Victor Wembanyama Shares His Side of Alleged Britney Spears Security Guard Altercation

Britney Spears and Victor Wembanyama
Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

Spears was allegedly hit in the face by Wembanyama's security guard while dining out in Las Vegas Wednesday.

NBA star Victor Wembanyama is speaking out after his security guard allegedly hit Britney Spears in the face on Wednesday. The incident happened at Catch restaurant at the ARIA Hotel in Las Vegas, where Spears was dining with husband Sam Asghari.

According to TMZ, which was first to report the news, the singer spotted Wembanyama across the restaurant and went over to say hello. When she tapped him on the shoulder, Damian Smith, the Director of Team Security for the San Antonio Spurs, reportedly backhanded her, knocking her glasses off and causing her to fall to the ground.

Th outlet also reports that Smith apologized to Spears, adding that he didn't realize who she was in the moment. Spears' security team later filed a police report, alleging battery.

Wembanyama spoke to reporters on Thursday and shared his side of the story.

"I didn't see what happened, because I was walking straight and we were told, 'Don't stop,'" he recalled. "But that person grabbed me from behind -- not on my shoulder, she grabbed me from behind -- and so I just know the security pushed her away."

"I don't know with how much force, though. But security pushed her away," the 19-year-old NBA star added. "I didn't stop to look so I could walk in and enjoy the nice dinner."

Wembanyama said he didn't see Spears' face and didn't realize who she was until later in the night.

"At first I was like, 'No, you're joking,'" he said. "But, yeah, it turns out it was Britney Spears."

Las Vegas Police issued a statement to ET, saying, "On July 5, 2023, at approximately 11 p.m., LVMPD officers responded to a property in the 3700 block of Las Vegas Boulevard regarding a battery investigation. The incident has been documented on a police report and no arrest or citations have been issued. No further details will be provided at this time."

Spears spoke out on Thursday, sharing a note on Instagram in which she called the experience "traumatic."

"Traumatic experiences are not new to me and I have had my fair share of them. I was not prepared for what happened to me last night," Spears began. "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."

She continued, "It was really loud, so I tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention. I’m aware of the player’s statement where he mentioned I grabbed him from behind, but I simply tapped him on the shoulder. His security then backhanded me in the face without looking back in front of a crowd."

Spears claimed that she was "nearly knocked down" and hit so hard her glasses fell off her face.

Describing the incident as "embarrassing," Spears said she still felt it was important to speak out, and urged "people in the public eye to set an example and treat all people with respect. Physical violence is happening too much in this world, often behind closed doors. I stand with all victims and my heart goes out to all of you."

She also shared that she had yet to receive a public apology, but thanked the Las Vegas Police Department and their detectives for their assistance Wednesday night.

Asghari also addressed his followers, touching on his reaction to the situation and criticizing the alleged use of violence and aggression from Smith.

"The violent behavior of an out-of-control security guard should not cast a shadow on the accomplishment of a great young man on the rise...," Asghari wrote in a since-deleted post on his Instagram Story Thursday. "The blame should fall on the coward who did this, the people who hired him without proper vetting, and a systemic culture of disregard for women within sports and entertainment."

He continued, "I can't imagine a scenario where an unarmed female fan showing any kind of excitement or appreciation for a celebrity would cause her to be physically assaulted. Much less being hit in the face for tapping someone on the shoulder."

"I am opposed to violence in any form, especially without justification in the defense of yourself of someone else who is unable to defend themselves," Asghari stressed. "Self-defense can be unavoidable, but the defense of any woman, especially my wife, is not debatable."

"I consider my reaction subdued considering what occurred, and I hope the man in question learns a lesson and changes his disregard for women," he added. "Thank you for the support."

Wembanyama, a 7'5" power forward and center, was selected No. 1 overall by the Spurs at the 2023 NBA Draft last month, making him the tallest active NBA player and the first French player to be drafted with the first pick.

ET has reached out to Spears' rep and the Spurs organization for comment.