Nicki Minaj ‘Personally Wants to Donate’ $25000 to Cosby Show’s Geoffrey Owens: He’s a ‘Legend’
And on Thursday, Nicki Minaj also offered her support to the actor — saying she wants to give him $25,000.
“This man is a whole f—— legend,” the rapper said during her latest episode of Queen Radio on Beats 1. “That man is now getting so many opportunities, I personally want to donate $25,000.”
Minaj also called out Karma Lawrence, the woman who took Owens’ photo at a Trader Joe’s in New Jersey where he was bagging groceries.
Calling Lawrence a “stupid f—,” the star accused her of “trying to embarrass this hardworking man,” who played Elvin Tibideaux on The Cosby Show from 1985-92.
Bill Cosby and Geoffrey Owens
On Thursday, Owens told PEOPLE that his first thought following the news of his Trader Joe’s job going public was how his son would feel about it.
Detailing his fear that his 19-year-old child would be humiliated, the father of one recalled, “I texted my son and warned him about the story breaking. I actually apologized to him for embarrassing him, because I knew that he’s in school away from us. I knew his classmates would see it and he’d be humiliated and embarrassed. I apologized to him.”
Owens, who worked at the grocery store for 15 months, added, “Even before the wave of support rolled in within an hour or two, he sent me a beautiful text back about how proud he was of me. I cried, I just broke down. He felt the opposite of embarrassment. He was so proud that I had taken the job. It was beautiful.”
Larry Busacca/Getty Images
He also shared that the attention he’s been receiving since the photo was published by some tabloids has been overwhelming.
“It really hurt. I felt really humiliated,” Owens said. “I tried to envision the worse case scenario just to prepare myself and then it was just a little bit worse. If that was possible.”
But the experience turned into a learning moment for the actor.
“It’s because I kind of hung in there and persevered that all of this amazing stuff has now happened. I am someone who generally does persevere, but this confirmed to me how important it is to just hang in there,” Owens said. “I think that’s so important for so many people in my industry. You just have to hang on!”
He poignantly added, “I’ve learned to never give up.”
During an appearance on Good Morning America Tuesday, Owens explained that he first took the job because he wanted “flexibility” in order to stay in the entertainment business, but he’s since quit over the attention. (He’s been acting, teaching and directing for over 30 years.)
“No one should feel sorry for me,” he explained. “I’ve had a great life. I’ve had a great career. I’ve had a career that most actors would die for. So no one has to feel sorry for me. I’m doing fine!”
Owens jokingly said, “What’s a way to get publicity? Take a job at Trader Joe’s!”