Karma Lawrence (pictured) says he never intended to hurt actor Geoffrey Owens when he photographed him packing food in the store
The buyer who took candid photos of a former actor from The Cosby Show who works at Trader Joe & s says he now regrets the decision.
Karma Lawrence says he never intended to hurt actor Geoffrey Owens when he photographed him packing groceries in the store and shared the photos with various media outlets.
The 50-year-old told NJ.com that she did it "on impulse". and added: & # 39; I thought everyone would do it. & # 39; I do not know what possessed me. I just did it. I did not even think about it. "
Lawrence said that he really wanted to approach Owens at the store to tell him he was a fan, but he worried that he might embarrass him.
"But then I did something that really embarrassed him more." I did not go with my first instinct, and I should have. I should have.
She said that when she saw him there, she assumed it was because the waste of The Cosby Show had been reduced in the wake of Bill Cosby's sex scandal.
The actor admitted last week that he was "devastated" after the photos were made public.
The 57-year-old man also revealed that he had been working at the store in New Jersey for 15 months & # 39; no need & # 39; between presentations of short-term performance and teaching, but that has now stopped smoking due to the unwanted attention it has received.
"When I saw the images for the first time … I was really devastated," Owens said, explaining that he has not had a screen job that has lasted more than 10 weeks in the 26 years since The Cosby Show wrapped him.
"I came to a point where I had been teaching acting and direction for more than 30 years, but it just did not quite fit in. You have to do what you have to do, I wanted a job that could have some flexibility and try to stay in the business of acting.
"I did not publicize it, not because I was ashamed of it, but because I did not want the community of actors to think that I was not pursuing the performance," he said.
Geoffrey Owens was put in a grocery bag at a Trader Joe's in New Jersey. He laughed at the bad pictures & # 39; and she joked that they had been photographed, but she kept her part-time job in the grocery store and said she is not ashamed to make an honest salary
Lawrence says he regrets causing pain to Owens, and that he is also suffering a violent reaction after sharing the images.
He has even closed his social media accounts, saying he cried for 30 minutes after reading some of the scathing responses to his photos.
I hate a lot. So much evil Oh, it's been terrible, "said Lawrence.
She insists that she is still a fan of Owens, and Trader Joe's, where she buys regularly and that her photos have not been "malicious."
"I'm not the monster they're making me be."
And if he had a message for the star, it was his apology.
"I apologize extremely, extremely for what happened," he said. & # 39; And if I could get it back, I would. & # 39;
Owens played Elvin Tibideaux, the husband of the older daughter of Bill Cosby's character on the television show.
Since the photos appeared, several actors and members of the public expressed their support for Owens, saying that there is no shame in being an actor that works.
Owens proudly wore his label with the name Trader Joe's to appear on Good Morning America on Tuesday. He also wore a Yale hat in a tribute to the school from which he graduated in 1983 and where he has taught acting in the past.
Owens himself was baffled by the sudden interest.
"It was really overwhelming, it came from nowhere, I feel like I'm more of a celebrity than ever, now I'm more of a celebrity than when I was actually a celebrity!" He joked.
He went on to say that he hoped his story would trigger a change in attitudes about work and how to move forward.
"This matter from me as Cosby who was embarrassed to work at Trader Joe's, that's going to happen. I hope what does not happen is this idea that people are now thinking about: what it means to work.
& # 39; The honor of the worker and the dignity of work. [There’s a] re-evaluation [of the idea] that some jobs are better than others. Is not true.
& # 39; There is no better job than another. You can pay better, you can have better benefits, you can look better on paper. But it's not better Every job is worth it.
Owens is photographed in a head shot from The Cosby Show. Appeared in it from 1985 to 1992
& # 39; No one should feel sorry for me. I have had a great life, a great career. I've had a career where most of the actors would die. I'm fine, "he said proudly.
Owens added that the story had sparked interest in his acting talents again and that, although he had been offered some "clues" of work since the story broke out.
They include a job offer from director Tyler Perry, who offered him a role in the OWN program The Haves and the Haves Nots.
& # 39; #GeoffreyOwens I'm about to start shooting the OWN number one drama next week! Come and join us! & # 39; Perry wrote on Twitter on Tuesday morning.
"I have so much respect for people who entertain themselves between concerts, the measure of a true artist."
But it's not clear if Owens will accept the offer, since she said the renewed interest in him left him uncomfortable.
This may sound strange, but I would not feel comfortable getting acting jobs from this event. I would not mind getting auditions. But I would not feel comfortable, someone would give me a job, because this happened. I want to get a job because I'm the right person for the job, "he said.
At the end of his interview, he received the enthusiastic applause of the presenter Robin Roberts.
She is one of the many people who have praised her work ethic since the photographs appeared.
Since The Cosby Show wrapped up in 1992, Owens (above, top right, with the dishonored star Bill Cosby and the rest of the cast of the show in a fourth series of promotional images) has not had an acting job that lasted more than 10 weeks
Others include actor Terry Crews, who tweeted in support of Owens: "I swept floors after the NFL. If necessary, I would do it again.
& # 39; Good honest work is nothing to be ashamed of. & # 39;
"I do not know #GeoffreyOwens, but I know this: almost all successful actors, singers, athletes or celebrities are a lucky (unfortunate) relative to pack their own grocery products," said New Kids on the Block member Donnie. Wahlberg.
Few would admit it. Less humble to do it, "he added.
"Between One Tree Hill and Cougar Town I went back to work as a cocktail waitress," wrote television writer Audrey Wauchope.
Owens played Elvin Tibideaux, the husband of Sondra Huxtable, in the last five seasons of the NBC comedy The Cosby Show, between 1985 and 1992.
He then appeared to appear on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and That's So Raven.
The most recent roles include parts in Lucifer and The Affair.
Keisuke Hoashi has also had a variety of roles between concerts in big shows such as Big Little Lies, Law & Order and Will & Grace.
"He used to have a GREAT day of work as a technical writer, multimedia designer and developer," he tweeted.
"I also entertained the troops in these high-tech multinational bodies singing, dancing and presenting their hands-free meetings and Christmas parties.
Actor Anthony Atamanuik, best known for his impersonation of Donald Trump, has washed plates, tables on buses, worked at a law firm and cleaned a video store.
"Work is work, always prepare to do it," he tweeted. "Geoffrey Owens is a testimony of the dignity of work and of framing it, since anything else is ignorant."
Entertainment correspondent Nischelle Turner still remembers the day she called her agent and said she was going to apply for a job at Target.
"The economy broke down and I could not find a stable job," he said. & # 39; I fought. & # 39;
I was not ashamed. I needed to work I had bills. And honest work is exactly that, honest &.
Even the SAG-AFTRA foundation tweeted its support for Owens and actors over the weekend