*“Hot Felon” Jeremy Meeks took to social media recently to post a photo of himself in a white blazer and a top cut low enough to bare his gang tattoos, along with the message, “Thank you @forbes.”
The magazine of the rich recently profiled Meeks’ rising career from felon to in-demand model. The former gangbanger went viral three years ago when his mug shot — showcasing his mix-race feature — earned him worldwide fame. He landed a modeling contract while incarcerated and when he emerged from prison in 2016, Meeks was instantly hired for runway and magazine-covers while racking up over a million Instagram followers.
“I’m not a model. I do modelling, but also do acting and I’m about to start recording music. I can’t limit myself to one thing,’ the 33-year-old tells Forbes.
Meeks walked exclusively for Philipp Plein and Plein Sport during Fashion Week in Milan. Both brands are owned by the same Creative Director who offered prison bae his first runway gig back in September 2016.
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“My first encounter with Philipp was a good one. Philipp’s a good dude – he made me feel comfortable. A lot of models backstage were like, “how are you not nervous?”. And I was like, ‘’errm no, isn’t this, like, your 20th show?’’ (laughs). I was excited – not one show have I been nervous,” Meeks said.
Meeks is also featured in the Philipp Plein Fall/Winter 2017/2018 ad campaign.
“It’s a little bit of a fairy tale for him, from a criminal to a famous runway model,” said designer Philipp Plein.
“I personally think this gentleman has learned his lesson, and it has given him the opportunity to do better things. I think Jeremy is an example that you have a second chance in life. Why shouldn’t he have opportunities that he never dreamed of?”
Meeks grew up in Stockton, Calif., with his mother, Katherine Angier, who he describes as a heroin addict, and a father who was incarcerated for life, per NY Post.
After dropping out of high school in the 10th grade, Meeks became a member of the notorious Crips gang. He spent several years in and out of prison on various charges, including felony grand theft, identity theft, criminal street-gang activity, illegally possessing firearms and ammo and carrying a loaded firearm in public.
In 2014, Officer Joseph Silva described Meeks “one of the most violent criminals in the Stockton area.”
Jeremy Meeks attempted to find a bit of normalcy with wife Melissa, but she recently announced that she’s filing for divorce after photos surfaced last week of him making out with Topshop heiress Chloe Green aboard a $145,000-a-week yacht moored off Turkey.
In his Forbes interview, Meeks mentions a recent meeting with film director/“Empire” creator Lee Daniels, and says, “There’s some stuff in the works.”