Woman Who Snapped Photo Of “Cosby Show” Actor Geoffrey Owens Says She Didn’t Intend To Be “Malicious”
It was the photo shared around the world this week.
When Karma Lawrence decided to sneak and take a picture of Geoffrey Owens, she said she had no idea of the proverbial backlash the photo would receive after she allowed several news outlets to run the picture along with a story.
Lawrence, 50, says that in no way did she intend to embarrass Owens, who at the time was working his shift at a Trader Joe’s grocery store in New Jersey. The actor rose to fame in the mid-1980’s starring as Elvin Tibideaux, on The Cosby Show.
“I don’t know why I snuck a picture,” Lawrence said in an interview with the NJ.com. “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.”
She says she initially thought of introducing herself to Owens but then took a photo instead. “I didn’t go with my first instinct, and I should’ve,” she said. “It wasn’t malicious. That’s on my kids, my grandkids, my parents. I’m not that type of a person. I’m not the monster they’re making me out to be.”
Lawrence went on to say that she cried after she read the nasty headlines that her picture produced. She maintains that she was not paid in exchange for sharing the photo.
And even though she’s battled death threats and had to delete her social media accounts, she would apologize to Owens if given the chance. “I would tell him, ‘I am extremely, extremely apologetic about what has happened,’” she said. “And if I could take it back, I would.”
Since the days following, several celebrities have come forward in Owens’ defense. The photo also spurred a discussion of the labor force and job shaming members of society who decide to make an honest living in supporting their families.
“There is no job that’s better than another job,” Owens said. “It might pay better, it might have better benefits, it might look better on a resume and on paper. But actually, it’s not better. Every job is worthwhile and valuable.”
But it hasn’t all been an embarrassing ride for Owens, who in his spare time still enjoys the craft that he dedicated his life to for the past 30 years. He recently appeared on Good Morning America, sporting a cap for Yale, his alma mater, while also proudly wearing his Trader Joe’s shirt.
He said he was first taken aback by the negative remarks, but quickly got over it. Owens revealed he had to leave his job at the grocery store because of the media attention, but in total, he doesn’t want anyone to feel sorry for him.
“The period of devastation was so short because so shortly after that, the responses, my wife and I started to read and fortunately the shame part didn’t last very long,” he said. “It’s amazing.”
Recently Tyler Perry offered Owens a spot on his hit OWN series, The Haves and Have Nots. No word yet on if Owens has said yes to the gig, he may be sorting through all of the job offers now waiting in his inbox.