Actor Geoffrey Owens tells “CBS This Morning” he’s forgiven the woman who took photographs of him working at Trader Joe’s without his knowledge – but not the publications “that sought to exploit the story.” Daily Mail published the photos of the former “Cosby Show” star bagging groceries at the end of August and was swiftly criticized for job shaming Owens.
“I’d gotten tipped off that the story was going to happen, but I braced myself, steeled myself – how bad is it going to be? Of course when it came out, it was worse than I ever imagined, just the worst photograph of me you could ever imagine,” Owens said Monday.
While Owens said he doesn’t know the women’s motivation, “I don’t ascribe such evil motives to her as some people do,” he said.
“She’s apologized. I appreciate that and I’ve forgiven her. I have nothing against her. It was just kind of a stupid thing to do, a bad judgment call in the moment, which I’ve done plenty of things like that myself, not necessarily of that kind, but you know, plenty of things, and I would hope to be forgiven. So I totally forgive her,” Owens said “But the news agencies that sought to exploit the story for the sake of appealing to our [worse] natures, I do not so readily forgive.”
Since the photographs were published, Owens said he received “a ton of support.” Celebrities like Tyler Perry immediately came to his defense on social media and some, including Perry, even offered him jobs.
On Tuesday night, Owens is guest-starring on an episode of CBS’ “NCIS: New Orleans” as Cmdr. Calvin Atkins, a friend of Special Agent Dwayne Pride.
Owens said he wasn’t ashamed of working at Trader Joe’s – he said it was a great place to work. But he didn’t want the entertainment industry to think “he’s given up on acting.”
“Nothing could be farther 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,” Owens said.
He still shops at the New Jersey Trader Joe’s where he used to work, but he said he’s on an “indefinite leave of absence.”
“I went in there the other day and I talked to my old boss. A great guy. And I actually said, you know, I said, ‘You guys will take me back, right, if I need to come back?’ He said ‘Oh, yeah, definitely,'” Owens said with a chuckle.
Watch Owens Tuesday night on “NCIS: New Orleans” at 10/9c on CBS.
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