Being Miley Cyrus’ date to the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards might have been Jesse Helt’s highlight of the year, but it looks like he just hit his lowest point. On Tuesday, Oct. 7, the homeless 22-year-old was sentenced to six months in jail for violating the terms of his probation from a 2010 arrest.
It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon and spew judgment towards Helt, but after listening to his VMAs speech, which detailed the homeless struggle, it seems like he’s trying to transition into a more stable lifestyle. During his court case in Dallas, Oregon, Helt even asked Judge Monte Campbell for leniency, explaining that he would “like to be viewed as a good person, not as a nuisance to society.”
Back in 2010, Helt was arrested for misdemeanor charges for criminal trespassing and mischief. After the incident, he moved to Los Angeles to try and land some modeling gigs. Unfortunately, his move cost him more than he gained. According to Page Six, Helt violated his probation on a number of occasions by failing to take drug tests, using marijuana, breaking his curfew, failing to meet with his probation officer and disregarding his community service. Even though he should have complied with the remainder of his responsibilities, you can’t fault someone for following their big dreams.
Do a little math and take into consideration that Helt was only 18 years old at the time. Think about the shenanigans you got into when you turned of legal age. Sometimes, you have to learn the hard way, especially when you’re young and chasing after your aspirations in a new state.
Cyrus didn’t appear too shocked when word got out about Helt’s legal past. Shortly after the Video Music Awards, she took to Twitter to stand up for her date, writing, “People who are homeless have lived very hard lives. Jesse included. I hope that this can be the start of a national conversation about youth homelessness and how to end it.”