Miley Cyrusís Homeless VMAs Date Accepted the Video of the Year Award on Her Behalf
Hollywood, Agust 24th, 2014. Struggling model Jesse Helt, 22, who hails from Salem, Oregon, was Miley's date for the evening and when she won the Video of the Year award for her song Wrecking Ball, he stepped on to the stage in her place to read a speech about the plight of homeless young people - admitting he too had been homeless. Just a cursory look online reveals that Jesse had attempted a career as a model, posting pictures on the Model Mayhem website and writing: 'I'm Jesse and I just moved here from Salem, Oregon about a year ago. If your interested in working with me please shoot me an email. I'm not turning down any work right now and would love to work with all kinds of photographers.'
Today, Miley, 21, told Ryan Seacrest on his radio show that she chose to this year's VMAs to spread an important message after last year's racy duet with Robin Thicke made headlines across the world, saying: 'I just didn't realize my platform, I didn't realize my power. 'I really realized it after the VMAs [last year] Ö there's something special and thereís only few people that experience this that no matter what I do, there's no winning or losing, itís just going to be talked about. Period.'
'I didnít know how everyone was going to be and seeing his hands shake, it kind of broke me. I wish they wouldnít have kept putting the camera on me to make it about me crying. I cry when Iím the happiest.' And as for her Moonman trophy - Miley said that Jesse gets to keep the statue. It came as a complete surprise to the millions of viewers and the audience when Jesse walked up to collect Miley's trophy. And she admitted she kept things so hush hush that she did not tell anyone about her plan - even good friend Katy Perry, whom she was sitting next to at the VMAs. Her decision to have Jesse Helt accept her video of the year award made her the star of this year's show for a much different reason from last year, when her twerking routine shocked many viewers.
My Friend's Place Executive Director, Heather Carmichael, today told MailOnline Jesse was 'incredibly brave' to stand up and talk at the VMAs. But she said the charity wasnít aware that he would be invited to speak at the awards ceremony, saying: 'We did not know about the invitation and we certainly didnít know what that evening would look like. ĎI really feel like that Miley has a genuine intention to raise awareness and it's stunning for this issue.' Miley paid a visit to their shelter on Tuesday, which is when Miss Carmichael says she first met Jesse.
'This issue exists in every community and people are stepping over these young people on the street and donít want to acknowledge that there's a problem.' Heather said Miley came to the center on Hollywood Boulevard last Tuesday to learn more about homelessness and the work that My Friend's Place does, adding: 'She was brilliant, she was very available to everybody. We sat her down with a small group of people, about four or five young people, and thatís when Jesse was introduced to her. 'Everybody contributed, but Jesse did a brilliant job representing what many of the young people are confronted by here.
Describing the good work the charity does, Heather said My Friend's Place is a 'safe haven' for young people who can't take care of themselves. It sees at least 1400 young people every year with some 100 dropping in every day. Like Jesse, Heather says, many come from far and wide. 'They come to escape situations of abuse, neglect, poverty, community violence,' she said. ĎI would say 50 per cent of our young people come from the Los Angeles area, these are young people who are going nowhere, so the investment in them is well worth it.
Speaking in front a crowd that included Katy Perry and Taylor Swift last night, Jesse said: 'I am accepting this award on behalf of the 1.6 million runaways and homeless youth in the United States who are starving and lost and scared for their lives. I know, because I am one of those people.' 'I've been an extra in your movies, I've been an extra in your lives,' the blond-haired, blue eyed Jesse told the audience. 'Los Angeles has the largest population of homeless youth in America.' 'Though may have been invisible to you on the streets I have a lot of the same dreams that brought many of you here tonight.'
He concluded his speech by directing those interested in learning more to Miley's Facebook page, which the pop sensation had updated with a video explaining to fans how to donate to homeless charity My Friend's Place. In the video, Miley assures viewers her decision was motivated by a desire to help, not just whip up publicity for herself. 'Now is just the beginning for me,' she said, suddenly branding herself an anti youth homelessness crusader. 'We gotta start somewhere.' Along with the video was a message detailing how her fans can support My Friend's Place via a donation drive she's created on the site Prizeo. 'For every $5 donation, youíll be entered to win a trip for 2 to Brazil to hang out with me at my show in Rio de Janeiro,' reads the message. Miley's Instagram feed was also soon updated with photos of her and Jesse, as they rode to the awards show together and posed in a photo booth backstage.