Bishop apologises for groping Ariana Grande

Bishop apologises for groping Ariana Grande

“Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar but again, I apologise,” he said
02 Sep, 2018

The bishop who officiated Aretha Franklin’s funeral has apologised to Ariana Grande for how he touched her onstage and a joke he made about her name.

Bishop Charles H. Ellis III led Franklin’s funeral and awkwardly greeted Grande on stage after she performed (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman. Images of the moment showed Ellis’ hand holding Grande well above her waist, with his fingers pressing against one side of her chest.

The preacher apologised in an interview with The Associated Press at the cemetery where Franklin was interred late Friday.

“It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast... I don’t know I guess I put my arm around her,” Ellis said. “Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar but again, I apologise.”

He said he hugged all the performers during Friday’s eight-hour service.

“I hug all the female artists and the male artists,” Ellis said. “Everybody that was up, I shook their hands and hugged them. That’s what we are all about in the church. We are all about love.”

He added: “The last thing I want to do is to be a distraction to this day. This is all about Aretha Franklin.”

Many people posted close-up images of the moment on Twitter, tagging it #RespectAriana.

Ellis also apologised to Grande, her fans and Hispanic community for making a joke about seeing her name on the program and thinking it was a new item on the Taco Bell menu.

“I personally and sincerely apologise to Ariana and to her fans and to the whole Hispanic community,” Ellis said. “When you’re doing a program for nine hours you try to keep it lively, you try to insert some jokes here and there.”

Ellis’ touching of Grande overshadowed some criticism earlier in the ceremony on the short dress Grande wore for her performance. Numerous people posted criticisms online that the dress was too short for church.

Grande’s representative did not return an email message seeking comment Friday.


Rex Sep 02, 2018 09:03pm
No it was definitely not accidental. He put his hand on her in exactly the same position twice. If you watch the video, you will see him give her a full hug, for which he had to remove his hand, then after the hug his hand went back to the exact same place on her body again.
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asif kidwai Sep 03, 2018 11:48am
These religious folks are the worst of all and they should be punished accordingly
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Sabir Sep 03, 2018 01:36pm
They think it’s their right to sexually abuse women and children.
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Hasan Sep 03, 2018 01:47pm
@asif kidwai Whereas I agree with you about a large number of religious people (just look at the distressing stories that come from out madressahs), this kind of behaviour shouldn't be seen as a surprise in the US. The country voted in a president who has openly bragged about doing far worse. Hasan
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