The singer Britney Spears asked for an apology on Thursday after accusing a member of a star N.B.A. player’s security detail of striking her in the face outside a Las Vegas restaurant when she tried to greet the player, Victor Wembanyama of the San Antonio Spurs.
In a tweet about the encounter, Spears did not name Wembanyama, but in discussing the unnamed player she referred to public comments he had made to reporters hours before. Spears, 41, said that she had seen “an athlete” at two different hotels Wednesday night and “decided to approach him and congratulate him on his success” at the second one, outside a restaurant. Spears said after she tapped 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 said that she was still waiting for an apology from the player, his security and his team. Wembanyama, 19, was the No. 1 pick in the N.B.A. draft last month. He is expected to play in the N.B.A.’s summer league starting Friday in Las Vegas.
The Spurs did not respond to multiple requests for comment on Thursday. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department did not respond to an email request for comment. A person who answered the phone at the department’s public records office said they could not comment on a specific case and that it could take three to five days to respond to a records request.
In statements to multiple news outlets, including Variety and People, the Las Vegas police said that around 11 p.m. on Wednesday, “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. The incident was first reported by TMZ on Thursday morning.
Earlier on Thursday, before Spears’s tweet, Wembanyama offered a different version of events while meeting with reporters in Las Vegas. He said that “there was one person calling me,” but Spurs security had told him not to stop for anyone, since doing so could have invited a crowd. He then said that a person had “grabbed me from behind, not on my shoulder.”
“I don’t know with how much force, but security pushed her away,” Wembanyama said, adding that he did not know that the woman was Spears until hours later. “I didn’t stop to look, so I kept walking and enjoyed a nice dinner.”
Spears she was “not prepared for what happened” and that it was “super embarrassing” to discuss publicly.
“However, I think it’s important to share this story and to urge people in the public eye to set an example and treat all people with respect,” she said.
Wembanyama, at over 7 feet tall, is one of the most heralded N.B.A. prospects in recent decades. He averaged more than 20 points and 10 rebounds per game last season with Metropolitans 92, a French professional team.
Claire Fahy contributed reporting.