Singer Britney Spears apologized Thursday after accusing a star NBA player’s security guard of punching her in the face outside a Las Vegas restaurant as she tried to greet San Antonio Spurs player Victor Wambanyama.
in a tweet Regarding the encounter, Spears did not name Wembanyama, but referred to public comments he made to reporters a few hours earlier discussing the unnamed athlete. Spears, 41, said she had seen “an athlete” at two different hotels on Wednesday night and “decided to go up to him and congratulate him on his success” at the other hotel, outside a restaurant. Spears said that after patting her on the shoulder, a member of her security team “snapped my face in the back”, which broke her glasses and nearly knocked her down.
Spears said she is still waiting for an apology from the player, his safety and his team. The 19-year-old Vembanayama was the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft last month. He is expected to play in the NBA’s summer league starting Friday in Las Vegas.
Spurs did not respond to multiple requests for comment on Thursday. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department did not respond to an emailed request for comment. A person who answered the phone at the department’s public records office said they could not comment on a specific case and that it could take three to five days to respond to a records request.
In statements made to several news outlets, including Diversity And PeopleLas Vegas police said that around 11 p.m. Wednesday, “officers responded to a property in the 3700 block of Las Vegas Boulevard in connection with a battery investigation,” but no arrests or citations were made. the incident was First reported by TMZ Thursday morning. Spears’ attorney Matthew S. Rosengart said Las Vegas police are investigating and declined to comment beyond Spears’ statement.
Earlier Thursday Vembanyama before Spears’ tweet presented a different version of events During a press conference in Las Vegas. He said that “there was a guy calling out to me,” but was told by Spurs security not to stop for anyone, as doing so could create a crowd. He then added that a man had “grabbed me not on the shoulder, but behind.”
“I don’t know with how much force, but security pushed her away,” Vembanyama said, adding that he did not realize until hours later that the woman was Spears. “I didn’t stop to look, so I kept walking and enjoyed a nice dinner.”
Spears said she was “not prepared for what happened” and was “hugely embarrassed” to discuss it publicly.
“However, I think it is important to share this story and urge people to set an example and treat all people with respect,” she said.
Vembanyama, standing at over 7 feet tall, is one of the most admired NBA prospects in recent decades. Last season with the French professional team Metropolitans 92, he averaged over 20 points and 10 rebounds per game.
Claire Fahey Contributed reporting.