Britney Spears says she was ‘backhanded’ by security guard protecting NBA rookie Victor Wembanyama
The pop star alleged a security guard struck her in the face when she tried to get Wembanyama’s attention. TMZ was first to report the incident.
“Traumatic experiences are not new to me and I have had my fair share of them. I was not prepared for what happened to me last night,” Spears wrote on her verified Instagram on Thursday.
She went on to describe how she “recognized an athlete in my hotel lobby as I was heading to dinner,” later seeing him again at a restaurant at a different hotel.
“I decided to approach him and congratulate him on his success. It was really loud, so I tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention.”
Spears, who doesn’t name the high-profile rookie in her social media post, went on to specify that she is “aware of the players statement where he mentions ‘I grabbed him from behind’ but I simply tapped him on the shoulder. His security then back handed me in the face without looking back, in front of a crowd.” She continued to say that the slap nearly knocked her down.
“I get swarmed by people all the time,” Spears said. “In fact, that night. I was swarmed by a group of at least 20 fans. My security team didn’t hit any of them.”
Wembanyama addressed the incident earlier on Thursday, telling reporters he didn’t see what happened. He said he was walking with his security through a hall with a lot of people and that he heard someone calling him, but that security had previously instructed him not to stop in the crowd.
“That person was calling me, ‘Sir, sir,’ and that person grabbed me from behind,” he said. “I didn’t see what happened because I was walking straight and they told me ‘don’t stop.’ But that person grabbed me from behind – not on my shoulder, she grabbed me from behind. I just know the security pushed her away. I don’t know with how much force though, but security pushed her away. I didn’t stop to look.”
Wembanyama was then asked if he knew that the person in question was Britney Spears, to which he answered, “I didn’t know for a couple hours,” later adding, “Then the security of the Spurs told me it was Britney Spears. At first, I was like, ‘No, you’re joking,’ but yeah, it turns out it was Britney Spears. I never saw her face. I just kept walking straight.”
Spears also wrote in her Thursday Instagram statement that the incident is “super embarrassing to share with the world,” but that “it’s important to share this story and to urge people in the public eye to set an example and treat all people with respect.”
“Physical violence is happening too much in this world. Often behind closed doors,” she said, adding that she has “yet to get a public apology from the player, his security or their organization. I hope they will.”
“I cherish the tremendous amounts of love and support I am receiving at the moment. Thank you to the Las Vegas PD and the detectives for their support,” she said.
Contacted by CNN, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department released a statement acknowledging the incident, saying officers responded to a call “regarding a battery investigation” and that it was “documented on a police report and no arrest or citations have been issued.”
LVMPD released no further details.
CNN has reached out to representatives for both Spears and Wembanyama as well as the San Antonio Spurs for further comment.
Wembanyama was the NBA’s top draft pick this year.