Incident involving Britney Spears, NBA’s Victor Wembanyama prompts battery probe

VIDEO | 01:44
Britney Spears says NBA rookie Victor Wembanyama’s security guard struck her

Las Vegas police responded to a battery incident involving singer Britney Spears and NBA star Victor Wembanyama’s security detail in Las Vegas on Wednesday.


Britney Spears allegedly was slapped by a member of a security detail accompanying NBA wunderkind Victor Wembanyama while reportedly asking the San Antonio Spurs’ No. 1 overall draft pick for a photo in Las Vegas.

The “Hold Me Closer” singer filed a police report with Las Vegas Metropolitan Police on Wednesday over the alleged incident, which took place Wednesday at the Catch restaurant in the Aria Resort & Casino, according to TMZ.

“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,” police said in a Thursday statement to The Times.


“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,” police said.

At 7-4 with skills of a guard, Victor Wembanyama should be the top pick Thursday in the NBA draft by the San Antonio Spurs and has greatness often compared to LeBron James.

June 21, 2023

The Times also submitted a public records request to obtain a copy of the police report. 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 told the Associated Press on Thursday.

Representatives for the Spurs did not immediately respond Thursday to The Times’ requests for comment.

Spears was said to be accompanied by her husband, Sam Asghari, and two others and was swarmed by fans as she entered the casino. The 41-year-old pop star spotted Wembanyama, the 7-foot-4 French basketball star, as she entered the eatery inside and tapped him on his back to ask for a photo, TMZ said. That’s reportedly when Damian Smith, the Spurs’ director of team security, “instantly backhanded her, causing her to fall to the ground ... knocking her glasses off.” Smith did not know who she was, the site said.

Wembanyama, 19, told KENS 5 reporter Nate Ryan on Thursday afternoon that he didn’t know the person who grabbed him was Spears until hours later.

“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.”


The rookie phenom also said he didn’t think much of the incident until security later told him that it involved the Grammy Award winner.

“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.”

Smith later apologized to Spears and she accepted, TMZ said, but police were called and the police report was filed. Officers who responded to the incident reportedly reviewed security camera footage that showed Smith pushing away Spears’ hand and that it was her own hand that struck her face, not Smith’s.

Police are treating the incident as a criminal investigation and reportedly will meet with Spears on Thursday to discuss it, TMZ said.

Spears has not yet publicly spoken about the incident, but her husband took to Instagram on Thursday afternoon to call out the “out-of-control security guard” and “systemic culture of disregard for women within sports and entertainment.” He also appeared to corroborate Wembanyama’s account.

“I am opposed to violence in any form, especially without justification in the defense of yourself or someone else who is unable to defend themselves. Self-defense can be unavoidable, but the defense of any woman, especially my wife, is not debatable,” Asghari wrote in the first of two Instagram stories. “I consider my reaction subdued considering what occurred, and I hope the man in question learns a lesson and changes his disregard for women. Thank you for your support.”

In a second story, he wrote, “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 @wemby . 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.

“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. The changes will have to come from the top, and I look forward to those changes.”