The Bishop Who Groped Ariana Grande at Aretha Franklin's Funeral Has Apologized (Video)
The Bishop who led Aretha Franklin’s funeral has apologized to Ariana Grande after he was accused of touching her inappropriately while on stage.
Bishop Charles Ellis III, who officiated at Franklin’s funeral, brought Grande on stage after she performed (You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman. footage showed Ellis’s hand holding Grande above her waist, with his fingers pressing against one side of her breast.
As he introduced her, he placed his hand well above her waist and pressed the side of her breast—and held her for an uncomfortably long time. As viewers watched in horror.
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After massive backlash from people shocked that they'd just seen a woman groped in public, Bishop Ellis , then apologized, saying he didn't intend to touch Grande inappropriately.
“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 in an interview with the Associated Press. “Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar but again, I apologize.”
Ellis added, “I hug all the female artists and the male artists. 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."
Ariana Grande appeared uncomfortable as the bishop kept his arm around her chest, he also apologized for a joke he made about her last name sounding like an item from a Taco Bell menu.
“I personally and sincerely apologize to Ariana and to her fans and to the whole Hispanic community,” Ellis told the AP. “When you’re doing a program for nine hours you try to keep it lively, you try to insert some jokes here and there.”
Twitter users were outraged: They launched a #RespectAriana hashtag and retweeted videos that captured the incident.
My view: This is proper sexual harrassment, Ariana wasn't comfortable at all, as the so called Bishop pressed her breast, this man knew exactly what he was doing, as the footage shows he was feeling and pressing her boob. I think Ariana Grande should comment, because she's the only one that can explain what happened, don't just accept the apology, it's shameful and disgusting. The Bishop should be charged because it was deliberate. If this man is a Bishop, then we're all saints. Ariana Grande should speak out because there are lots of innocent women waiting and praying for her to say something.