Nicki Minaj has kept her word, donating $25,000 to actor Geoffrey Owens after a photo of him working at Trader Joe’s went viral. Owens has since been offered work by Tyler Perry and CBS, choosing to donate the lump sum from Minaj to charity.
TMZ reports Owens has handed over the $25K to the Actor’s Fund in the name 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.
“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.”
Owens gave up his job at Trader Joe’s after news of his working there went viral. A role on the CBS series NCIS is the most recent job offer he has received. The veteran actor is also scheduled to appear on 10 episodes of the Tyler Perry-directed OWN series The Have and the Have Nots.
“It’s really overwhelming—in a good way. But I kind of feel like that character in that Woody Allen movie who wakes up one morning and he’s a celebrity all of a sudden, who has no idea where it came from. It came out of nowhere,” Owens told Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. “I really want to thank everybody out there—family friends, Hollywood community and the general public—for the incredible support, for the amazing support and positivity they have shown for me. It’s really astounding. It’s quite encouraging.”
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.