Ariana Grande is doing a one-eighty after making an insensitive joke about the late child beauty pageant queen JonBenét Ramsey.
After the Grammy winner’s close friend Doug Middlebrook uploaded a photo of Ramsey on a magazine cover to his Instagram account, Grande, 26, commented, “I cant WAIT for this to be your halloween look.” Middlebrook, 24, responded, “Working on it already.”
Grande quickly deleted her comment, and Middlebrook subsequently took down his Instagram post. However, screenshots of their exchange circulated online, leading social media users to call out the duo.
“I need people to stop with this strange, very unnerving JonBenet Ramsey obsession,” one Twitter user wrote. “Jeffree Star has her tattooed on him. Ariana Grande is endorsing her as a Halloween costume. She is not a character or celebrity. She is a little girl who was murdered. It’s cruel and gross.”
Another person tweeted, “Joking about a JonBenét Ramsey Halloween costume is distasteful and disgusting.”
In response to the backlash, Grande tweeted on Sunday, July 28, “Yeah no i deleted it very quickly and understand that it’s not at all funny. this was out of pocket and i sincerely apologize.”
@ivanmoratroya yeah no i deleted it very quickly and understand that it’s not at all funny. this was out of pocket and i sincerely apologize.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) July 29, 2019
Ramsey was found dead at the age of 6 in her family’s Boulder, Colorado, home on December 26, 1996. Her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, and brother, Burke Ramsey, were later cleared of any wrongdoing in the case, which remains unsolved nearly 23 years later and is still an open investigation with the Boulder Police Department.
Grande and her family have been fascinated by the macabre for years. She often dressed up as spooky characters growing up, and her third birthday party was Jaws-themed. “My family is eccentric and weird and loud and Italian,” the pop star recently told Vogue. “My mom is goth.”
For all the inside details on the biggest celebrity stories and scoop this week, subscribe
to our new podcast “Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood” below!