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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
106.

Dgothamnyc    

I doubt he let anybody frisk him, this guy make more money then the owner him self. But that the reality of the upper east side

426 days ago
107.

KCINDY    

Fail with that lame race card BS! If he had addressed that with a reference he would have been justified because certain low class trashy folks have simply passed that ignorance to their off spring.

426 days ago
108.

jadidar    

good man for not taking the matter serious

426 days ago
109.

jadidar    

good man for not taking the matter serious

426 days ago
110.

jeannie    

WILL WE EVER SEE THE DAY WHEN RACE DOESN'T MATTER ?

426 days ago
111.

Jody    

That happened to me one time. I tried on some clothes in a boutique that I had been shopping at for years. I paid for my purchases and left the store. The manager came outside and said she wanted to search my bag and purse. She said an empty clothes hanger was found in the dressing room I was in.

I was so embarrassed, and even after finding that I didn't steal anything, the bitch didn't even have the courtesy to apologize.

426 days ago
112.

Sam A.    

"Forest did not call the authorities at the request of the worker who was in fear of losing his employment."

so he didn't want to air it out so that the guy who wronged him wouldn't lose his job?

WOW! My respect for this guy just went through the roof.

Class act all the way!

426 days ago
113.

Lazarus Long    

I'm really relieved to find out that Whittaker is innocent. Besides being one of the best living actors,he has always struck me as an intelligent man with enough common sense to appreciate his position in life. We never read or hear about him out drunk and disorderly,mixed up in drugs,abusing those beneath him in the social pecking order,etc,etc,etc.

I hate to place this burden on his shoulders without his permission,but young black men could do far worse when it comes to picking role models.

426 days ago
114.

Riidonkulous    

Ohhhh no you didn't!! Don't you feel stupid lol

426 days ago
115.

BOHOE    

I go to that deli all the time - no way did they frisk him
sounds like a fabrication to me - His teeth are pretty yellow for a millionaire

426 days ago
116.

Vote2012    

If he walked into my store I would have no clue who he was, since when has it become law that people with big bucks are not shoplifters? The guy needs to realize he is in NYC and is not going to be treated as if he is something special or get special treatment. Black white, red and green people get the same rude treatment in NYC...if he tried to order a large soda drink or tried to smoke or used a styrofoam cup in NYC he could end up in jail.

426 days ago
117.

HELLRAISER    

You're in Amerika now Forest. You have no rights!

426 days ago
118.

DUH    

Dear TMZ: Get your facts straight. This is NOT the Upper West Side. This would be Harlem. What happened to Mr. Whitaker is still horrible, but do your fact-checking before posting.
Sincerely,
Those who pay the rent to live south of 96th St

426 days ago
119.

DW1982    

The clerk recognised him and knew exactly what he was doing which was to humiliate a movie star whose life is better than he will ever experience for a hundred years.

426 days ago
120.

Pat    

SUE! THE HELL WITH THEIR JOB!

426 days ago
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