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Jeremy Meeks A Model?: 5 Other Pre-Celeb Convicts

Ever heard of the phrase: “Crime pays off”? Well it’s not an actual idiom, but perhaps we should consider turning it into one.

According to Madame Noire, upon being released from jail, Jeremy Meeks – also known as the “hot criminal” – will be represented by Gina Rodriguez, the porn star turned talent agent who is also the woman behind V. Stiviano, Farrah Abraham, and “Octomom.” TMZ adds, that the convicted felon from Stockton, Calif. has also recently landed a modeling contract with L.A.-based Blaze Modelz.

Although the future of Meeks as a successful model, and even more as an upstanding citizen, is still very much uncertain, it sure wouldn’t hurt him to dream a little, after all these five celebrities made it big after their time as convicts:

5. Don King


According to ESPN, In 1954, by the age of 23, King killed a man who tried to rob one of his gambling houses, but the shooting was ruled a justifiable and he faced no prison time. 13 years later he killed one of his associates who owed him $600. King was first found guilty of second-degree murder, but it was later reduced to manslaughter for which he did almost four years in jail. In 1972, a year after being released, King convinced Muhammad Ali to do a match to raise funds for a local hospital, which raised more than $80,000. From that moment on his career as a promoter began and today he is one of the biggest names in boxing.

4. Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson


According to Rolling Stone, Jackson began selling crack at 12 years old, was arrested while in 10th grade, and by he was 18 he was making $5,000 a day from selling drugs. In 1994 it all caught up with him and he went to Lakeview Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility, a minimum security, co-ed boot camp where the then 19-year-old spent several months to avoid a 3-to-9-year prison sentence for drug possession. Soon after he began developing a rap career producing an unreleased album with Jam Master Jay in 1996, moving to Columbia Records in 1999 and recording the underground classic “How to Rob.” In 2000 the underground rapper was shot 9 times and survived, but his reputation got him dropped from Columbia. In 2001 he got his big break with the hit debut album “Get Rich or Die Trying,” produced by Eminem and Dr. Dre.

3. Tim Allen


According to, during college the star became a drug dealer and in 1978 was arrested at the Michigan airport for possession of cocaine. While awaiting his trial the actor brushed up on his comedic acts at the Comedy Castle in Detroit. He was given eight years in prison, but served only 28 months. In 1981, he became a regular at his old comedy club and in 1991 he got his own sitcom, “Home Improvement.” Since then Allen has done roles in various films including Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Story Franchise. Unfortunately it hasn’t been all rainbows for the actor, in 1997 he was brought up on drunk driving charges, although that hasn’t stopped him from continuing to have a successful career.

2. Dany Trejo


According to the Huffington Post, Dany Trejo smoked his first joint eight years old, was arrested for assault and battery at 10, and was injecting heroin at the age of 12. During his teen years, he was gang-banging and robbing liquor stores with live grenades. Eventually this path lead him to three months in solitary confinement at the age of 24, time during which he was also looking at three gas-chamber offences. According to an interview with The Guardian, the charges were later dropped on a technicality and upon his release the following year Trejo became a drug counselor. It was while counseling one of his kids that he was lead into a movie set where a screenwriter recognized him from jail and asked him to train Eric Roberts in boxing and casted him as a convict in the film. Trejo is now one of Hollywood’s most beloved villain and action heroes.

1. Mark Walbergh


According to Telegraph, Walbergh first got high at 10 and was addicted to cocaine at 13. By the age of 16 he did 45 days in Deer Island House of Correction in Boston “after robbing, assaulting and blinding a Vietnamese liquor store owner while high on angel dust.” Right after his stint in the big house Walbergh began to pave a path to a successful career with the help of his brother Donnie Wahlberg, member of popular boy band New Kids on the Block, who helped him start the pop-rap group, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. Since then the actor has modeled for Calvin Klein and is now a successful Hollywood actor and producer.

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