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Franklin funeral bishop apologises to Ariana Grande: Maybe I was too friendly

The bishop who led Aretha Franklin's funeral service has apologised, after being accused of groping Ariana Grande.

Bishop Charles H Ellis III appeared to touch the singer inappropriately as he hugged her on stage after her performance.

He says it was unintentional - and also admitted this joke about her name was inappropriate.

Speaking to Associated Press, Bishop Ellis said: "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.

"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 last thing I want to do is to be a distraction to this day. This is all about Aretha Franklin."

He also apologised to Grande, "to her fans and the whole Hispanic community" for making a joke about her name saying that he thought it was a new item on the menu at the Mexican fast food chain, Taco Bell.

Grande performed Franklin's (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman at the funeral service.

Digital Desk