Britney Spears denies Victor Wembanyama’s claim that she «grabbed» the Saint Anthony Spurs player from behind when she saw him at a popular restaurant in Las Vegas, adding that a member of her security «hit» her in the face.
Spears, 41, He posted a lengthy statement on social media on Thursday explaining that he first saw Wembanyama in his hotel lobby before meeting him again at the restaurant on Wednesday night.
She said she wanted to «congratulate him on his success,» but when he tapped her on the shoulder, she was mugged by security.
«I’m aware of the player’s statement where he mentions ‘I grabbed him from behind,’ but I just tapped him on the shoulder. His security then punched me in the face without looking back, in front of a crowd. my glasses off my face,» Spears wrote.
POLICE INVESTIGATE BATTERY INCIDENT INVOLVING BRITNEY SPEARS BEING PUNCHED IN THE FACE BY NBA TOP PICK SECURITY
«People surround me all the time. In fact, that night. I was surrounded by a group of at least 20 fans. My security team didn’t hit any of them.»
The singer’s statement contradicts the version of the Wembanyama incident. He told members of the media just before Spears released her statement that he was grabbed from behind.
«I didn’t see what happened because I was walking straight and I didn’t stop. That person grabbed me from behind, not my shoulder. He grabbed me from behind,» Wembanyama said, later adding that he didn’t know it was Spears. At the time.
«I only know that security pushed her. I don’t know how hard, but security pushed her. I didn’t stop to look so I could go inside and have a nice dinner.»
Spears called the incident «super embarrassing» but said the purpose of sharing her story was «to urge the public to set an example and treat all people with respect.»
«Physical violence is happening too much in this world. Often behind closed doors. I am with all the victims and my heart goes out to all of you! I have yet to get a public apology from the player, their security or their organization. I hope that they do it…»
TMZ first reported that Spears had been «beaten up» by a member of Wembanyama’s security. That member was later identified by the outlet as Spurs team security director Damian Smith. The report was later updated to clarify that security footage allegedly showed Smith pushing Spears’ hand away, causing her hand to slam into her face.
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A source with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that Spears filed a police report.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department confirmed in a statement obtained by Fox News Digital that officers responded to an incident involving a «battery investigation» in the 3700 block of Las Vegas Boulevard around 11 p.m. local time.
Spears’ husband, Sam Asghari, also posted a statement on social media about the incident.
“I oppose violence in any form, especially without justification in defense of oneself or another person who cannot defend themselves. Self-defense may be unavoidable, but the defense of any woman, especially my wife, is not debatable. Asghar posted on her Instagram story.
In a second statement, which appeared to have been deleted from his Instagram but later shared on Twitter, he called the security guard «out of control.»
«The violent behavior of an out-of-control security guard should not overshadow the achievement of a great young man on the rise. [Wembanyama]. The blame must lie with the coward who did this, the people who hired him without proper vetting, and a systemic culture of contempt for women in sports and entertainment.
«I can’t imagine a scenario where an unarmed fan showing any kind of emotion or appreciation for a celebrity could cause her to be physically assaulted, let alone punched in the face for touching someone’s shoulder. The necessary changes will have come from the top, and I look forward to those changes.»
Wembanyama, 19, was drafted by Spurs with the first overall pick in the NBA Draft 2023 last month and is widely considered the best prospect to enter the league since LeBron James was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003.
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Wembanyama was in Las Vegas for the NBA Summer League, where he will make his Spurs debut Friday night in a game against the Charlotte Hornets.
Associated Press contributed to this report.