Forest Whitaker Falsely Accused of Shoplifting at New York City Deli

Celebrity News Feb. 16, 2013 AT 5:00PM
Forest Whitaker attends the PeaceEarth foundation fundraising gala at Banqueting House on November 10, 2012 in London, England. Forest Whitaker attends the PeaceEarth foundation fundraising gala at Banqueting House on November 10, 2012 in London, England. Credit: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images

Forest Whitaker was reportedly frisked and searched at New York City's Milano Market on Friday, Feb. 15. As the Oscar winner was leaving the Upper East Side deli, he was stopped by an employee who thought he had been shoplifting.

According to TMZ, the store employee patted 51-year-old Whitaker down and found nothing on the Last King of Scotland actor.

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"This was an upsetting incident given the fact that Forest did nothing more than walk into deli," Whitaker's rep tells the site. "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."

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Whitaker's 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."

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Despite the rep's statement on Whitaker's behalf, the Milano Market manager denied the incident ever occurred, telling E! News, "nothing ever happened at this location."

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