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Miley Cyrus Defends Criminal Past Of Homeless VMA Date

(Undated) — Miley Cyrus is jumping to the defense of the young homeless man who accepted her MTV Video Music Award this weekend. The singer took to Twitter after news surfaced about the criminal background of 22-year-old Jesse Helt, who attended the ceremony as the face of a Hollywood homeless youth shelter supported by Miley called My Friend’s Place. The pop star writes that “people who are homeless have lived very hard lives. Jesse included.” She says she hopes that his story “can be the start of a national conversation about youth homelessness” and also poses a question about the media’s scrutiny of Jesse asking, “does looking down upon the homeless help people excuse their inaction?”

A number of stars have voiced their support of Miley after she used her spotlight at the VMAs for the important cause. Maria Shriver, Susan Sarandon, Britney Spears and Emma Roberts have all tweeted their encouragement.