Minaj made good on her promise to give Owens $25,000 after the actor was job shamed for working at Trader Joe’s in August.
However, Owens said he’s “extremely grateful to Nicki Minaj” for gifting him the check, but opted to giveaway the money to the “Actor’s Fund” instead.
Owens stated to TMZ, “I would like to give this donation of 25K to the Actor’s Fund in memory of the late, great Earle Hyman — who played Cosby’s father, ‘Russell’, on The Cosby Show — who lived his last many years and died at the Actors’ Home, (funded and run by the Actor’s Fund).”
The “Cosby” alum also thanked Minaj for “enabling struggling actors to continue pursuing their dreams.”
The 35-year-old supported Owens decision and told the news outlet, “I’m happy to be a part of a great cause. I wish Geoffrey much success and want him to know how loved he is. Rest in Peace to Earle Hyman.”
The Chairman of The Actors Fund, Brian Stokes Mitchell told People Magazine, “Bravo and Brava! Thank you to Geoffrey Owens for paying forward his gift from Nicki Minaj and making a very generous donation of $25,000 to our work. … I’m greatly humbled and truly inspired that Geoffrey and Nicki would take action to help their colleagues when they need it most.”
Owens said he’d been working at Trader Joe’s in between gigs for extra income and told Good Morning America, “I’d been teaching, acting, directing for 30-plus years, but it got to a point where it just didn’t add up enough and you gotta do what you got to do.”
The 57-year-old starred as Elvin, the doctor husband of Sondra Huxtable on the “Cosby Show.”