On Sunday, Miley Cyrus sent a handsome, silky-haired boy to accept her award for "Wrecking Ball" at the VMAs. The facts were intriguing: his name was Jesse, he was homeless, and he looked just at home slouching next to Miley in a photobooth as he did onstage in front of thousands of screaming fans.
"My name is Jesse, and I'm accepting this award on behalf of the 1.6 million runaways and homeless youth in the United States who are starving, lost and scared for their lives right now," he said onstage. "I know this because I am one of these people."
To nobody's surprise, Cyrus's date has turned out to be 22-year-old aspiring model Jesse Helt, who hails from Salem, Oregon, and upon leaving home found himself, by his own account, “living in a bush”.
UPDATE: Turns out Helt isn't as baby-faced as he looks – there's a warrant out for his arrest for violating probation on previous charges of criminal trespassing and criminal mischief. According to E! Online, he was also charged with burglary when he attempted to break into an apartment in 2010.
Helt met Cyrus at My Friend's Place, a non-profit organization that assists about 1,400 homeless youths a year in Hollywood.
"He was at the right place at the right time," said his mother Linda Helt, who confirmed that Cyrus's VMAs date was "my son, my youngest baby." According to Helt's mother, Jesse “had opportunities and he took them, but you know, he’s had his ups and downs like anybody else.”
Helt’s “ups and downs” include dropping out of Chemeketa Community College in his hometown and landing in Los Angeles in pursuit of a modeling career. “I’m not turning down any work right now,” he wrote, sporting a buzz cut on his (recently de-activated) Model Mayhem page, “and would love to work with all kinds of photographers.” Maybe after he sorts out his trouble with the law?
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