September 1, 2018

The bishop at Aretha Franklin’s star-studded funeral is apologizing for getting too touchy with singer Ariana Grande.

Bishop Charles H. Ellis III has issued an apology after receiving criticism for seemingly touching Ariana Grande’s breast while on stage.

“It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast,” Ellis told the Associated Press. “Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar.. I apologize.”

Grande was one of the stars paying tribute to the “Queen of Soul” on Friday. Following Grande’s performance of Franklin’s hit “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” Ellis spoke with her at the podium and wrapped his arms around the singer. Some pointed out that Grande did not seem entirely comfortable with the contact.

Ellis said he did not single Grande out and that he hugged everyone on stage, male or female.

“I hug all the female artists and the male artists,” the Bishop told the AP. “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 last thing I want to do is to be a distraction to this day. This is all about Aretha Franklin.”

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