Forest Whitaker attends the PeaceEarth foundation fundraising gala at Banqueting House on November 10, 2012 in London

Forest Whitaker attends the PeaceEarth foundation fundraising gala at Banqueting House on November 10, 2012 in London

*The NYC deli that accused Forest Whitaker of shoplifting last week is blaming the incident on a “misguided” employee, and insists race was absolutely not a factor, reports TMZ.

The actor was publicly frisked at Milano Market after he was wrongly suspected of stealing an item.

A rep for the store told TMZ, “The management of Milano Market deeply regrets the wrongful actions of our employee in stopping and frisking Forest Whitaker.”

“While we can not delve into the employee’s mindset, we do not believe that he was racially motivated in his actions, simply misguided.”

The Market says it is taking steps to retrain employees so it doesn’t happen again.

The rep also says the store wants to reach out to Forest so it can make a donation to his favorite charity.