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How Did Jeremy Meeks Achieve a Net Worth of $15 Million in 2023?

Image Source: Teen Vouge

Appearing in a mugshot isn’t exactly a lifetime highlight for most people. However, it’s a different story for Jeremy Meeks. 

After his 2014 arrest for gun possession, Meeks’ mugshot went viral, earning him the nickname of “Hot Felon.” A decade later, Meeks is a sought-after model-actor with a reported net worth of $5 million.  

This article is for you, if you’re interested in learning more about Jeremy Meeks, including the following: 

  • His early life and career
  • How he made his money
  • Jeremy Meeks’ net worth and how it’s grown
  • A Jeremy Meeks FAQ

Read on to learn more about Jeremy Meeks’ unusual success story. 

Net Worth $5-$15 million
Age 39 (b. 2/7/1984)
From United States
Primary Income Sources model-actor
Social Media Following Instagram: jmeeksofficial ($1.5M followers)

X: jmeeksofficial (14K followers)

Facebook: Jeremy Meeks (710K followers)

Key Highlights 1984: Born in Stockton, CA

2014: Mugshot goes viral

2016: Released from prison and signs with op modeling agency

2017: Runway debut and Milan and NY Fashion Week appearances

Asset Owned Luxury mansion + $150,000 sports car

10 things to know about the early life and career of Jeremy Meeks

10. He had a rough start

Jeremy Meeks was born in Takoma, Washington, but grew up in Stockton, California. He had a difficult childhood and upbringing. His father, Ray Meeks, spent decades in jail for stabbing a woman 36 times, while his mother, Kathy, was a former heroin addict with a lengthy criminal record. At least two of Meeks’ siblings also had rap sheets. 

Given his turbulent upbringing and surroundings, it’s not surprising that Meeks ended up venturing down the wrong track himself. After becoming a member of the Crips street gang, his first arrest came at age 18 in 2012, when he was charged with robbery as well as for assaulting a 16-year-old boy. This led to him serving his first jail term at a California prison. 

9. He owes his fame to a “lucky” break

Had Meeks not been arrested a second time, he might have lived out the rest of his life in obscurity. Instead, what results in ignominy for most people ended in fame for Meeks when his mugshot went viral after he was arrested by the Stockton Police Department as part of Operation Ceasefire, a multi-agency law enforcement mission.  

Within a day of his mugshot being posted on the Stockton Police Department’s Facebook page, Meeks found himself enjoying unlikely celebrity with tens and thousands of likes and comments from admirers of his strong jawline, chiseled cheekbones, and piercing blue-gray eyes. While he was later sentenced to 27 months at Mendota Federal Correctional Institute, this didn’t stand between Meeks and his fate for fame. 

8. He’s a man of many nicknames

Meeks lays claim to several  nicknames alongside “Hot Felon,” including “Prison Bae” and “the Blue-Eyed Bandit.”  

In 2019, while in Dubai for a modeling gig, Meeks said he no longer identified with the “Hot Felon” moniker. He said in an interview, “In many ways, I was humbled and grateful that people found me attractive. However, the word ‘felon’ is not a label that I am proud of or remotely reflective of how I see myself today….“I am not ashamed because my past was a part of my journey, but [I’m] certainly not proud of that label. Labels, in general, imply that people cannot change, and I definitely have.”   

After catching Vogue’s eye in 2017, the fashion mag hailed him as a “buff bad boy.” 

7.  He was signed to a modeling agency while he was still in prison

Even before serving out 13 months of the prison stint that made him famous, Meeks signed with modeling and talent agency White Cross Management, according to E! Entertainment. His initial headshot was a black-and-white version of this viral mugshot. 

Meeks has since been featured on two of the agency’s magazine covers: James Magazine USA and White Cross Magazine

In addition to his signature steely eyes, Meeks is just over six feet tall, has close-cropped brown hair, and wears a size 11 shoe. He is still represented by White Cross

6. He’s walked major runway shows in the US and Europe

Meeks made his runway debut during New York Fashion Week in February 2017, when he walked for the Philipp Plein Fall/Winter 2017/2018 Women's And Men's Fashion Show collection.

 In April of that year, he was banned from entering the UK, where he’d been scheduled for a series of appearances and photo shoots. Meeks would later make his European runway debut in May of that year for Philipp Plein. 

5. He’s worked with many fashion industry “names” 

Over the years, Meeks has modeled for several renowned designers, including Tommy Hilfiger, Versace, Givenchy, and Israeli sunglasses fashion house Carolina Lemke. In 2019, he was featured in the campaign for fragrance line Gisada’s new duo, Gisada Ambassador. He’s also been on the cover of many magazines, including MMScene, FV, and L' Officiel Hommes

4. He’s a man of many talents

Meeks is also an actor and has appeared in Russian pop singer Olga Buzova’s music video for her song, "Wi-Fi."

He’s also been in feature films, including Trigger, True to the Game 2, Dutch, Secret Society, True to the Game 3, The Wrong High School Sweetheart, Circumstances 3, Unfair Exchange, Secret Society 2: Never Enough, Dance for Me, Beach Chain, Doggmen, and Rise of the Tarragon

3. He’s had a rocky romantic history

From 2008 to 2018, Meeks was married to Melissa Meeks, with whom he shares a child. Meeks has said of the divorce, "I love my ex-wife to death, still love her, always will. We just grew apart. It was more me. She didn't want to divorce, but I didn't want to get to the point we hated each other and couldn't co-parent."

He also has a child with Chloe Green, the child of British Topshop tycoon Philip Green. The two reportedly shared a son and a London home together before splitting up. Meeks also has at least one stepson. 

2. He launched his own fashion line

In 2019, he landed a $15 million deal with German fashion company Fashion Concept GmbH to develop a clothing line, which led to the launch of Meeks’ eponymous luxury fashion label for men and women in 2020. 

Driven by the belief that everyone deserves a second chance and inspired by the shift from “dark to light,” the high-end collection was recognized for its unique designs, innovative textiles, graphic prints, statement slogans, and premium leather pieces. 

In 2022, Fashion Concept GmbH filed for bankruptcy. 

1. He’s excited to share his story

If you’re interested in learning more about Jeremy Meeks, you’ll soon have the opportunity to do so—directly from the model-actor himself. His memoir, Model Citizen: The Autobiography of Jeremy Meeks, will be released in September 2024. He told TMZ of the project, “My life story coming out in a book. It’s a bit surreal, I’m very excited…It’s been a ride.”  

Meeks has also revealed plans for turning the book into a television series. 

How did Jeremy Meeks make his money?

While Meeks was lucky to have been discovered in such an unlikely way, social media success can be fleeting. This begs the question: how did he parlay his mugshot into millionaire status?

Of course, he has his good looks to thank, as successful fashion models and actors are paid well. However, he’s also taken a savvy approach toward building his empire by capitalizing on his Instagram popularity with sponsored posts, which can earn him as much as $671/post.  

Diversification is also the key to building wealth, and Meeks has explored and exploited a variety of opportunities, including the following:

  • modeling
  • acting
  • launching his own fashion brand
  • writing his autobiography with plans to turn the book into a TV series 

Meeks has also made lucrative partnerships with the likes of Fashion Concept GmbH and Gisada. 

What is Jeremy Meeks net worth?

While some sources put Jeremy Meeks’ net worth at $5 million, others suggest that his net worth may be more in the neighborhood of $15 million. While achieving that level of wealth is an accomplishment for almost anyone, it’s especially impressive for Meeks, who grew up in poverty. 

In addition to amassing a large bank account, Meeks is also known for having expensive taste, which he’s been happy to showcase on Instagram. He’s posted photos of his huge mansion and his $150,000 Maserati. 

However, this isn’t to say that Meeks hasn’t had setbacks along the way. One example? In November of 2019, he was sued for crashing two luxury car rentals, a 2016 Porsche Cayenne and a 2019 Mercedes Benz, within a timeframe of just five days. 

Frequently asked questions about Jeremy Meeks

Who is Jeremy Meeks?

Jeremey Meeks is an American fashion model, actor, and author who rose from poverty to fame and fortune after his mugshot made him a viral sensation. 

How old is Jeremy Meeks?

Jeremy Meeks is 39 as of January 2024. 

How did Jeremy Meeks get famous?

After Jeremy Meeks was arrested for gun possession in Stockton, California, his mug shot was posted on the local police department’s Facebook page. His stunning good looks were immediately noted by fans of the page, and the photo—and Meeks—went viral instantly. 

While serving jail time for his crime, Meeks was signed to a top modeling agency that also noticed his mug shot and popularity. He has since enjoyed a successful career as a model and actor.  

Is Jeremy Meeks married?

Jeremy Meeks was married to his ex-wife Melissa Meeks for a decade. 

He also had a highly publicized relationship with billionaire heiress Chloe Green. 

Does Jeremy Meeks have children? 

Jeremy Meeks shares a son with his ex-wife, Melissa Meeks. Jeremy Meeks Jr. Now a teenager, Jeremy Meeks Jr. has amassed a small amount of social media celebrity of his own, including 10,000-plus followers on Instagram.  

Meeks also has a son with former girlfriend, Chloe Green: Jayden Meeks-Green was born in March 2018.

In a 2019 interview, Meeks revealed that he wasn’t done with having children. "I need a girl. I want a girl really bad," he said. "I have two boys that are momma's boys. I want a daddy's girl. I want a girl because I know she's gonna be beautiful,” he said. 

What movies has Jeremy Meeks appeared in?

Meeks has been featured in many movies, including his feature film debut, Trigger, in 2020. Other projects have included True to the Game 2 (2020), Dutch (2021), Secret Society (2021), Dear Best Friend (2021), True to the Game 3 (2021), The Wrong High School Sweetheart (2022), Circumstances 3 (2022), Secret Society 2: Never Enough (2022), and Unfair Exchange (2022). 

With the release of Dance for Me, Secret Society 3: ‘Til Death, and Unexposed, 2023 was also a busy year for Meeks. 

How rich is Jeremy Meeks?

According to various sources, Meeks has amassed a significant net worth somewhere between $5 million and $15 million dollars. 

We can expect to see Jeremy Meeks’ net worth continue to climb with the forthcoming release of his memoir, Model Citizen: The Autobiography of Jeremy Meeks. Meeks has also expressed plans to adapt the book into a television series. 

What is Jeremy Meeks doing now?

While it’s unclear whether Meeks has done any modeling recently, he’s clearly been busy pursuing his acting dreams.  

Additionally, Meeks appears to have been focusing on writing his memoir, which is set to be released in the fall of 2024. Meeks may also be focused on his plans for creating a television series based on the book.   

Meeks has also expressed the desire to pursue a music career—with a mission. “When I do music, I want to make sure it's a positive message, but still street, without the killing, the drugs, and the bad message. It's kind of hard to find the balance,” he says. 


Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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