- (Photo: Reuters/Gary Hershorn)
Forest Whitaker has received an apology from the New York City deli that wrongfully accused the actor of shoplifting last week.
On Monday, Milano Market owner Anthony Galofaro offered the Academy Award-winning actor his mea culpa over Friday's incident. The storeowner also offered to "make a donation to a charity of Mr. Whitaker's choice to rectify this wrongdoing," according to TMZ.
"We have a lot of shoplifters here," Galofaro explained. "It was very busy, [the employee] thought [Whitaker] took something and he wasn't sure."
While the deli owner maintained that the employee was a "decent man" who was "just doing his job," that worker is no longer employed at Milano Market.
"He doesn't want to come here, that's how much hurt he is … It was a sincere mistake," added Galofaro.
Directly after Friday's incident, reports of prejudice arose. Also, Whitaker's rep, Jennifer Plante, released a statement raising several questions.
"This was an upsetting incident given that fact that Forest did nothing more than walk into the deli," Plante said, according to the New York Daily News. "What is most unfortunate about this situation is the inappropriate way store employees are treating patrons of their establishment."
However, Galofaro cleared the air, adding that speculation over racism was especially excruciating.
"It hurts me more than anything else what I've been hearing in the papers," the deli owner said accusations over racism.
As for Whitaker, his representative said the actor requested that "in the future, the store change their behavior and treat the public in a fair and just manner," according to NY Daily News.
Meanwhile, the 51-year-old actor is currently filming "Black Nativity." Whitaker is best known for his roles in "Bird" as well as "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai," as well as for his role on the TV series "The Shield."
The actor earned an Academy Award for his performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the film "The Last King of Scotland."