NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Queens rapper Nicki Minaj is lending her support to Geoffrey Owens after the former “Cosby Show” actor was job-shamed for working at Trader Joe’s in New Jersey.

A shopper recently snapped a photo of the 57-year-old Yale graduate at the grocery store in Clifton. The Daily Mail quoted her saying in part “Wow, all those years of doing the show and you ended up as a cashier.”

Owens, who played Elvin on the sitcom in the 1980s and early ’90s, said he isn’t embarrassed about his day job but wasn’t looking to publicize it.

Geoffrey Owens (Photo: SWNS)

“I didn’t advertise that I was at Trader Joe’s, not (because) I was ashamed of it, but because I didn’t want the entertainment community to decide, ‘Well, he’s doing that. He’s not pursuing acting anymore.’ I felt like I had to be careful about that,” he said in an interview on “Good Morning America.”

He also said he received support from across the country.

More: Woman regrets sharing photos of “Cosby Show” star Geoffrey Owens working at grocery store

“It’s really overwhelming in a good way,” said Owens. “It came out of nowhere. I really want to thank everybody out there — family, friends, the Hollywood community and the general public — for the amazing support and positivity that they’ve shown for me. It’s quite astounding. It’s very encouraging.”

During her radio show, Minaj accused the shopper who took the photo of trying to “embarrass a hardworking man.” She also pledged to donate $25,000 to Owens.


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