Actor Geoffrey Owens has decided to the use the $25,000 Nicki Minaj gave him towards the Actors Fund charity.
Earlier in September, Owens became a trending topic on social media after pictures of him working at Trader Joe’s were shared online. The newfound fame came in handy as the former “The Cosby Show” star received several script offers from #TylerPerry and ”NCIS: New Orleans”. The 57-year-old also was given a $25,000 donation from hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj who said, “Some people are on the Internet and seeking attention, and he’s just the antithesis of that.”⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
But Owens had other plans for the money. Instead, he re-gifted the money on behalf of late actor Earle Hyman, who played Dr. Cliff Huxtable’s father on The Cosby Show. “I am extremely grateful to Nicki Minaj for enabling struggling actors to continue pursuing their dreams,” Owens said to TMZ. “I’m happy to be a part of a great cause,” Minaj added. “I wish Geoffrey much success and want him to know how loved he is. Rest in Peace to Earle Hyman.”
According to the Actors Fund’s website, the organization works to “foster stability and resiliency, and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan.”
Owens told CNN in an interview that he moved past his frustration towards the woman who took the photo. “It was hurtful but very short-lived,” he said. “What has been sustained, now over days, is how much love and support there is. Not just for me, but for working people. The idea that, ‘Hey, what’s wrong with working at Trader Joe’s, or any job like that?”