Britney Spears 'slapped' by NBA star's security guard at restaurant
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Britney Spears was reportedly ‘slapped’ in the face by a member of a US basketball star’s security detail on Wednesday night.
The pop star was at the celebrity hotspot Catch, inside the Aria Resort & Casino, in Las Vegas, at around 8:30 pm local time when she approached San Antonio Spurs’ player Victor Wembanyama and asked him for a photo.
According to TMZ, a member of Wembanyama’s security then allegedly struck Spears in the face.
The publication says Spears ‘tapped’ the player on his back and shoulder, and a member of his security team ‘instantly backhanded her’.
Spears then fell to the ground, and her glasses were knocked off in the process.
Spears got up and went back to her table.
According to TMZ, the security guard, who has since been identified as Spurs team security director Damian Smith, then approached her and apologised.
"You understand how it is when you're being swarmed by fans,” he reportedly said to the pop star.
Spears was later seen in a video obtained by TMZ quickly walking out of the restaurant with a hoodie over her head and sunglasses on to conceal her identity.
She was accompanied by her husband, Sam Asghari, and her manager, Cade Hudson.
According to Page Six, Spears has since filed a police report for battery.
However, police sources told TMZ the matter is not being treated as a criminal matter as Smith was just trying to defend Wembanyama.
At a press conference the next day, Wembanyama said Spears 'grabbed him from behind' in the crowd.
Spears later released her own statement on her Instagram account.
“Traumatic experiences are not new to me and I have had my fair share of them,” she wrote in the statement.
“I was not prepared for what happened to me last night. I recognised an athlete in my 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 backhanded me in the face without looking back, in front of a crowd.
"Nearly knocking me down and causing my glasses to fall off my face. 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 continued: “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 to urge people in the public eye to set an example and treat all people with respect.”