The wife of Jeremy Meeks, the man whose Stockton police booking photo went viral, is not happy about all the Internet attention her husband is getting for his looks, according to a friend.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t see her at all in the cameras, because she’s upset,” said Simone Johnson, a friend of Meeks' wife, told CBS13. “She’s furious. Her man is in there and people are taking it as a joke, thinking it’s funny talking about his looks, saying all kinds of crazy things.”
Meeks, 30, was charged last Friday with illegally possessing a firearm, as well as other gun- and gang-related charges. He was also accused of violating his parole, prosecutors said.
In an interview with KXTV, Meeks said he's done things in his past that he should not have, but that he's not a hardened criminal. “I just want them to know that this is really not like me, I’m not some kingpin,” he said.
He told the news station that he spent years in prison for grand theft and that the teardrop tattoo on his cheekbone was for “doing some things in his past he is not proud of."
Meeks was arraigned on 11 felony counts and his bail was set at $1 million.
He attracted worldwide media attention Thursday after his booking photo was posted on the Stockton Police Department's Facebook page in connection with a law enforcement operation.
Not long after the photo went up on the site, someone created a fan page on Facebook for Meeks, which has received more than 39,500 likes.
The Stockton Police Department’s Facebook page soon went viral, garnering nearly 50,000 “likes,” 14,700 comments and more than 5,400 shares by that Friday morning.
The San Joaquin County district attorney's office detailed the circumstances under which the Internet sensation was arrested: Meeks was stopped by Stockton police about 6:30 a.m. Thursday after he and others were seen leaving a home where a search warrant was about to be executed. Meeks was the driver of a car with two passengers. One of them, 23-year-old Terry Bailey, is on probation and is facing similar charges.
Prosecutors allege that when officers searched the car, they found a 9-mm round and a loaded semiautomatic handgun, along with two extended magazines for the gun, according to the San Joaquin County district attorney's office.
Meeks' mother, Katherine Angier, has set up a fundraising page, partly to dispel what she says are stereotypes about her son, and partly to raise $25,000 for his legal defense.
"He's my son and he is so sweet," she said on the "Free Jeremy" page. "Please help him to get a fair trial or else he'll be railroaded."
Meeks has already served two years in state prison for a 2002 conviction on grand theft in Solano County, according to prosecutors.
Meeks and Bailey are also documented members of the Northside Gangster Crips, forming the basis for the gang allegations in the complaint, according to the district attorney's office.
All the attention Meeks' booking photo received apparently caught the felon off guard, according to an interview he gave to KXTV in Sacramento.
“I just visited my wife, and she said I like blew up all over Facebook,” Meeks told KXTV’s Nick Monacelli from jail last week.
The outpouring of admiration had yet to wane on the weekend. Comments ranged from the ubiquitous "Omg he's hot!!" to the more pointed.
"He's too fine to be a criminal. I got $10 on his bail," one woman wrote.
“He’s too pretty go to go jail…yet again,” added another.