Victor Wembanyama, Britney Spears speak out over allegations that Spurs security smacked Spears in face

Wemby spoke in an interview to KSAT 12, claiming Spears ‘grabbed him’; Spears refutes

LAS VEGAS – Spurs’ Victor Wembanyama and pop star Britney Spears are in a public tussle after reports that a member of the Spurs’ security team smacked Spears in the face at a Las Vegas restaurant Wednesday night when she grabbed him, hoping for a photo together.

“I didn’t know for a couple hours. When I came back to the hotel... I thought it was no big deal. The security of the Spurs told me it was Britney Spears,” Wembanyama said. “At first, I was like, ‘No, you’re joking.’”

Multiple news outlets have reported the incident.

KSAT reached out to Las Vegas police and confirmed that police were called around 11 p.m. Wednesday to a property in the 3700 block of Las Vegas Boulevard regarding a battery investigation.

TMZ reported that the alleged smack occurred near Catch restaurant in the ARIA Hotel.

Police wouldn’t confirm the identity of any of the parties involved but did state the incident has been documented on a police report and no arrest or citations have been issued.

TMZ identified the security guard as Damian Smith, the Director of Team Security for the Spurs.

According to TMZ, Spears was heading to the restaurant when she saw Wembanyama, walked over to ask for a photo and then tapped him on the shoulder.

TMZ initially reported that the security guard backhanded Spears, causing her glasses to be knocked off.

The outlet later reported that security footage allegedly shows Smith push Spears’ hand away and that her own hand struck her face.

In an interview with KSAT 12 Thursday afternoon, Wembanyama said he didn’t immediately realize the extent of the situation at the time.

“I saw the news obviously, this morning. I woke up to a couple phone calls. There was...something did happen a little bit when I was walking with some security of the team,” Wembanyama said Thursday morning.

He said he was surrounded by security and he could hear someone calling him but couldn’t see who it was.

“There was one person who was calling me, but we talked with security. Don’t stop because it’s going to make a crowd. So I couldn’t stop... That person grabbed me from behind. I didn’t see what happened cuz I was walking straight and was told don’t stop,” Wembanyama said. “Not on my shoulder, she grabbed me from behind.”

The basketball star said security pushed the woman away and then he kept walking, unaware of what happened.

“Security pushed her away. I didn’t stop to look so I kept walking and enjoyed a nice dinner. That was a fun night with the guys,” Wembanyama said.

A couple of hours later, Wembanyama said he learned who it was that grabbed him.

“Turns out it was Britney Spears. I didn’t know because I never saw her face. I just kept walking straight.”

Spears issued a statement not long after Wemby on her Twitter account, saying she was “not prepared for what happened” and called it a “traumatic experience.”

“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,” Spears said. “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, nearly knocking me down and causing my glasses off my face.”

The pop star said she has yet to receive an apology from Wemby, his security or the Spurs organization.

She also gave thanks to the Las Vegas PD and the detectives for their support. You can read her full statement here.

About the Authors

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.

Recommended Videos