Britney Spears was allegedly assaulted by a member of the San Antonio Spurs’ security after seeking a photograph with the team’s rookie phenom Victor Wembanyama. TMZ reports that the singer has filed a police report with the Metropolitan Police Department alleging battery.
The alleged incident occurred at Catch restaurant at the ARIA Hotel in Las Vegas on Wednesday. TMZ claims that Damian Smith, the San Antonio Spurs’ director of team security, backhanded Spears, causing her to fall to the ground.
The security person later apologized to Spears, but her team went forward with filing the police report. Las Vegas police told TMZ that they do not consider the incident a criminal matter as Smith did not intentionally mean to hurt Spears.
Update: Spears, her husband Sam Asghari, and Wembanyama have all commented on the incident. Wembanyama told a reporter that he was told not to respond to fans in Vegas in order to avoid making a scene, and because he kept walking after Spears approached him, he didn’t know it was her until hours later. He did, however, insist that someone “grabbed me from behind — not on my shoulders — she grabbed me from behind,” challenging Spears’ account that she tapped him on the shoulders.
In her own statement, Spears said, “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. I recognized an athlete in my hotel lobby as I was heading to dinner. I later went to a restaurant at a different hotel and saw him again. I decided to approach him and congratulate him on his success. I am 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. Nearly knocking me down and causing my glasses off my face.”
“I get swarmed by people all the time,” Spears continued. “In fact, that night. I was swarmed by a group of at least 20 fans. My security team didn’t hit any of them.”
Spears’ husband came to her defense on Instagram, denouncing “violence in any form.” “I can’t imagine a scenario where an unarmed female fan showing any kid of excitement or appreciation for a celebrity would cause her to be physically assaulted,” he said. View all three parties’ statements below.
Wembanyama was drafted by the Spurs with the first overall pick during last month’s NBA Draft. He is set to make his NBA Summer League debut in Las Vegas on Friday.
Britney Spears’ husband Sam Asghari releases statement after Victor Wembanyama’s security guard assaulted Britney:— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) July 6, 2023
“I can't imagine a scenario where an unarmed female fan showing any kind of excitement or appreciation for a celebrity would cause her to be physically assaulted” pic.twitter.com/UZEliRJBmL