Lainie Kazan, best known for portraying Maria in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, was arrested for petty theft on Christmas Eve after allegedly walking out of Gelson's with $180 worth of groceries. Her lawyer, Mark Werksman, says the charges are a total misunderstanding.
Employees at Gelson's said that Kazan had come in a few times before and made off with stolen food. They told TMZ that she had developed a method of pretending to head for the check-out line, then making a break for the door when she thought other customers were distracting the employees.
This time, the staff was prepared for Kazan. Loss prevention was waiting for her just outside the door, and she was apprehended before she could make an escape.
Gelson's employees say that their security footage will back up this course of events, though Werksman says that's not what happened at all.
According to Werksman, Kazan had a miscommunication with the employees. She felt that she wasn't given a chance to pay for her groceries before she was taken into custody and the police were called.
In addition, Werksman says that there's no validity to the stories that Kazan has stolen from the Gelson's in question at least twice before.
Reports say that the cart Kazan allegedly tried to make off with contained lots of cleaning supplies, as well as some jell-o, tomatoes, uncured pepperoni, and a hot rotisserie chicken.
Kazan has a long career in Hollywood. In addition to the My Big Fat Greek Wedding movies, she's known for Don't Mess With The Zohan and Gigli. This year, she was featured on Meet The Biz.