Bishop accused of touching Ariana Grande inappropriately apologises: Maybe I crossed the border
Thr bishop who was accused of touching singer Ariana Grande inappropriately during the late Aretha Franklin’s funeral has apologised.Updated: Sep 02, 2018 10:30 IST
The bishop who officiated Aretha Franklin's funeral apologised Friday 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.
The fact that a woman was disrespected multiple times on live television by men who are in positions of power blows my mind. Just imagine what happens behind closed doors. This was totally inappropriate, a short dress is NOT an invitation. #RespectAriana pic.twitter.com/YkJmmEpgL9— Nelly💞 (@WeCamila1) September 1, 2018
#RespectAriana is tending worldwide right now because Bishop Charles H. Ellis III was seen inappropriately groping Ariana Grande on live tv during Aretha Franklins funeral.— 🌹 (@EXOTICBLVCKSKIN) September 1, 2018
Men really need to get their sh*t together pic.twitter.com/AEqr7aAi1m
this is so disgusting what he did and she also got gross looks from clinton or whatever is his last name plus she got criticized bc of a dress?! wtf is this?! women can wear whatever they want. ari or any woman doesn’t deserve this #RespectAriana i hope u r okay @ArianaGrande pic.twitter.com/foao7Qu1IX— - ariana grande 💭♡ (@notearsforari) September 1, 2018
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 the short dress Grande wore for her performance. Numerous people posted criticisms online that the dress was too short for church.
"#ArianaGrande don't know the below the knee rule for the pulpit in the black church. Somebody hand her a lap hanky and a choir robe. Bless her heart," tweeted one, Tenisha Taylor Bell.
Grande's representative did not return an email message seeking comment Friday.
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First Published: Sep 01, 2018 19:59 IST