‘Hot felon’ Jeremy Meeks says strangers sent him money in prison after viral fame: ‘Crime really does pay’
Written by Lindah Nduwumwami on September 30, 2019
Jeremy Meeks, the convicted felon turned model who has been called “Prison Bae,” has opened up in a rare interview about his time behind bars and plans for the future. Meeks, also labeled “Hot Felon,” sat down with Chelsea Grayson for her “What’s Your Water” podcast for a raw, unflinching, hour-plus-long chat about his troubled childhood; co-parenting his own kids with ex-wife Melissa Meeks and his ex-fiancee, Topshop heiress Chloe Green; and the hard and rough realities of prison life, including a stint in the SHU next to Charles Manson. Meeks, now 35, is a former member of the Crips who was arrested in 2014 during a gang sweep in Stockton, Calif. His mug shot went viral and became a meme on social media due to Meeks’ attractiveness. Upon his release in March 2016, Meeks began a modeling career. During the interview, Meeks recalled sitting in solitary confinement and having a reckoning with himself. “Why did you put all these tattoos on you? You just made it to where you can’t work, like you can’t do nothing really with your life.” He added, “It hit me that I think I was afraid to fail.” Meeks also opened up about his viral fame and receiving “two, three hundred letters … every night. They’re sending me thousands and thousands of dollars.” As someone joked to him, “Crime really does pay.” He also received contracts, but he noted, “I had never seen a contract in my life. It was French to me.” And for someone who grew up in the projects, Meeks said, “I never thought anything like this was possible.” Meeks and Green recently split up and he’s been seen with actress Erica Peeples. He has a son with Green as well as a son with his ex-wife. But he’s hoping to have more kids in the future. “I want a girl really bad,” he confessed.