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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
121.

ABB    

Who gives a hell! Fire the racist SOB who cares about his little job!

431 days ago
122.

CharlieDon'tSurf1    

Why did Forrest let them frisk him? This was not a cop, and no right to frisk like that. He could have pushed the person away and say they assaulted him but simply touching him. This doesn't make sense but I would be certain there's no way Forrest steals unless he's a Klepto and that usually doesn't include food. The only rich people that steal would be Klepto's like Winona etc.. Forrest seems like a good buy, smart, one of the best living actors we have now, and a millionaire that doesn't need to steal.

431 days ago
123.

suspenders    

It's a crime that this wonderful actor wasn't recognized,BUT that kid is lucky (and so is the deli) that Mr. Whitaker was so big about it...WTF?

431 days ago
124.

lucybu    

The employee should be fired. It's a clear violation of civil rights. In fact, shoplifters can't be touched until they leave the premises hence avoiding lawsuits for defamation of character. Hopefully, the manager knows that and will proceed accordingly.

431 days ago
125.

Lisa    

f

431 days ago
126.

tdr9    

We need more news

431 days ago
127.

XRaac    

If this had happened to me I would have told the manager or called the authorities, whatever, even if the employee would have lost his job.

431 days ago
128.

MaryMRevis    

Mr. Whitaker I say BRAVO to your class in the way you handled this. Even when angered you carried yourself like a gentleman. I would follow up with this by buying the deli quietly....fire the employee and retrain all remaining staff in the art of being polite to your patrons.

431 days ago
129.

Wendy A.    

Forrest Should sue and then he will own the Deli.

431 days ago
130.

cindy    

This dumb store was soooo damn lucky....they should be thanking him profusely for not pressing any charges. And hopefully that ****ty little store person will think twice about racially profiling every person of color that walks into that store.

431 days ago
131.

DeeMaree    

Profiling exists. To those who claim otherwise you have your heads buried in the sand. That's fine if that keeps you in your happy place. I'm all about happy. To those who justify profiling by giving crime stats, ok you admitted that people do profile and you have no problem with it, I remind you that in the United States of America you are innocent until proven guilty. I would also tell you when you judge that someone is probably a criminal because they are black, YOU ARE A RACIST. That's what the word means, geez. Now this employee could have asked Mr Whitaker to step in the back. He could have followed store procedures on how to handle shop lifters but he CANNOT do what he did do. That's the point here. As to what was in the employees mind, only the clerk himself knows. But profiling still exists in our country. I think Forest Whitaker handled himself with class. I expected no less from him.

431 days ago
132.

FrankOtheMountain    

Did he steal something?

431 days ago
133.

DaveT    

"I'm going to frisk you"
"No you're not, Bye"

431 days ago
134.

Steve    

A green black man. Eat some meat dude! Being a vegetarian is making you look ill.

431 days ago
135.

Valentina1    

Unbelievable is the only word I can think of to describe this disgrace. I saw Forrest Whitaker and his daughter at a Farmers Market years ago. He seemed very nice. I would sue this dump "aka" Milano's Market. I bet if Wynona Ryder's thieving ass walked in there she wouldn't have been stopped at all. Unbelievable.....smdh

431 days ago
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