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Geoffrey Owens visited CBS This Morning on Monday to discuss his life after making headlines in September for working at Trader Joe’s.
After a photo of the former The Cosby Show star working at the grocery store in New Jersey went viral, a number of stars came forward with their support for Owens. The actor has since been offered the opportunity to act in a number of projects, including a guest starring role on NCIS and a recurring role on Tyler Perry series The Haves and the Have Nots.
The interview began with Owens saying that he was tipped off about the photo of him before it had been released. “It was worse than I ever imagined. Just the worst photograph of me you could ever imagine,” he said.
“I don’t know what the woman’s motivation was. I tend to think that she just kind of in the moment thought it would be a neat thing to do to take the picture and maybe let people know that I was there,” he said about the woman that released the photo. “I don’t ascribe such evil motives to her as some people do. She’s apologized and I appreciate that and I’ve forgiven her and I have nothing against her.”
“It was just a kind of a stupid thing to do. A bad judgment call in the moment, which I’ve done plenty of things like that myself,” he continued. “I would hope to be forgiven, so I totally forgive her.”
Owens then criticized the news outlets that exploited the story in an attempt to “appeal to our worser natures.” He said, “I do not so readily forgive.”
He also addressed the support he received from stars including Terry Crews and Patricia Heaton. A number of stars took to social media to share their own stories of working a job outside of their field in order to make ends meet. “Other people have been where I have been and other people will be where I am and this is a universal thing we’re talking about,” he said. “The necessity of working and the nobility of work.”
While he enjoyed his job at Trader Joe’s, Owens said that he didn’t want to publicize the job. “I didn’t want my industry — the entertainment industry — without having the full story, to think, ‘Well he’s not in the industry anymore. He’s given up on acting,'” he explained. “Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, while I was at Trader Joe’s I actually booked four television jobs. So I never stepped out and I didn’t want to give that impression.”
After adding that he loved working on both NCIS and The Haves and the Have Nots, he said that he hopes to extend his roles. “I’ve been in this position a long time, so you learn when you hear certain things, take it in. You hope for the best and you kind of move on,” he said. “You don’t necessarily assume anything’s true that you hear, but that would be nice.”
Owens also shared that while he’s on “indefinite leave” from Trader Joe’s, he still shops at the store. “I went in there the other day and I talked to my old boss,” he said. “I actually said, ‘You guys would take me back, right, if I need to come back?’ He said, ‘Oh, yeah.'”
Watch the full interview below.
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