San Antonio Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama said Thursday (Jul 6) he believes Britney Spears grabbed him from behind as he was walking into a restaurant at a Las Vegas casino, and that the security detail he was with pushed the pop star away.
Wembanyama said he wasn’t told that Spears was the person who grabbed him until hours later.
Spears filed a police report claiming she was struck by a security guard while trying to get the attention of Wembanyama, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the police report had yet to be released publicly.
Spears’ representatives did not respond to a request for comment and police officials did not immediately return a message seeking more details. Wembanyama said security advised him to not stop for anyone as he walked into the restaurant, mindful that pausing could cause a stir and allow a crowd to build.
“Something did happen, a little bit, when I was walking with some security from the team to some restaurant,” Wembanyama said. “We were in the hall. There was a lot of people, so people were calling (at) me, obviously. There was one person who was calling me but we talked before with security.
“I couldn’t stop. That person was calling me, ‘Sir, sir,’ and that person grabbed me from behind,” Wembanyama said. “I didn’t see what happened because I was walking straight and didn’t stop. 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 but security pushed her away. I didn’t stop to look so I could walk in and enjoy a nice dinner.”
TMZ first reported details of the event that took place Wednesday night near a restaurant at the ARIA hotel and casino. TMZ said Spears was in a group of four trying to enter a restaurant for dinner and that she “was swarmed by fans as she entered the casino”. TMZ said she noticed Wembanyama and tapped him on the shoulder in an effort to get his attention; Spears, the site said, wound up being struck in the face and having her glasses knocked off.
“I didn’t know for a couple hours, but when I came back to the hotel … I thought it was no big deal, and then security of the Spurs told me it was Britney Spears,” Wembanyama said. “At first, I was like, ‘You’re joking,’ but yeah, it turns out it was Britney Spears. I never saw her face. I just kept walking straight.”
He was unaware that the situation had made headlines until Thursday.
“I saw the news obviously this morning. I woke up to a couple of phone calls,” Wembanyama said.
Wembanyama will make his NBA Summer League debut with the Spurs on Friday night in Las Vegas against the Charlotte Hornets. He signed some autographs for fans at the ARIA on Wednesday night and did the same for a small number of onlookers as he entered a local high school for practise with the Spurs on Thursday morning.