The singer Britney Spears and the N.B.A. rookie Victor Wembanyama gave accounts on Thursday of their encounter the previous night, after reports emerged that a member of the basketball player’s security detail hit her outside a Las Vegas restaurant.
In a tweet, Spears said that on her way to dinner Wednesday night she “recognized an athlete” in her hotel lobby and then saw him again at another hotel’s restaurant. Spears said that after she approached the athlete to praise him for his achievements, tapping him on the shoulder, a member of his security team “back handed me in the face,” knocking her glasses off and causing her to nearly fall down.
Spears did not mention Wembanyama or his team, the San Antonio Spurs, by name but said that she awaited an apology from the player, his security and his team. Spears filed a police report late Wednesday, according to TMZ.
The Spurs did not respond to multiple requests for comment from The New York Times. The police in Las Vegas declined Thursday to provide details about the incident to The New York Times, and said it could take three to five days to release records about what happened. Officials in the department acknowledged the incident in a statement to multiple outlets, saying that “at approximately 11 p.m., LVMPD officers responded to a property in the 3700 block of Las Vegas Boulevard regarding a battery investigation,” but that no arrests or citations had been made.
Earlier on Thursday, Wembanyama offered a different version of events while meeting with reporters. He said that “there was one person calling me,” but Spurs security had told him not to stop for anyone, as he walked to the restaurant, since doing so could have invited a crowd. He then said that a person had “grabbed me from behind, not on my shoulder” and that he knew his security had moved her away.
“I don’t know with how much force, but security pushed her away,” said Wembanyama, adding that he did not know the woman was Spears until hours later. “I didn’t stop to look, so I kept walking and enjoyed a nice dinner.”
Wembanyama, the 19-year-old Frenchman who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 draft, is scheduled to make his debut in the N.B.A.’s summer league Friday night in Las Vegas. At over 7 feet tall, Wembanyama, who averaged more than 20 points and 10 rebounds per game last season with a French professional team, is one of the most heralded N.B.A. prospects in recent decades.
Claire Fahy contributed reporting.