From handcuffs to aspiring model, his career is heating up. Jeremy Meeks, whose mug shot went viral in June 2014 and earned him the nickname “hot felon,” is ready to begin his modeling career when he’s out of federal custody on July 7.
The former forklift operator has signed with talent agent Jim Jordan from White Cross Management in L.A., according to New York Magazine. Since Meeks isn’t technically supposed to be giving interviews at the moment, Jordan is opening up about his vision for Meeks and telling his story in an interview in the latest issue of New York Magazine.
Back in 2014, Meeks was arrested after he pulled up at the house of a documented gang member during a raid. He had marijuana and a 9mm cartridge in the car plus an unregistered, loaded pistol in the trunk. He was later convicted of one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. “I just visited my wife and she said I, like, blew up all over Facebook,” he had previously said when a TV crew arrived at the San Joaquin County Jail the day after his mugshot went up online, according to the magazine.
His wife, Melissa Curl — with whom Meeks shares a son, plus two of Curl’s children from a previous relationship — has been key in communicating between her husband and the plethora of people who want to manage him. While Jordan wasn’t allowed into the prison to see the convicted felon, he would speak with Curl weekly about their hopes for Meeks, and she would “translate” their conversations to Meeks during her visits.
Eventually, Jordan began speaking on the phone and over FaceTime with the Stockton, California, native. “When I talked to Jeremy about his world, it’s not like me or people I know,” Jordan told New York Magazine. “He has never known a model or an actor or anyone in our business. For him, the celebrities growing up were, like, gang people. And when I talked to Jeremy and got to know his heart, I understood this is something real. And I chose to have a vision for him.” Meeks also told Jordan it was the “realization that he was well and truly screwed” that caused him to pout in his mug shot and position his head in a certain way to hide his neck tattoos.
Recently, Meeks announced he wanted to get all his tattoos removed, which include a teardrop under his left eye. Jordan expressed this could be an obstacle to signing deals for Meeks because many people were drawn to his bad-boy image. When Jordan asked Meeks over FaceTime if he still intended to remove them, the felon said, “As soon as possible. My kids are at the age when they ask questions. I want them to know this is not the life. I don’t want them to think, ‘My dad is that, so I have to be that.’”
For now, Meeks is in a re-entry program and is under house arrest for good behavior, so he's been filling his time by hitting the gym. “He works out three, four times a day,” Jordan said. “He has a 10-pack. Lean, he’s 6-foot-1 — the perfect height — fits the clothes perfect, super-white teeth.”
The talent agent bragged to the magazine about all the opportunities lined up for Meeks and all the companies that have expressed interest. “He’s going to walk in the shows in Paris,” Jordan said, adding that the aspiring model's runway walk is “spectacular.” Other projects Meeks has missed out on while he’s been in prison: a role in the Vin Diesel film xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, a September cover of W with Rihanna, and photo shoots with famed photographers such as Bruce Weber and Steven Klein.
“I don’t want Jeremy just going on shows and being like, ‘Hey, I’m a prisoner,’” Jordan told New York Magazine. Meeks plans to have a message: “To help get guns out of kids’ hands,” Jordan said.
Want stories like these delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter!