Ariana Grande is treating alleged 'groping' by pastor as an accident
At the end of August, fans of Ariana Grande were livid when a pastor at Aretha Franklin's funeral seemingly groped her.
Bishop Charles H Ellis III caused uproar after wrapping his arm around the singer, high above her waist, a move that many deemed "pervy" and "inappropriate".
The pastor soon after issued an apology in an interview with the Associated Press, stating it was "never his intention to touch any woman's breast", as well as apologising for other comments he made during the service.
"I personally and sincerely apologize to Ariana and to her fans and to the whole Hispanic community," he 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. 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 apologize."
Despite the anger from her fans, the One Last Time singer made no comment about the incident and her thoughts about the "groping" remained buried.
However, the pop star's true feelings about the incident may have finally come out, after it was revealed that Grande's representatives told the police she regarded the breast contact as "accidental and wanted to move on".
According to the Detroit Free Press, Detroit Police reached out to the 25-year-old singer's camp soon after the August 31 funeral, after allegedly being prompted by phone calls and online posts claiming that "inappropriate contact" had taken place during the service.
Detroit Police Captain Jevon Johnson told the Free Press: "We received some phone calls from citizens and saw (social media posts) that there may have been some kind of inappropriate contact at Aretha Franklin's funeral between Bishop Ellis and Ariana Grande."
He continued to reveal the police had decided they "did not have an open investigation", stating: "We reached out to her representatives. They said she completely took it as an accident and was ready to move on. Based on what her representatives stated, we do not have an open investigation."
Johnson reportedly spoke with the Free Press again on Saturday and said a certified letter had been sent Friday directly to the No Tears Left To Cry star. "The only thing I can add at this time is that we have not spoken personally to Ms. Grande, despite our efforts," he said. "So we’ve sent out a certified letter to her and have not received a personal response yet."
Despite some people declaring the lack of police report suggested Grande was not offended by Ellis' move, other fans on social media have suggested that her decision does not necessarily reflect her true feelings on the matter.
The Detroit Free Press attempted to contact Ellis for a comment on recent development. However, Greater Grace spokeswoman Kenya Hildreth reportedly responded that Ellis said "he made a statement that evening and has put the matter behind him."