"This was out of pocket and I sincerely apologise..."

Ariana Grande has apologised for a since-deleted Instagram joke about murdered beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey.

Ramsey was just six years old when she was brutally murdered, and the case has never been conclusively solved.

Ariana Grande's friend shared a picture of JonBenét Ramsey on Instagram, with the caption: “No one has done more covers”.

The pop icon then joked “I can’t wait for this to be your Halloween look,” before Middlebrook jokingly replied: “Working on it already”.

The original picture has been deleted along with the exchange, but not before fans expressed their horror:

Ariana labelled the tweet "out of pocket" and apologised "sincerely" for any offence:

In another since-deleted tweet she described "dark jokes" as a "coping mechanism" for her:

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