Oscar winning actor Forest Whitaker was stopped and then frisked when he tried to leave deli in Morningside Heights New York. The actor was accused of stealing by the store. However, on Saturday, employees at the deli denied that the incident took place.
Whitaker’s publicist said the actor had been patted down by one of the employees at Milano Market who had accused him of stealing something from the deli.
The star of Bird was accused of shoplifting on Friday during lunchtime by an employee who was overzealous. The episode, which was described by Whitaker’s publicist as being humiliating, came when Whitaker, the Oscar winner for his role as Idi Amin in 2006, was walking out the market’s door.
Whitaker was stopped by the employee, who said he had taken something from the shelves of the store.
An employee, who refused to give his name, said the stored was packed with patrons and the person involved in the incident entered and exited very quickly and the employee involved in the incident made a mistake. The employee made an immediate apology and said it was nothing by an honest mistake.
The gourmet deli is frequented by a number of stars. The deli is located near the campus of Columbia University and its speciality is Italian fare. Both Sarah Jessica Parker and Tobey McGuire have been seen in the upscale market.
The publicist for Whitaker said the actor was troubled by what happened. He said it was troubling given the fact Whitaker only walked into the deli and immediately out. Whitaker is from California but was in the Big Apple on an unspecified project.
Whitaker declined to call the police in part because the employee involved was afraid he would lose his job.