‘It’s not about the way that I meant it’

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The bishop who apologised after being accused of groping Ariana Grande at Aretha Franklin’s funeral has said the incident is “not about the way that I meant it, or it went bad”.

A video of the moment the bishop wrapped his arm around Grande and with his hand touching the side of her breast sparked outrage from viewers.

A clip recording Bishop Charles H Ellis III’s statement to the press shows the moment he apologised and his full statement.

The bishop has apologised for how he touched Ariana Grande after her performance  ‘It’s not about the way that I meant it’ skynews ariana grande grope 4407524
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The bishop has apologised for how he touched Ariana Grande after her performance

“It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast. I was, 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.”

The clip reveals he also said: “It’s not about the way that I meant it, or it went bad.

“If somebody took it the wrong way, or if they were offended by it, the easiest thing and the right thing for me to do, as a Christian, as a man of God is to apologise, and I sincerely apologise to Ariana again if I offended her in any kind of way.”

Grande has not addressed the controversy directly, but many fans responded to a tweet shortly after the ceremony from the singer saying “love u so much” (sic) with messages of support and comment on the incident.

The bishop also expressed regret 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.

Grande has previously said she is Italian.

Read Bishop Charles H Ellis III’s apology in full

:: On touching Grande

“It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast. I was, I don’t know I guess I put my arm around her.

“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.

“And again, maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar, but again, I apologise.

“It’s not about the way that I meant it, or it went bad. If somebody took it the wrong way, or if they were offended by it, the easiest thing and the right thing for me to do, as a Christian, as a man of God is to apologise, and I sincerely apologise to Ariana again if I offended her in any kind of way.

“The last thing I want to do is to be a distraction to this day which is all about Aretha Franklin, and the Queen of Soul.”

:: On making a ‘racial’ joke



‘It’s not about the way that I meant it’ 8569feb1379934ddb88d6ce72e62b5f3586bc913113627decf341b5d8ede7ac0 4409980




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Bishop regrets any offence over Ariana joke

“I certainly want to apologise to Ariana and to her fans and to her family and to her entire community if what I said was taken the wrong way.

“Listen, maybe it’s just a joke that went bad, but when you are doing a program for nine hours, you are trying to keep it lively, hopefully you try and make some funny references and what have you – I love everybody.

“Everybody knows Bishop Ellis and the Greater Grace knows that we love everybody.

“Listen, it’s not about whether I meant it or didn’t mean it, or whether somebody took it the wrong way, I’m the one that said it and if it was taken to be an offensive statement, I apologise.

“That’s the easiest thing for me to do, the right thing for me to do and I certainly hope that she will forgive me.

“The last thing I want to do is to be a distraction from Miss Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul. This is all about her. It’s not about me and I am so sorry if inserted myself in a way that took away from this great day from Ms Aretha Franklin.

“So, I apologise Ariana and to her community, her family and everyone.”



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