! It's a Columbia University
Market
2892 Broadway, New York 10025
(Btwn 112th & 113th St)
Phone: (212) 665-9500

522 days ago
93.

levi    

Well I definitely know where NOT to go eat in NYC.

522 days ago
94.

all about the money    

"the employee proceeded to frisk Whitaker in plain view ... treating him as if he were a common criminal. "
.
.
Well if there was cause then yea don't care who you are if you break the law you should be treated the same way as anyone else. Hollywood justice and all.

522 days ago
95.

J    

Please go on Yelp and find the time to BLAST this disgusting establishment!

522 days ago
96.

KnuckleDragger    

If a store accuses you of shoplifting here's what you do: You DO NOT let them disrespect you by letting them search you, you call the police. You tell them that when the police get there you're going to submit to a search by the police...and when they find nothing...you're going to sue them for false detainment. Since you stole nothing...there's no way they could have seen you steal anything. It's an assumption, nothing more.

522 days ago
97.

Throwback kid    

He actually eats at that deli? I thought he only flew in for games. I heard he was taking his little brother to see Earth Wind and Fire, probably just wanted some deli stuff to go. I hope the people at the deli don't smash up his Z 28, that will really get him pissed

522 days ago
98.

Phishie from Philly    

At least you weren't falsely accused of brushing your teeth.
..
Phishie from Philly

522 days ago
99.

dathan    

Paranoid Market

522 days ago
100.

myopinion    

The clerk saw a Black man and thought he was stealing...LMAO...Didn't know this man can by the block!

522 days ago
101.

Throwback kid    

Has anyone called Jesse Jackson yet? This is what Jesse does best, oh yea Jesse's son and daughter in law are both going to prison for stealing money, the Rev has his own problems to deal with this week

522 days ago
102.

Throwback kid    

Did anyone call Al Sharpton yet? He will probably go there, sit down and have a triple decker sandwich with a large fries and a large coke. After stuffing his fat face he will scream this was an outrage and call all the white people racists. Al will then leave and never think about this again, it's off to the next situation where he can play the race card and smack down all those bad, evil white people!

522 days ago
103.

Rain    

How embarrassing for you, non-New Yorker. If you read the article closely, you would have noticed that the deli is on the UPPER EAST SIDE, not on the Upper West Side, where Columbia University is located. I know this because I live in Morningside Heights (that is on the Upper West Side, in case you ever make it to NYC one day), and have frequented the Marino Deli there and have found their employees to be great, and would not want them to undergo bad publicity just because they share the same name as the crappy deli Mr. Whitaker was falsely detained in yesterday. The deli mentioned in the article is on the Upper East Side (89th Street and 3rd Avenue, to be exact). Get it right before you put the wrong establishment on blast.

522 days ago
104.

chicago_animal     

At least he hasn't played the race card like so many others would have.

522 days ago
105.

goaway    

That was Wrong. Can you imagine be frisked down in public and treated like a criminal and then being told not to say anything. What a bunch of jerks....it is probably a deli that pays their employees below minimum wage and in cash...'cause they are undo***ented workers...and they don't want to pay their fair share in taxes. Terrible.

522 days ago
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