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Sources: Jackson accuser appeared on documentary

Singer launches Web site to rebut allegations

Fans light candles on Michael Jackson's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in support of the singer on Saturday night.
Fans light candles on Michael Jackson's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in support of the singer on Saturday night.

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CNN's Miguel Marquez on the boy accusing Jackson -- he appeared in a documentary with the singer.
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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- The boy who accuses Michael Jackson of molesting him participated in a documentary about the pop music star, according to two sources, one close to the boy's family and the other close to the 45-year-old singer.

The boy, who was 12 at the time the film was made, is a cancer survivor who stayed overnight with Jackson in the singer's bedroom at his Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County.

Jackson on Monday launched a Web site dedicated to countering the accusations against him -- in his words, "a big lie." Jackson said the Web site (http://www.MJnews.us) would be "a source of official communications." (Full story)

The alleged victim and Jackson appear in the documentary holding hands through much of the interview which caused a stir when it was broadcast in February.

"Why can't you share your bed? The most loving thing to do is to share your bed with someone, " Jackson said in the documentary.

"You say, 'You can have my bed if you want it. Sleep in it. I'll sleep on the floor. It's yours.' I always give the beds to the company."

"It's not sexual. We're going to sleep," he said, adding that he would not mind if his three children slept with an adult whom he knew and trusted.

In June, the boy's family retained the services of Los Angeles attorney Larry Feldman, the source close to the family said.

According to the source, Feldman took the boy to see a therapist and afterward referred the case to the Santa Barbara district attorney's office. Feldman would not say whether he is representing the family.

A second source -- this one close to the pop star -- has confirmed to CNN that the boy in question was indeed the accuser.

Filmmaker Martin Bashir spent eight months as part of Jackson's entourage to produce the documentary, called "Living with Michael Jackson."

In it, Jackson said he allowed children to stay with him in his bedroom, despite a high-profile 1993 investigation into sexual misconduct allegations involving a 13-year-old boy.

After the program was broadcast, Jackson issued a statement saying he was "devastated" and calling Bashir a "salacious ratings-chaser."

"I am bewildered at the length to which people will go to portray me so negatively," Jackson said in a statement at the time. "I will say again that I have never, and would never, harm a child. It sickens me that people have written untrue things about me."

Under California law, merely sleeping with a child, without "affirmative, offensive conduct," isn't criminal, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Thomas W. Sneddon Jr. said in a statement issued in February.

A source close to Jackson on Sunday denounced what he called media speculation about the origin of the complaints.

"If, when and until the Santa Barbara County district attorney actually files a complaint, speculation about a complainant or speculation about who is bringing the charges is totally irresponsible," the source told CNN Sunday.

Jackson was never charged in the 1993 case. He reportedly paid a multimillion-dollar out-of-court settlement to the boy's family. Jackson said he agreed to the settlement to avoid dragging out the case.

Last week, Santa Barbara County authorities issued an arrest warrant for Jackson on suspicion of child molestation, and the singer surrendered to them Thursday. He was released on $3 million bond after being booked, fingerprinted and photographed. (Full story)

He returned to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he had been filming a music video. Jackson's father has a house there.

The arrest warrant was issued Wednesday following a search of Neverland Ranch. (Full story)

Sneddon's office said formal charges of lewd or lascivious contact with a child younger than 14 would be filed against Jackson after Thanksgiving.

Jackson is scheduled to be arraigned January 9 in Santa Barbara Superior Court. A single count of child molestation can carry a prison sentence of up to eight years.

Meanwhile, the Jackson camp kept up its offensive against the negative publicity surrounding the singer's arrest last week.

Jackson spokesman Stuart Backerman said: "Our ducks are being lined up for counterattack to set the record straight."

Backerman said several people involved in the case -- including Sneddon and prominent attorney Gloria Allred, who has asked state authorities to take custody of Jackson's children while the case proceeds -- held a "personal dislike of Michael Jackson and want to see him destroyed."

Family and friends have rallied around the self-proclaimed "King of Pop" since his arrest.

Fans in Los Angeles, New York, Budapest, Rome and other cites around the world held candlelight vigils over the weekend. Other rallies were planned this week in China and Australia. (Full story)

Jermaine Jackson defended his younger brother during an interview Friday with ABC's Barbara Walters, saying he would request a state and federal investigation into the authorities working on the case. (Full story)

"If, when and until the Santa Barbara County district attorney actually files a complaint, speculation about a complainant or speculation about who is bringing the charges is totally irresponsible," the source told CNN.


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