Actor Forest Whitaker says he was falsely accused of stealing at Milano Market, a gourmet deli in Morningside Heights, on Friday.
The 51-year-old Academy Award-winner says he was simply walking out of the store when an employee stopped him, patted him down and accused him of taking something from one of the shelves, according to reports by the New York Post.
When nothing was found, the employee let Whitaker go. Police were not called, and the employee apologized.
Whitaker, who won an Oscar for his 2006 portrayal of former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in “The Last King of Scotland,” was leaving the deli without purchasing anything because he did not find what he was looking for.
A spokesperson for Whitaker said it was an “upsetting incident,” and that Whitaker hopes that “the store change their behavior and treat the public in a fair and just manner.”
The actor lives in California and is in New York working on a new movie.