The winner of America’s Next Top Felon Model has finally offered his take on his viral mugshot that has stolen hearts nationwide.
Speaking to Sacramento, California’s KXTV from jail, Jeremy Meeks said he isn’t too concerned about people’s comments about his looks and instead wants them to know that his real personality does not match the one that's being portrayed in the media.
During the interview, a KXTV reporter told Meeks that his photo had gone viral because people think he is really handsome. Meeks replied that he was grateful for the compliment but wanted people to know there is more to him than his looks.
“I appreciate that. But I just want them to know that this is really not me. I’m not some kingpin,” said Meeks.
According to KXTV, Meeks only agreed to the interview to tell his side of the story. He claimed he is no longer a gangster and that he has cleaned up his act. He did admit, however, that he does still speak with gang members sometimes. Meeks also told the station that he first learned of the online reaction to his photo from his wife.
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“I just visited my wife and she says I just blew up all over Facebook,” Meeks said.
Though he says he has turned his life around, Stockton police continue to stress that Meeks is a convicted felon who spent nine years in prison for grand theft auto. Officer Joseph Silva, a spokesman for the department, described Meeks as "one of the most violent criminals in the Stockton area."
Meeks was arrested on felony weapons charges during a gang raid and is currently being held on $900,000 bail.
His mother, Katherine Angier, has launched a Go Fund Me campaign to raise money for his legal costs. In her description of the campaign, she says “he was on his way to work” when he was arrested and “has old tattoos that causes him to be stereotyped.” She added that he isn’t gang affiliated, and she hopes to get him a “fair trial.” As of Friday afternoon, the effort had raised only $398 toward its $25,000 goal.