Read this disturbing story:
During an interview with the Associated Press at the cemetery where Franklin was laid to rest following her 8-hour “Celebration of Life” funeral service on Friday, Ellis expressed regret for the way he touched the singer onstage and for saying he initially thought the 25-year-old singer was a new menu item at Taco Bell.
“I personally and sincerely apologize to Ariana and to her fans and to the whole Hispanic community,” Ellis 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.”
He also apologized for touching Grande too close to her chest during their televised interaction.
Ariana Grande and Bishop Charles H. Ellis III
“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 continued. “Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar but again, I apologize.”
Continuing, he added: “The last thing I want to do is to be a distraction to this day. This is all about Aretha Franklin.”
After watching Grande honor the late Queen of Soul at the service, the American Apostolic Pentecostal preacher said that, “When I saw Ariana Grande on the program, I thought that was a new something at Taco Bell.”
“My 28-year-old daughter tells me, ‘Dad! You are old at 60’ ” he joked.
In the moment, Grande appeared to take the joke in stride, as she proceeded to laugh and give Ellis a hug.
“Girl, let me give you all your respect,” Ellis then remarked. “Did you enjoy this icon? She is an icon herself. Come on, make her feel loved.”
There is absolutely no reason this incident should have happened. This was done at a FUNERAL (is nothing sacred anymore?) of one of the world’s greatest singers (who demanded respect in one of her songs, which clearly was not shown to Ariana Grande), long after so many Catholic priests have been condemned for sexual abuse of children and the “MeToo” movement has highlighted the problems with sexual abuse and sexual harassment of women by powerful men…….and yet it happened anyway.
An apology cannot be enough. This Bishop should be defrocked and banned from serving in a clerical position in any religious institution. If he did this idiotic act in public, what the hell could he be doing in private?