“Cosby Show” star Geoffrey Owens received $25,000 as a gift and immediately donated it to charity.
Owens has received a lot of attention after a story emerged picturing him working at a Trader Joe’s in New Jersey.
Owens, 57, later announced that he was looking for acting jobs but had been working at the popular grocery store chain to get by in the meanwhile. Owens said he used to receive residuals from the “Cosby Show,” but had not been since reruns were pulled following Cosby’s sexual assault conviction.
“I’ve been teaching acting directing for 30-plus years, but it got to a point where it just didn’t add up enough and you gotta do what you gotta do,” Owens said on “Good Morning America” earlier this month. “I wanted a job where I could have some flexibility, try to stay in the business.”
— T.J. Holmes (@tjholmes) September 4, 2018
Singer Nicki Minaj was upset by some media outlets disparaging Owens for working at Trader Joe’s and vowed on her radio show to give him $25,000.
She later sent Owens the funds.
Owens told TMZ he received the money and is donating it to the Actor’s Fund, a charity that supports performing arts and entertainment professionals, in memory of Earle Hyman, who lived his last year’s at the Actors’ Home, which is run by the fund.
“I am extremely grateful to Nicki Minaj for enabling struggling actors to continue pursuing their dreams,” he said.
Minaj, after hearing of the donation, said: “I’m happy to be a part of a great cause. I wish Geoffrey much success and want him to know how loved he is. Rest in Peace to Earle Hyman.”
— Page Six (@PageSix) September 26, 2018
Owens said shortly after the pictures from Trader Joe’s emerged, he had quit his job there because of the undue attention to the store.
He was soon offered a job by famed director Tyler Perry, who said: “I have so much respect for people who hustle between gigs. The measure of a true artist.”
Owens responded to the offer and accepted it, reported Page Six. The deal is for 10 episodes on “The Haves and the Have Nots.” He also booked a spot on an upcoming episode of NCIS: New Orleans, reported TMZ. And a third reported job for Owens is a role in the upcoming movie “Fatale,” according to Deadline.
Owens said in a follow-up interview with “Good Morning America” that he had received nonstop texts and calls since the pictures emerged.
“It’s been nonstop contact, emails, and phone calls and texts and interviews,” Owens said. “It’s actually bizarre. A lot of fun, though.”