Britney Spears and rookie NBA player Victor Wembanyama are disputing the facts about an altercation in a Las Vegas restaurant that allegedly saw the pop singer nearly knocked to the ground on Wednesday.
Spears, 41, said she was “back handed” by a security guard for Wembanyama when she approached the much-hyped 19-year-old basketball star at Catch restaurant in the Aria hotel to congratulate him on his career success. Wembanyama was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs last month as the team’s first overall pick.
In a statement shared to social media on Thursday, Spears addressed the “traumatic experience” that saw Las Vegas police launch an investigation into alleged battery against Spears.
“Traumatic experiences are not new to me and I have had my fair share of them,” Spears wrote in an Instagram post on Thursday. “I was not prepared for what happened to me last night.”
Spears said she approached Wembanyama and tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention.
Wembanyama, in an interview with San Antonio sports anchor Nate Ryan, claimed Spears did not tap him on the shoulder, but rather grabbed him from behind.
“I didn’t see what happened because I was walking straight and was told don’t stop,” he said.
He confirmed his security “pushed” Spears away but said he did not know “with how much force.”
Wembanyama claimed not to have known it was Spears who had approached him until hours later when he was told by his security team.
Spears wrote that Wembanyama’s security “back handed me in the face without looking back, in front of a crowd.”
She claimed she was nearly pushed to the ground by the force of the slap and had her glasses knocked off her face.
“It’s important to share this story and urge people in the public eye to set an example and treat all people with respect,” Spears said.
She said she has yet to receive an apology from Wembanyama, his security or the Spurs. Spears filed a report with police after the incident on Wednesday.
On Friday, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) said they would not file charges against the security guard who allegedly struck Spears.
“The LVMPD has concluded its investigation of the alleged battery that occurred on July 5, 2023, at 11 p.m., in the 3700 block of Las Vegas Boulevard. No charges will be filed against the person involved,” the department said in a statement.
Spears’ husband Sam Asghari, who was also present when she was allegedly struck, made a statement of his own about the incident.
“I am opposed to violence in any form, especially without justification in the defense of yourself or someone else who is unable to defend themselves,” Asghari, 29, wrote.
“Self-defense can be unavoidable, but the defense of any woman, especially my wife, is not debatable.”
Wembanyama, currently the NBA’s tallest active player at an impressive seven feet four inches, is set to make his professional debut as part of the NBA’s Summer League in Las Vegas this Friday.
Spears, whose 13-year-conservatorship ended in November 2021, recently reconnected with her mother after years-long drama surrounding Spears’ allegations of mistreatment at the hands of her family. She married Asghari, a model and fitness trainer, in June 2022.
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