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01/09/2018 6:58 PM AEST | Updated 01/09/2018 8:59 PM AEST

Ariana Grande Receives Apology From Bishop Accused Of Touching Her Breast At Aretha Franklin Funeral

Ariana Grande has received an apology from the bishop who led Aretha Franklin’s funeral after he was accused of touching her inappropriately while onstage

Bishop Charles Ellis III also apologised for making a joke about her name.

Scott Olson via Getty Images
Ariana Grande and Bishop Charles Ellis III at the funeral for Aretha Franklin.

After the US singer performed a cover of Aretha’s ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ at the service, the bishop can be seen wrapping his arm around her and appears to touch the side of her breast.

A video of the moment has since gone viral, and within hours the hashtag #RespectAriana was trending worldwide, with many viewers expressing outrage over the clip,

Bishop Ellis subsequently issued an apology, saying: “It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast... 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.”

Scott Olson via Getty Images

The preacher added that he hugged all the performers during Friday’s seven-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.”

He added: “The last thing I want to do is to be a distraction to this day. This is all about Aretha Franklin.”

The bishop also apologised to Ariana, her fans and Hispanic community 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.

Ariana has yet to make any comment about the matter.