Pop star Britney Spears was allegedly slapped during an incident with the security team of San Antonio Spurs‘ rookie Victor Wembanyama, according to multiple reports. The NBA rookie spoke about the incident on Thursday in Las Vegas during the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
Wembanyama said he was walking with his security team to get dinner and was instructed to not stop for anybody to make sure a crowd didn’t build around him. According to reports, Spears was dining at a restaurant in the ARIA Resort and Casino and spotted the French basketball phenom. Wembanyama said he heard someone calling him and then felt a person grabbing him from behind. However, he followed instructions and did not stop to see who it was.
“I didn’t know for a couple hours, but when I came back to the hotel… I thought it was no big deal, and then security of the Spurs told me it was Britney Spears,” Wembanyama said. “At first, I was like, ‘You’re joking,’ but yeah, it turns out it was Britney Spears. I never saw her face. I just kept walking straight.”
The No. 1 overall pick of the 2023 NBA Draft said all he knew at the time was that security had pushed a person away, but he didn’t know with how much force.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department confirmed there was an incident on Wednesday night and that there is an investigation going on.
“On July 5, 2023, at approximately 11 p.m., LVMPD officers responded to a property in the 3700 block of Las Vegas Boulevard regarding a battery investigation,” a spokesperson told Variety.”The incident has been documented on a police report and no arrest or citations have been issued. No further details will be provided at this time.”
Spears released a statement on Thursday evening explaining her side of the story. She said she had seen Wembanyama earlier in the day and then when she saw him again decided to approach him and congratulate him on his success. Spears explained it was really loud so she “tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention.”
“His security then backhanded me in the face without looking back, in front of a crowd. Nearly knocking me down and causing my glasses [to fall] off my face,” she wrote. “I get swarmed by people all the time. In fact, that night. I was swarmed by a group of at least 20 fans. My security team didn’t hit any of them
“This story is super embarrassing to share with the world but it’s out there already. However, I think it’s important to care this story and to urge people in the public eye to set an example and treat all people with respect.”
Spears’ husband, Sam Asghari, was reportedly dining with her that night and wrote on his Instagram story that he is opposed to violence in any form.
However, he also added that he believes the blame should not fall on Wembanyama.
“The violent behavior of an out-of-control security guard should not cast a shadow on the accomplishment of a great young man on the rise,” Asghari wrote.
Wembanyama is set to make his NBA Summer League debut on Friday when the Spurs take on the Charlotte Hornets at the Thomas & Mack Center.