Aretha Franklin funeral bishop accused of ‘groping’ Ariana Grande apologises

Saturday 01 September 2018   ,By Sanya Burgess, news reporter

Bishop Charles H Ellis III has apologised after touching Ariana Grande’s chest and for making a racial joke about her name.

The bishop who led Aretha Franklin’s funeral has apologised to Ariana Grande for how he touched her while onstage.

Bishop Charles H Ellis III also expressed regret over a joke he made about her name.

A video of the moment the bishop wrapped his arm around Grande after she performed Franklin’s (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman has been shared widely online.

In the video his hand appears to touch the side of her breast.

Many viewers expressed outrage over the clip, and within hours the hashtag #RespectAriana was trending worldwide with 90,000 tweets.

#RespectAriana trended worldwide on Twitter after the bishop held the singer
Image:#RespectAriana trended worldwide on Twitter after the bishop held the singer

“It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast… I don’t know I guess I put my arm around her,” Bishop Ellis said.

“Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar but again, I apologise.”

The preacher said he hugged all the performers during Friday’s seven-hour service.

“I hug all the female artists and the male artists,” he said.

'Voice of a generation': Stars pay respects to Aretha Franklin at funeral

‘Voice of a generation’: Stars pay respects to Aretha Franklin at funeral

Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande among those mourning the late Aretha Franklin at her funeral.

“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.”

(The India News staff does not claim ownership of this content, source sited above)

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