Bishop Charles Ellis III Accused Of Groping Ariana Grande At Aretha Franklin’s Funeral
The pastor at Aretha Franklin’s funeral decided to add a lil’ extra to the “church hug” he had with superstar singer Ariana Grande on Friday afternoon.
Bishop Charles Ellis III is seen with his hand wrapped tightly around Grande’s side and seems to be groping her and squeezing a little too tight. The incident took place on stage immediately after Grande’s tribute performance to the late Queen of Soul at her funeral service.
The pastor shared a brief joke and laugh while embracing Grande. Although his intentions seemed harmless, many of Grande’s fans took to social media to call out the uncomfortable exchange and put the pastor on blast for being too close for comfort.
Bishop Ellis has since apologized for his actions. He told The Associated Press while at the cemetery where Franklin was buried;
“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.”
“I hug all the female artists and the male artists,” he added. “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.”