Geoffrey Owens blames Bill Cosby for working at Trader Joe’s

Geoffrey Owens with a student and fan. Photo: [email protected]

“The Cosby Show” alum Geoffrey Owens admitted that his finances were dramatically and negatively impacted when legendary comedian Bill Cosby became embroiled in the monumental sexual assault scandal involving more 50 women.

More specifically, when Cosby tumbled down from the high plateau of icon status after he was convicted of sexual assault earlier this year, Owens said the backlash and subsequent cessation of “The Cosby Show” in TV syndication “impacted me financially,” Owens said to People magazine.

“At the time that the show was pulled, that did make a difference in our income,” Owens said of the regular royalty checks he received from the airing of the show.

Owens, 57, played son-in-law of Cliff Huxtable on the NBC series “The Cosby Show” from 1985 to 1992. However, when reruns were pulled from syndication during Cosby’s legal battle, it affected his overall livelihood.

“That was one of the elements that led to my getting to the place where I said to myself, ‘I have to do something’ and I was thinking, ‘What can I do?’ and the answer ended up being Trader Joe’s, which is actually a wonderful situation for me in many ways,” he added. “I just had to do something to support myself and my family.”

As rolling out previously reported, Owens was “outed” and “job shamed” by a “Cosby Show” fan who recognized him bagging groceries and working the register at the store in northern New Jersey, about a half hour drive northwest of New York City.

When the photos of a robust Owens, replete with a full gray beard and stained T-shirt, went viral internationally, Owens said he was “devastated” from the temporary humiliation and was forced to quit his gig after 15 months on the job.

Movie-making mogul Tyler Perry, who once was homeless and lived in dangerous extended stay hotels while getting his film-making and theater careers off the ground, empathized with Owens’ plight. Saying that he respected an artist who hustled with side gigs in between acting and teaching jobs, Perry immediately offered Owens a 10-episode deal on the smash hit Oprah Winfrey Network drama “The Haves and the Have Nots.”

Owens took Perry up on his offer and is set to begin shooting this week, rolling out reported.

Ever a realist, Owens said his current good fortune could expire at any time, so he says he may need to return to Trader Joe’s or a similar job in the future. But he will never quit acting.

“I’m going to keep pursuing it,” he said. “I’m going to persevere. And even if that means, that eventually when all this hoopla dies down, I might need to take another job outside of the business. I’m still willing to do that.”

Terry Shropshire
Terry Shropshire

A military veteran and Buckeye State native, I've written for the likes of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Business Chronicle and the Detroit Free Press. I'm a lover of words, photography, books, travel, animals and The Ohio State Buckeyes. #GoBucks

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