Bishop Charles H. Ellis III found himself in hot water when he got a little randy with pop singer Ariana Grande at Aretha Franklin's star-studded funeral in Detroit on Friday, Aug. 31.
Social media users slammed the Bishop for appearing to fondle the 25-year-old singer after she performed a rendition of Aretha's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman".
Ellis apologized profusely for inappropriately touching Grande after her performance.
Grande's fans also criticized the Bishop for joking about Grande's name. He told her she thought she was an item on Taco Bell's menu.
“It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast. I don’t know I guess I put my arm around her,” he told The Associated Press at the cemetery where Aretha was interred on Friday.
Ellis apologized to Grande, her fans and the Hispanic community.
“"I don’t know I guess I put my arm around her,” he said. "I personally and sincerely apologize to Ariana and to her fans and to the whole Hispanic community,” he said. “When you’re doing a program for nine hours you try to keep it lively, you try to insert some jokes here and there.
“Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar but again, I apologize.”
Ellis said he hugged all of the female performers during the home going service.
“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.”
The embarrassed Bishop added: “The last thing I want to do is to be a distraction to this day. This is all about Aretha Franklin.”
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