How Ariana Grande Found Herself Feuding With Jeffrey Dahmer’s Victims’ Family

Alberto Rodriguez/Variety via Getty Images/Marny Malin/Sygma via Getty Images
Alberto Rodriguez/Variety via Getty Images/Marny Malin/Sygma via Getty Images

In a feud you probably never saw coming, Ariana Grande pissed off the family of Tony Hughes this week, with the Jeffrey Dahmer murder victim’s mother calling the singer “sick in her mind.”

The comments came after Grande made the incredulous declaration that the infamous serial killer would be her dream dinner guest. “Jeffrey Dahmer’s pretty fascinating,” she said on Penn Badgley’s podcast Podcrushed last week. “I think I would have loved to meet him.”

Grande added that her interest in Dahmer goes back to “years ago before the [Netflix] Dahmer series,” and that she’d shared this interesting tidbit with “young fans” during her Nickelodeon days.

Dahmer murdered 17 people between 1978 and 1991, mostly gay men and boys of color, the youngest of whom was 14. He also dismembered and ate his victims’ bodies. And yet, Grande said she would have loved to meet him, “maybe with a third party or someone involved.” She added, “I have questions.”

While Badgley and his co-hosts laughed off Grande’s morbid fascination, Shirley Hughes—the mother of Tony Hughes, an aspiring model who was murdered by Dahmer in 1991 and who was also deaf and non-verbal—spoke out against the pop star’s comments to TMZ.

“To me, it seems like she’s sick in her mind,” Shirley said. “It’s not fancy or funny to say you would have wanted to do dinner with him. It’s also not something you should say to young people, which she says she did.”

Ariana Grande Breaks Silence on ‘Devastating’ Nickelodeon Allegations

Tony’s sister, Barbara, told TMZ that she hopes Grande will apologize for her comments, and both family members shared their disappointment in the singer’s apparent lack of empathy for the victims’ families. “Unfortunately, until it happens to her and her family, she just doesn’t know what we have been through,” Barbara told the outlet.

Whether or not Grande will rethink the way she talks about the convicted murderer remains to be seen—but her remarks are one symptom of the public’s fascination with Dahmer and other serial killers. The families of Dahmer’s victims also took on Netflix creator Ryan Murphy for his portrayal of the killer in The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, after some said they were neither notified nor compensated for theirs or their deceased family members’ stories.

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