(KTLA) – Britney Spears is speaking out after she was struck by an NBA star’s security guard.
Spears took to social media to release a statement after she was allegedly assaulted by a member of Victor Wembanyama’s security team while in Las Vegas on Wednesday night.
“Traumatic experiences are not new to me and I have had my fair share of them,” her statement started. “I was not prepared for what happened to me last night.”
She then explained her side of the story.
“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. It was really loud, so I tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention. I am aware of the player’s 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. “Nearly knocking me down and causing my glasses off my face.”
The “Baby One More Time” singer then said she understands how things can be chaotic when there’s a large group surrounding a celebrity.
“I get swarmed by people all the time. In fact, that night I was swarmed by a group of at least 20 fans. My security team didn’t hit any of them,” she stated. “This story is super embarrassing to share with the world, but it’s out there already. However, I think it’s important to share this story and urge people in the public eye to set an example and treat all people with respect.”
This all happened Wednesday night in Las Vegas at Catch, a restaurant inside the Aria Hotel, at around 11 p.m.
“Britney saw Victor and walked up to tap him on the back to ask for a photo,” a source told Us Weekly. “His security was being mobbed with fans and he turned around trying to push Britney off and hit her in the face, knocking off her glasses.”
Sources told the outlet that Spears was with her husband, Sam Asghari, along with a security team member when this happened.
TMZ first reported the story and identified the person who allegedly assaulted Spears as Damian Smith, the director of team security for the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs drafted the French phenom with the No. 1 pick in last month’s NBA Draft.
The entertainment site said that the “Toxic” singer composed herself and sat at her table. Later, Smith reportedly stopped by and apologized to her.
However, Spears said she has not received a public apology from Wembanyama, his security or the Spurs. She did mention that she hopes she will.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police told KTLA they responded to the scene of the incident and investigated.
“The incident has been documented on a police report and no arrest or citations have been issued.”
The singer ended her note by thanking the LVMPD and their detectives for their support.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Wembanyama said he was walking in a crowded hallway with his security team who advised him not to stop for any fans as it could create a crowd and a security issue.
Wembanyama asserted that Spears grabbed him from behind, not the shoulder, but added that he was unaware that it was the pop star trying to get his attention.
“I thought it was no big deal, and then the security of this person said it was Britney Spears,” the French basketball star said. “First I was like, ‘No, you’re joking,’ but it turns out it was Britney Spears. But I didn’t know because I never saw her face, I just kept walking straight.”