The bishop who led Aretha Franklin’s funeral has apologised to Ariana Grande after being accused of groping her on stage.
Images show Bishop Charles H Ellis III holding Ariana high above her waist, with his fingers squeezed around the side of the singer’s chest.
“It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast,” he told the Associated Press.
“Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar.”
He added: “But again, I apologise.”
The preacher said he hugged all artists, male or female, during the ceremony commemorating the Queen of Soul.
But viewers began posting images from the service when Ariana got up to sing Aretha’s song (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.
Many people felt that Bishop Ellis’s hand was inappropriately high on the 25-year-old’s body as he spoke to her – saying that she looked uncomfortable with the contact.
It came as others on social media had been criticising Ariana for what she was wearing to the church service, saying her dress was too short.
Some people said that the focus being on Ariana, rather than the bishop, was misogynistic.