“It’s in my blood to make bad decisions”: unlikely story of “the nicest criminal” Jeremy Meeks
Bright blue eyes, full lips, striking cheekbones. When Jeremy Meeks (36) was arrested in 2014, his mugshot quickly went around the world for understandable reasons. He was lovingly called ‘The Blue-Eyed Bandit’, or ‘Jail Bae’. When he was finally released, he soon managed to turn his life around, resulting in a successful modeling career, a wealthy fiancée, and his clothing line.
The image of the arrested Jeremy Meeks was one of the photos of 2014. The picture was liked 75,000 times, shared 10,000 times, and collected 20,000 comments. Not bad for a boy who seemed to have been born before the accident. Strange to think that the same boy now has a child with the heiress of the store chain Topshop, and will soon be marketing his clothing line.
In a rare interview, Jeremy looks back on his childhood, which did not go without a hitch. “My childhood was very, very dark,” it sounds. “My father committed a murder when I was only nine months old. He killed my mother’s best friend because he was looking for us, and she was the only one who knew where we were. She didn’t want to tell him, so he stabbed her. He didn’t even know we had rented the apartment just above her. He got a lifetime.”
But life with his mother, who was addicted to heroin, was not easy either. “I had to deal with her kicks, with the needles, with the violent friends who beat us up. So we traveled a lot, and my mother had to go to jail a few times. Growing up in a household where heroin is used is very difficult. You have to grow up very quickly, take care of yourself, and put something on the table so that everyone can eat.” When his older sister turned 18, she went to the army. Two years later, she returned so that she could adopt Jeremy and his brother. “On my birth certificate, the name of my sister is indicated as a mother. That was the best thing that could ever happen to me.”
But it didn’t stop young Jeremy from going the wrong way. “From a very young age, it was in my blood to make bad decisions. That way, I know that genetics exists. Because I look so much like someone I had never met. It was actually ridiculous. Which was also strange: all my friends had fathers when they grew up. I was the only one who didn’t. But I always wanted to know what it felt like to go to jail. Just as I wanted to see how some other things felt, just to know what he had been through. It sounds crazy, but it is true.”
After the family moved to Los Angeles, things went completely wrong. Jeremy ended up in gangs and ended up on the street at the age of 15. That same year he was sent to a youth institution for the first time. In total, he would be in prison for ten years and a half. With his appearance, that was not an easy task, he says. “For most people with light skin color, you are not black enough, but you are also not white. In addition, I am beautiful, so I had to set an example in prison. If you say the wrong thing, I’ll beat you up. So I kept getting into trouble. It was not about demonstrating anything; It was about respect. I didn’t have to prove anything but if you don’t respect me, then we have problems. I’m going to give you the same respect that I’m asking.”
It wasn’t until 2014, when he was in California jail for theft and gun possession, that he began to think about what direction he wanted to take with his life. The fact that his mugshot went around the world around that time may have helped. Jeremy tells how he got up to 300 letters a day, and that interested companies sent contracts while he was in prison. “But I’d never seen a contract, it was all Chinese to me,” he admits. He was finally sentenced to 27 months in jail, thanks to Judge Troy Nunley – “the only black judge in the Eastern District”. Nunley would have said: “He’s had a chance that no one else had before. I wanted him released as soon as possible so he could make full use of it.” Nunley also made sure that Jeremy could fly over the world after his prison sentence for his modeling career, something that is virtually impossible for many convicts. “My judge saved me,” Jeremy says. “He helped me in so many ways.”
He also started a new chapter on an amorous level. Last summer he was spotted for the first time with billionaire’s daughter Chloe Green. The two would have known each other at the Cannes film festival and were then seen kissing on a yacht in Turkey. Even though Meeks was still married to his wife Melissa, with whom he has a son. Melissa testified in tears during the ‘This Morning’ program on the British channel about how she discovered the relationship through the media. “We have been married for eight or nine years and I really like him. Still, it is not easy for me. I wish I still had a husband to come home to,” she sighed, but afterward, she again filed the divorce papers.
Jeremy sees their break differently: “I love my ex-wife very much,” he says. “I will always do that, but we grew apart, and that was mainly my fault. She didn’t want a divorce, but I didn’t want to get to the point where we hated each other and couldn’t raise the children together.” Contrary to what Melissa says, their relationship was already over when he met Chloe. “It really wasn’t a scandal.”
With the wealthy Chloe, heir to the Topshop chain, Jeremy had the first son in May 2018, Jayden. And Jeremy wants more children, he admits. “I need another girl! I want a girl so badly,” he laughs. “I already have two sons who are really mom’s children. I want a daddy’s baby. I want a girl because I know she’s going to be beautiful. And I just want to spoil her terribly.”
Jayden was born in Monaco, where the couple spends the majority of their time. And it is expected that the fiancé couple will also get married there. That is at least the wish of Chloe’s parents, Philip and Tina. “They recently made a 180-degree turn in their attitude to Jeremy,” it said. “They have since embraced him as one of the Greens. They have accepted that he will be a part of their lives forever.” Yet they also take into account a possible divorce: hence the desired marriage in Monaco. Strict laws apply there: if a couple gets divorced, the spouses only get the assets that they already had before their marriage and what they earned together during the marriage. Thus Jeremy could not benefit from Chloe’s enormous legacy.
Whether the couple is still together is not guaranteed, however. Both Chloe and Jeremy have been seen with other people in recent months, and the engagement rings turn on and off with great ease. Yet Jeremy still maintains that they are still a couple. Time will tell.
And Jeremy still has big plans for the future. That is how he wants to venture into music, although he will not sing about weapons and violence. “I did a lot of bad things because of the music I listened to. It can really change your mood. I remember listening to songs and getting very angry with the people who owed me money. I wanted to go outside and do things. I know how music affects children. I really don’t want to promote gangs, violence or drugs. Contemporary rappers have made it popular to be a drug addict. In my time, you only sold drugs. You were not addicted. When I make music, it must have a positive message, but it must still sound ‘street’. Without the murders, the drugs, and the wrong message then. It’s hard to find the balance.”
Own clothing line
Jeremy also remains active in fashion. In November last year, it was announced that the model received no less than 15 million dollars to develop its clothing line, in collaboration with the German company Fashion Concept GmbH. That clothing line will soon see the light of day, although the model on the website jmeeks.com is already a tip-off the veil. He describes his designs as a “high fashion luxury line that is inspired by art, edge, and culture. The brand exudes quality, confidence, and individuality.”