A “My Big Fat Greeking Wedding” fan favorite was nabbed for allegedly giving herself a five finger discount right before Christmas.
Now, new reports by TMZ state that that this incident wasn’t Lainie Kazan’s first foray into petty theft. Video footage allegedly confirms the grocery employee’s statements that Kazan had developed a pattern over multiple trips to Gelson’s supermarket, where she would fill up her bags and make her way toward the checkout before veering outside alongside other shoppers. This last time, however, the store had notified security to be ready to nab her outside.
According to Kazan’s attorney, Mark Werksman, the grocery store simply didn’t give her enough time to pay before having her arrested. He denies claims that she’d stolen in the past, saying Gelson’s employees “overreacted and didn’t give her a chance to pay.”
Lainie Kazan — who played matriarch Maria Portokalos in the 2002 film and 2016 sequel — was reportedly arrested on Christmas Eve for petty theft at a Gelson’s supermarket in San Fernando Valley, California. Investigators told TMZ the actress filled up a grocery cart with $180 worth of items and attempted to make her way out to her car without paying.
Witnesses reported Kazan filled reusable bags with the items — including cleaning supplies, tomatoes, Jell-O and a rotisserie chicken — before walking out and when she was busted for stealing, her excuse was that she had no money to pay. Kazan, 77, was cuffed and taken to a police station before being released with a citation.
Last year, Kazan was hospitalized after a car accident. TMZ reported that Kazan coasted her Lincoln SUV into traffic and was slammed head-on by an oncoming vehicle. At the time, she was taken away from the scene, sitting up and pictured wearing a neck brace.