Singer Britney Spears apologized on Thursday after accusing the NBA star's security member of hitting him in the face outside a Las Vegas restaurant when he tried to greet the player, Victor Wembanyama of the San Antonio Spurs.
In a tweet of the meeting, Spears did not name Wembanyama, but in discussing the unnamed player he referred to public comments he had made to reporters hours earlier. Spears, 41, said she had seen “an athlete” at two different hotels on Wednesday night and “decided to approach him and congratulate him on his success” at the second hotel, outside a restaurant. Spears said after she tapped her on the shoulder, a member of her security team “handed me my face back”, knocking her glasses off and causing her to nearly fall.
Spears said she was still waiting for an apology from the player, her safety and her team. Wembanyama, 19, is the No. 1 in the NBA draft last month. He is expected to play in the NBA's summer league starting Friday in Las Vegas.
The 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 couldn't comment on specific cases and it could take three to five days to respond to requests for records.
In statements to several news outlets, incl Variation And People, Las Vegas police said that at approximately 11 p.m. on Wednesday, “officers responded to a property in the 3700 block of Las Vegas Boulevard regarding a battery investigation,” but no arrests or citations were made. That incident first reported by TMZ on Thursday morning.
Earlier on Thursday, prior to Spears' tweet, Wembanyama offers different versions of events while meeting with reporters in Las Vegas. He said that “one person called me,” but Spurs security told him not to stop for anyone, as doing so could invite a crowd. He later said that someone had “grabbed me from behind, not on my shoulders.”
“I don't know how much force she had, but security pushed her away,” Wembanyama said, adding that he didn't learn the woman was Spears until hours later. “I didn't stop to look, so I kept walking and had a good dinner.”
Spears she was “unprepared for what happened” and was “extremely embarrassing” to discuss it publicly.
“However, I think it's important to share this story and encourage people in the public eye to set an example and treat everyone with respect,” he said.
Wembanyama, at just over 7 feet tall, is one of the most hyped NBA prospects of recent decades. He averaged over 20 points and 10 rebounds per game last season with the Metropolitans 92, a professional French team.
Claire Fahy reporting contribution.