Mendeecees Harris is an American realtor, entrepreneur, music manager and reality TV star famous for his appearance in the VH1 reality TV series ‘Love & Hip Hop: New York.' He appeared on the show in the 3rd, 5th and 6th seasons. His wife, Yandy Smith, is one of the longest surviving cast members on the show, and is still a part of the series. Harris, who was incarcerated during the filming of the 4th and 7th seasons of the show, made guest appearances through voice calls during these seasons. Harris and Smith's wedding ceremony was telecast live in a special episode titled "Love & Hip Hop Live: The Wedding," which aired on May 25, 2015. His family members, including his mother Judy and his former partners, Samantha and Erika, have appeared on the reality show during multiple seasons. He is the owner of the music-recording studio Beat Factory in The Bronx which manages a number of emerging rappers based in New York City.
The Meteoric Rise to Stardom
Mendeecees Harris started his career working in the real estate business. He later moved to the music industry, becoming a manager for aspiring rappers. He founded the music-recording studio Beat Factory in The Bronx. His exposure in the music industry and his relationship with Yandy Smith landed him a supporting role in the third season of the VH1 reality TV series Love & Hip Hop: New York. While he started as a supporting actor, his affair with Yandy and the controversies involving his past relationships occupied a major portion of the reality show. To ride on the hype, his marriage to Yandy, which some claimed to be staged, was shown live on television in a special episode. On top of that, the drama surrounding his prosecution kept the viewers hooked to the series. Along with Yandy, he has become one of the most popular stars of the show. Apart from the three seasons that he has been featured on, he has also made voice appearances via telephone conversations in a couple seasons while serving in jail.
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Controversies & Scandals
Mendeecees Harris has been involved in a number of controversies over the years. In 2013, he was accused for sexually assaulting a teenage girl back in 2009, when she was only 15 years old. He was arrested, but was cleared of the charges a few months later after a long trial. Unfortunately, that was not the end of his legal woes. He was accused of trafficking cocaine and heroin worth $2.5 million between 2005 and 2012. On December 1, 2015, he was convicted of drug trafficking and was sentenced to eight years of prison term. He turned himself into FCI Allenwood Federal Prison in Pennsylvania on January 19, 2016. By that time, he had already served 15 months in prison, before being out on bail, and thus had about seven more years to go. However, in an attempt to reduce the sentence he continued to his legal fight from behind the bars, citing that he played merely a minor role in the drug trafficking group. His lawyer also claimed that before his sentence was announced, he did community work up to four times a week, going to youth organizations to dissuade teenagers from committing crimes. Moreover, he gave up the $170,000 he earned from appearing on the reality television show and from public appearances while awaiting his sentencing. However, the prosecutors argued that despite the fact that he was not the main culprit, his sentence was proportionate to the crimes he committed.
Apart from the legal issues, he also courted controversy continuously for his involvement with a number of women who gave birth to his children. In fact, his former partners, Samantha and Erika, conspiring against his current partner Yandy has been the major plot of the seventh season of the reality show. Mendeecees himself had to step into the "baby mama drama" from prison via phone calls. He accused Erika of fabricating lies about their relationship just to be on the show, and claimed that he never even lived together with her.
Behind The Curtains
Mendeecees Harris was born on October 26, 1978, in Harlem, New York. His parents, Roberto and Judy Harris, are Panamanian by birth. He was raised by his single mother. He has a brother named Tyrus who was also accused of being involved in drug trafficking along with Mendeecees. His first serious relationship was with Samantha Wallace, with whom he had his first child Lil Mendeecees. He also had a fling with Erika DeShazo and fathered another child, Aasim. He later became involved with Yandy Smith. The two got married live on television in 2015, but Yandy later revealed that they never legalized their marriage. The couple has two kids together, Omere and Skylar Smith.