Miley Cyrus’s homeless VMA guest is wanted in Oregon

Oregon police say there is an outstanding probation warrant for Jesse Helt, the young man who spoke out about homelessness while accepting Miley Cyrus’s Video of the Year "Moonman" statue at the VMAs. (Reuters)

Police in Oregon are looking for Jesse Helt, the 22-year old man who gave an acceptance speech at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards on behalf of Miley Cyrus.

When Helt was 18, he was arrested in Oregon for breaking into a man’s house. Helt thought the man had sold him bad marijauna. He later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief and criminal trespass. Helt was given a 30-day jail sentence, plus probation. Police issued a warrant for his arrest when he allegedly violated his probation in November 2011. Polk County Director of Community Corrections Martin Silbernagel told the Oregonian officers are pursuing Helt and intend to arrest him for repeatedly violating his probation.

The Oregonian also reported Helt’s mother sent him money and expected him to visit Monday, but officers did not find Helt when they went to her home in Salem, Ore.

Helt nervously stumbled through a prepared speech on homeless youth and runaways after accepting Cyrus’s Moon Man for Video of the Year. He was speaking on behalf of My Friend’s Place, a nonprofit that helps homeless youth in Los Angeles.

“I am 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,” Helt said. “I know this because I am one of those people. I’ve survived in shelters all over this city. I’ve cleaned your hotel rooms. I’ve been an extra in your movies. I’ve been an extra in your life. Though I may have been invisible to you on the streets, I have a lot of the same dreams that brought many of you here tonight … The music industry will make over $7 billion this year, and outside these doors are 54,000 human beings who have no place to call home.”


My Friend’s Place representative Jesse Helt accepts the Video of the Year award for “Wrecking Ball” with singer Miley Cyrus, left, at the MTV Video Music Awards. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Helt reportedly moved to Los Angeles to pursue a modeling career. He met Cyrus when he was at My Friend’s Place and she visited the facility. “He was at the right place at the right time,” Helt’s mother told the Oregonian. “It’s time for him to have some good luck. He needs to be blessed.”

After the show, Cyrus and Helt celebrated with a trip to In-N-Out Burger.

h/t Mediaite

Soraya Nadia McDonald covers arts, entertainment and culture for the Washington Post with a focus on race and gender issues.
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Soraya Nadia McDonald · August 27