For a father as doting on his daughter as Sir Philip Green, the discovery she is dating a “violent criminal” must have come as something of a shock.
On Monday, Sir Philip, the fashion tycoon, refused to endorse his daughter Chloe’s romantic liaison.
Asked if he approved of Chloe Green’s relationship with Jeremy Meeks, better known by his nickname the ‘Hot Felon’, he declined to offer fatherly support. “With respect, I am not getting involved in it,” he replied somewhat gruffly to The Telegraph’s inquiry.
It is fair to assume Sir Philip, who has had his own brush with (parliamentary) authorities after becoming embroiled in the row over the gaping hole in the BHS pension fund, is not best pleased.
Miss Green, the apple of her father’s eye, has been photographed on a yacht off the coast of Turkey doing what can best be described as ‘cavorting’ with the latest man in her life.
Sir Philip may not consider Mr Meeks suitable – not only because of his violent past – but also because he is already married and appears to have dumped his wife and children to spend time with Miss Green. She one day stands to inherit a slice of Sir Philip’s £3.8 billion fashion empire that includes Topshop, Topman and Dorothy Perkins.
Mr Meeks, 32, from Stockton in California, was jailed for two years in 2014 for possession of a semi-automatic pistol. Reports claim he has been “in and out of courtrooms most of his life” for a range of offences including resisting arrest, negligent driving and identity theft. He was once arrested in 2002, according to the gossip website TMZ, for beating a 16-year-old boy “to a pulp”.
Local police described him as “one of the most violent criminals” in the area. Mr Meeks insists he has turned his life around.
His last prison sentence was the making of him; or at least the publication of his mugshot was. The photograph of Mr Meeks went viral. He was dubbed the ‘Blue Eyed bandit’ or else the “Hot Criminal” and on his release a modelling contract, said to be worth a six-figure sum, followed.
Mr Meeks is thought to have met Miss Green at Cannes film festival, where he was promoting £70 boxer shorts, inevitably stripped to the waist and showing off impressive tattoos that includes the name of the notorious gang of which he was once a member.
The pair have now surfaced on the Hazar Yildizi, a yacht available for charter at £112,000 a week. Perhaps tellingly the yacht is not one owned by Sir Philip.
Pictures of the couple on the yacht show them to be very close. Miss Green posted a photograph of herself and her new boyfriend with a caption that read: “Just the beginning. We appreciate all the love and all the hate.”
The hate might be because back home in California, Mr Meeks’ wife, who has stood by him during his latest spell in jail, was left all alone. One critic posted: “And the award for the biggest scumbag of the earth goes to Jeremy.”
On Monday Miss Green deleted her Instagram site after receiving abuse. Posters call her a ‘home wrecker’ and said they would begin a boycott of Topshop.