By Rachel F. Elson
Updated November 24, 2003 10:00 AM
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The cancer-stricken 13-year-old at the center of the Michael Jackson molestation case appeared holding hands with the pop star in the much-talked-about British TV documentary that aired back in February, sources confirm to CNN.

Meanwhile, Jackson’s friend Elizabeth Taylor reportedly spoke out Sunday in defense of the star, saying he is “absolutely innocent.”

The film at the focus of the latest revelation, Martin Bashir’s “Living with Michael Jackson,” showed scenes of the pop star with the boy, a leukemia survivor who was 12 when the film was made. Jackson met the boy while he was undergoing cancer treatment. (VH1 re-ran the special over the weekend and blurred out the child’s face during appearances.)

In the film, Jackson told the interviewer that he sometimes had children stay in his bedroom, adding, “Why can’t you share your bed? The most loving thing to do is to share your bed with someone.”

CNN reports that the boy’s family hired Los Angeles attorney Larry Feldman in June. Feldman took the boy to see a therapist and afterward referred the case to the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s office.

Jackson surrendered to Santa Barbara county sheriff’s deputies last week after an arrest warrant alleging “multiple counts” of child molestation. He handed in his passport and posted $3 million bail, and immediately returned to Las Vegas. Jackson is due to return for an arraignment in January.

Taylor’s remarks about Jackson (she declared him “absolutely innocent” of the charges and said he would be “vindicated,” Reuters reports) came somewhat belatedly, after she had earlier declined to comment on the arrest. She blasted the media pileup, saying, “Their whole reaction is that he is guilty. I thought the law was ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ I know he is innocent and I hope they all eat crow.”

Much has been made of the initial silence from many of Jackson’s longtime defenders. Along with Taylor’s delay in commenting, Jackson’s ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley has been conspicuously silent.

In his own defense, the pop star launched a Web site, http://www.mjnews.us, on which he released a statement to fans saying the charges against him are “predicated on a big lie.”