Aretha Franklin bishop sorry over Ariana Grande ‘grope’

First published: 

The bishop who apologised after being accused of groping Ariana Grande at Aretha Franklin’s funeral has said the incident is “not about the way that I meant it, or it went bad”.

A video of the moment the bishop wrapped his arm around Grande and with his hand touching the side of her breast sparked outrage from viewers.

A clip recording Bishop Charles H Ellis III’s statement to the press shows the moment he apologised and his full statement.

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

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

The clip reveals he also said: “It’s not about the way that I meant it, or it went bad.

“If somebody took it the wrong way, or if they were offended by it, the easiest thing and the right thing for me to do, as a Christian, as a man of God is to apologise, and I sincerely apologise to Ariana again if I offended her in any kind of way.”

Grande has not addressed the controversy directly, but many fans responded to a tweet shortly after the ceremony from the singer saying “love u so much” (sic) with messages of support and comment on the incident.

The bishop also expressed regret for making a joke about seeing her name on the programme and thinking it was a new item on the menu at Taco Bell, a Tex-Mex chain of fast food restaurants popular in the US.

Grande has previously said she is Italian.

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