Woman Who Took Geoffrey Owens’ Trader Joe’s Photo Now Regrets It: ‘Was a Bad Impulse’

Former “Cosby Show” actor was publicly shamed after he was seen bagging groceries

Last Updated: September 5, 2018 @ 10:20 AM

The woman who took a photo of “Cosby Show” actor Geoffrey Owens — unwittingly creating an online firestorm in the process — now regrets taking the picture.

The woman, Karma Lawrence, told NJ Advance Media on Tuesday that after she submitted the picture to a few celebrity websites — which was first published by The Daily Mail — she received a wave of online vitriol. “So much hate. So much nastiness. Oh, it’s been terrible,” she told the paper.

The Daily Mail’s initial story was then picked up by Fox News, which received a hefty amount of criticism for appearing to shame Owens for working at a Trader Joe’s.

“I don’t know why I snuck a picture,” Lawrence continued. “I figured everybody does it. I don’t know what possessed me. I just did it. I didn’t even think about it. I just kind of did it on impulse and it was a bad impulse.”

While The Daily Mail was the first to publish the photo, the story spread like wildfire around the internet after it was picked up by Fox News. Owens said he had been working at the New Jersey store for 15 months to have flexibility while working in entertainment. He played Sondra Huxtable’s husband Elvin on the final five seasons of the hit sitcom from 1985 to 1992.

He spoke about it on “Good Morning, America” on Tuesday, saying, “No one should feel sorry for me… I’ve had a great life. I’ve had a great career. I’ve had a career that most actors would die for.” Tyler Perry also chimed in on the story, offering the actor a job.

#GeoffreyOwens I’m about to start shootings OWN’s number one drama next week! Come join us!!! I have so much respect for people who hustle between gigs. The measure of a true artist,” Tyler Perry said on Twitter, referring to “The Haves and Have Nots.” The drama is currently in its sixth season on the network.

Owens told “GMA,” “I wouldn’t feel comfortable with someone giving me a job because this happened. I want to get a job because I’m the right person for that job.”

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