Several news outlets circulated a photo of Owens, who played Elvin Tibideaux on the series, behind the register at a Trader Joe’s in Clifton, implying the actor had fallen on hard times.
Speaking to "Good Morning America" Tuesday, Owens, 57, said that he was initially "devastated" when the story first began to pick up steam. But that feeling quickly went away.
"My wife and I started to read these responses from literally all over the world," Owens said. "Fortunately, the shame part didn't last very long."
Bagging groceries hasn't been Owens' only job since "The Cosby Show" ended 25 years ago. He's continued to act in small roles, including guest appearances on "The Affair" and "Elementary."
Owens said the attention has been "overwhelming," adding he's astounded by all the support he's received.
"Every job is worthwhile and valuable," he said. "I've had a great life. I've had a great career ... so no one has to feel sorry for me. I'm doing fine."