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Bishop who groped Ariana Grande at Aretha Franklin’s funeral apologizes

Written by gaytourism

Ariana Grande looked very uncomfortable as Bishop Ellis touches her chest. | Photo: Twitter

Pop icon Ariana Grande was inappropriately fondled on stage in front of a live television of millions during Aretha Franklin’s funeral

Grande was one of many artists who performed during the soul singer’s five hour funeral. Franklin died on August 16 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Bishop Charles H. Ellis III led Franklin’s funeral and after Grande performed a moving rendition (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, he awkwardly dragged her to the lectern.

Ellis then placed his arm around her with his hand digging into the side of her chest. Grande looked visibly uncomfortable throughout the exchange and ran off stage after it happened.

The Bishop also made a joke about Grande’s name saying he thought it was new item on Mexican chain restaurant, Taco Bell’s menu.

Sexual assault claims

After the incident people were outraged at the Bishop’s behavior, saying he sexually assaulted Grande who didn’t have much choice in fighting him off.

‘I don’t have the words to express my infuriation. This man should be charged with assault,’ wrote Qasim Rashid on Twitter.

Rashid continued: ‘Men: This is sexual abuse. If you brush it off as no big deal as it happens this publicly, you’re part of the problem that enables it to happen behind closed doors.’

Some people on social media argued that Grande’s dress was too short and that attracted the Bishop. But other quickly shut down the argument saying women shouldn’t be victim blamed or sexually assaulted regardless of what they’re wearing.

‘The fact that a woman was disrespected multiple times on live television by men who are in positions of power blows my mind. Just imagine what happens behind closed doors. This was totally inappropriate, a short dress is NOT an invitation,’ wrote one Twitter user.

Bishop apologizes

After the backlash, Ellis apologized to Grande in an interview with the Associated Press.

‘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.’

Ellis then argued that he hugged all the performers during Friday’s eight-hour service.

‘I hug all the female artists and the male artists,’ he said.

‘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.’

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