Gypsy Rose hot felon

The Gypsy Rose effect: All the notable criminals who’ve become celebrities

From inmate to influencer x

Currently, there is a lot of buzz on social media regarding the recent release of Gypsy Rose Blanchard from prison. While the phenomenon of romanticising and giving exaggerated attention to high-profile criminal cases may have positive or negative aspects, it’s crucial to acknowledge that Gypsy Rose is not the only one who has gained public interest after being released or while incarcerated. So, let’s take a look back at the celebrities who became famous post-crime:

Anna Delvey – 1million followers

The most recent example that can be mentioned after the Blanchard case is the story of Anna Delvey, one of the brightest socialites in New York in the 2010s and the heiress to her billionaire father’s fortune, or otherwise Anna Sorokina, a con artist from a Russian town near Moscow. She was able to deceive the New York elite by pretending to be someone she was not and made every effort to maintain her status as a “billionaire’s daughter”.

She fabricated faux financial documents to imply she had a multimillion-euro trust fund, as well as many wire transfer confirmations. Sorokin used phoney paperwork and invalid checks to mislead banks, acquaintances, and realtors into handing her cash and big loans with no collateral.

From 2013 to 2017, Sorokin scammed and took advantage of big financial organisations, credit unions, accommodations, and various individuals, ultimately stripping away $275,000. In 2019, she was found guilty of attempted grand larceny, larceny in the second degree, and theft of services by a New York state court. She was then sentenced to four to 12 years in jail. Many note that they became familiar with Anna’s story because of the show Inventing Anna, made by Shonda Rhimes and dedicated to her “journey”, which can be viewed on Netflix and thanks to which Anna gained so much popularity after being released.

Anna also tried to turn her love of high art into a business while in prison and after her release. In March 2022, a pop-up art exhibition called Free Anna Delvey featured artworks from 33 artists inspired by Sorokin. Sorokin’s drawings were displayed in a show called Allegedly in May 2022, priced at $10,000 each, with 15 per cent of the proceeds going to children’s charities.

Jeremy Meeks – 1.5million followers

Jeremy Meeks is another example of someone who found fame after serving time in prison. He was a former member of the Crips street gang and was arrested in Stockton, California during a gang sweep named Operation Ceasefire in 2014. Meeks was convicted of federal charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and grand theft. However, his mugshot caught the attention of modelling agencies and after his release from Mendota Federal Correctional Institution in March 2016, he started a modelling career. He has since worked for renowned brands such as Philipp Plein and Tommy Hilfiger.

Recently, Meeks announced his plans to work with a “ghostwriter” on a memoir about his life after his modelling career took off in 2016. He joked about it during a conversation at Los Angeles International Airport, where he claimed that it was impossible, to sum up his story in just an hour and a half film “It has been a ride” said Jeremy in one of his recent interviews with TMZ.

Martha Stewart – 4.3million followers

Quite scandalous and unexpected cases could be tied to Martha Stewart. To those who only knew her as a cooking show and recipe legend it may come as a surprise that she was involved in an insider trading scandal tied to the biopharmaceutical company called ImClone. The company was testing an experimental drug called Erbitux for cancer patients, but it failed to get FDA approval, causing its stocks to plummet. This led to Stewart’s arrest and a five-month prison sentence in December 2004.

Dr. Samuel Waksal, one of the company’s founders, advised family and friends to sell ImClone’s stock before the FDA’s announcement, causing the stock price to drop. Martha Stewart sold 4,000 shares of ImClone, avoiding a loss of $45,000. She received the information through her stockbroker, Peter Bacanovic, leading to an investigation.

Martha Stewart denied wrongdoing, claiming she had an agreement with her broker. In 2003, she was indicted on charges of securities fraud, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice. She was found guilty of obstruction of justice, conspiracy, and lying to investigators, but not on insider trading charges. She served five months in prison, followed by five months of house arrest and two years of probation, and paid $195,000 to settle a civil case. Stewart surprisingly was not negatively affected by her incarceration and became even more popular with a new cooking show and release of two books upon her return to the media scene.

So, it seems like – no matter how severe your crime or why you were imprisoned – you can still have a shot at social media stardom and even a modelling career. Obviously, there’s debate over the ethics of the criminal to celebrity pipeline— but Gypsy Rose is still thriving.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• So, Gypsy Rose Blanchard now wants Millie Bobby Brown to play her in a movie about her life

• We asked a psychologist why everyone is so obsessed with Gypsy Rose Blanchard right now

• ‘She’s all about girl power’: Everything Gypsy Rose has said about loving Taylor Swift

Featured image credit via ABC News and Stockton Police Department