The funeral of soul queen Aretha Franklin on Friday was marred by a groping incident involving singer Ariana Grande and the bishop officiating the proceedings.
In a now viral video, it can be seen that Bishop Charles H. Ellis III placed his hand inappropriately close to Grande’s breasts while speaking to her after she performed ‘You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman’ at the funeral.
Ellis III also cracked a racist joke about her name, saying “‘When I saw Ariana Grande on the program, I thought that was a new something at Taco Bell.”He has since apologised in an interview with AP.
‘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 apologize.’
He added that he hugged all “the female artists and the male artists” and “That’s what we are all about in the church. We are all about love.”
“The last thing I want to do is to be a distraction to this day. This is all about Aretha Franklin,” he concluded.
Ariana Grande has yet to make a statement about the incident.