Woman who took Geoffrey Owens photo regrets it: 'Was a bad impulse'

The woman who took a photo of “Cosby Show” actor Geoffrey Owens — unwittingly creating an online firestorm in the process — now regrets taking the picture.

The woman, Karma Lawrence, told NJ Advance Media on Tuesday that after she submitted the picture to a few celebrity websites — which was first published by The Daily Mail — she received a wave of online vitriol. “So much hate. So much nastiness. Oh, it’s been terrible,” she told the paper.

The Daily Mail’s initial story was then picked up by Fox News, which received a hefty amount of criticism for appearing to shame Owens for working at a Trader Joe’s.

“I don’t know why I snuck a picture,” Lawrence continued. “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.”

While The Daily Mail was the first to publish the photo, the story spread like wildfire around the internet after it was picked up by Fox News. Owens said he had been working at the New Jersey store for 15 months to have flexibility while working in entertainment. He played Sondra Huxtable’s husband Elvin on the final five seasons of the hit sitcom from 1985 to 1992.

He spoke about it on “Good Morning, America” on Tuesday, saying, “No one should feel sorry for me… I’ve had a great life. I’ve had a great career. I’ve had a career that most actors would die for.” Tyler Perry also chimed in on the story, offering the actor a job.

#GeoffreyOwens I’m about to start shootings OWN’s number one drama next week! Come join us!!! I have so much respect for people who hustle between gigs. The measure of a true artist,” Tyler Perry said on Twitter, referring to “The Haves and Have Nots.” The drama is currently in its sixth season on the network.

Owens told “GMA,” “I wouldn’t feel comfortable with someone giving me a job because this happened. I want to get a job because I’m the right person for that job.”

16 PHOTOS
Geoffrey Owens through the years
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Geoffrey Owens through the years
THE COSBY SHOW -- Season 7 -- Pictured: Geoffrey Owens as Elvin Tibideaux (Photo by Alan Singer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE COSBY SHOW -- Season 4 -- Pictured: (clockwise from left) Tempestt Bledsoe as Vanessa Huxtable, Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Theodore 'Theo' Huxtable, Sabrina Le Beauf as Sondra Huxtable Tibideaux, Geoffrey Owens as Elvin Tibideaux, Phylicia Rashad as Clair Hanks Huxtable, Bill Cosby as Dr. Heathcliff 'Cliff' Huxtable (center) Keshia Knight Pulliam as Rudy Huxtable -- (Photo by: Al Levine/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE COSBY SHOW -- Pictured: (back row, l-r) Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Theodore 'Theo' Huxtable, Phylicia Rashad as Clair Hanks Huxtable, Sabrina Le Beauf as Sondra Huxtable Tibideaux, Geoffrey Owens as Elvin Tibideaux, Tempestt Bledsoe as Vanessa Huxtable, (front row, l-r) Bill Cosby as Dr. Heathcliff 'Cliff' Huxtable, Keshia Knight Pulliam as Rudy Huxtable - (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE COSBY SHOW -- Season 4 -- Pictured: (l-r) Sabrina Le Beauf as Sondra Huxtable Tibideaux, Geoffrey Owens as Elvin Tibideaux -- (Photo by: Al Levine/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE COSBY SHOW -- Pictured: Geoffrey Owens as Elvin Tibideaux (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE COSBY SHOW -- Pictured: (l-r) Phylicia Rashad as Clair Hanks Huxtable, Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Theodore 'Theo' Huxtable, Tempestt Bledsoe as Vanessa Huxtable, Bill Cosby as Doctor Heathcliff 'Cliff' Huxtable, Sabrina Le Beauf as Sondra Huxtable Tibideaux, Keshia Knight Pulliam as Rudy Huxtable, Geoffrey Owens as Elvin Tibideaux (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE COSBY SHOW -- Season 6 -- Pictured: (bottom) Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Theodore 'Theo' Huxtable, (middle row) (l-r) Keshia Knight Pulliam as Rudy Huxtable, Lisa Bonet as Denise Huxtable Kendall, Joseph C. Phillips as Lt. Martin Kendall, Raven-Symon�as Olivia Kendall, (top row)(l-r) Geoffrey Owens as Elvin Tibideaux, Sabrina Le Beauf as Sondra Huxtable Tibideaux, Bill Cosby as Doctor Heathcliff 'Cliff' Huxtable, Phylicia Rashad as Clair Hanks Huxtable, Tempestt Bledsoe as Vanessa Huxtable -- Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank
THE COSBY SHOW -- 'Monster Man Huxtable' Episdoe 13 -- Air Date 01/08/1987 -- Pictured: (l-r) Bill Cosby as Dr. Heathcliff 'Cliff' Huxtable, Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Theodore 'Theo' Huxtable, Geoffrey Owens as Elvin Tibideaux (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Air Date 05/19/2009 -- Pictured: (front row, l-r) Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Earle Hyman, Malcolm-Jamal Warner (back row, l-r) Keisha Knight Pulliam, Raven Symone, Geoffrey Owens -- The cast of The Cosby Show reunite to talk about the series and the release of the 25th Anniversary Commemorative Edition dvd set (Photo by Lisa Berg/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER - 'Mirrors' - When Amy makes a surprise visit to Ricky's one morning, she meets his birth mother, Nora, for the first time, and Ben considers getting serious with Adrian, on an all-new episode of 'The Secret Life of the American Teenager' entitled 'Mirrors,' premiering on Monday, April 4, (8:00 - 9:00 PM ET/PT), on ABC Family. (Photo by Randy Holmes/ABC Family via Getty Images)GEOFFREY OWENS
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 10: Actor Geoffrey Owens attends the 9th Annual TV Land Awards at the Javits Center on April 10, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
Actor Geoffrey Owens attends the 9th Annual TV Land Awards at the Javits Center on April 10, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
THE COSBY SHOW -- 'The Birth: Part 1 & 2' Episode 6 & 7 -- Aired 11/10/88 -- Pictured: (l-r) Bill Cosby as Dr. Heathcliff 'Cliff' Huxtable, Geoffrey Owens as Elvin Tibideaux -- Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 07: Actor Geoffrey Owens attends the press launch for FringeNYC 2012 at the New School for Drama on August 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Mack/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (L-R) Geoffrey Owens and Condola Rashad attend Broadway's 'Romeo & Juliet' closing night party at Butter on December 8, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
LUCIFER: Guest star Geoffrey Owens in the 'Deceptive Little Parasite episode of LUCIFER airing Monday, May 8 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
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