The Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens has opened up about how Bill Cosby’s scandal impacted him financially after the show was pulled from syndication leading to royalty checks drying up.
Owens, 57, was photographed bagging groceries at Trader Joe’s in New Jersey to make ends-meet earlier this month.
He says the scandal surrounding Cosby’s, 81, alleged sexual assaults of dozens of women that saw the show’s syndication pulled, led to the rest of the cast’s checks, which had been part of their income for years, ceasing as well.
Cosby was found guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting fellow Temple alum, Andrea Constand in 2004. He is expected to be sentenced later this month.
In his interview with People, Owens explains, ‘Yes, it impacted me financially.’
‘At the time that the show was pulled, that did make a difference in our income. That was one of the elements that led to my getting to the place where I said to myself, ”I have to do something” and I was thinking, ”What can I do?” and the answer ended up being Trader Joe’s, which is actually a wonderful situation for me in many ways. But I got to the point, I just had to do something to support myself and my family.’
Owens who played Elvin Tibideaux from 1985 to 1992 said he was ‘hurt’ by the reports on his job at Trader Joe’s, as well as the unflattering photo that was used of him bagging groceries in the media.
‘I felt really humiliated,’ Owens said specifically speaking on the photos.
‘From the time that I heard that the article might be done to the time it came out, I tried to envision the worse case scenario just to prepare myself and then it was just a little bit worse. If that was possible. They went out of their way to find the very worst picture of me, in the worst shirt and the worst posture. The words they used to describe me were so demeaning. It hurt.’
He says he never thought, following his extremely long run on the smash hit show, that he would never have to work again. He knew better than that, and he wanted more out of his acting career after ‘Cosby.’
‘I didn’t think I was set for life,’ he continued to People.
‘I didn’t think of it either way. I was single at the time, no family, and The Cosby Show paid me some fairly decent money for a single guy who never even expected to be on TV and was just happy to be doing theater. I felt like I had plenty of money, but set for life, no. But I was fine.’
He adds: ‘I always expected that one way or another I would work and make a living. Whether it was teaching, directing, acting, little job here and little job there, then I’d patch it together. I didn’t forsee working at a place like Trader Joe’s, as great as that place is. I didn’t foresee going out of the business for work, but I thought that within the business, I would patch together a modest living, at least enough to get by.’
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Source: Daily Mail