WASHINGTON (AFP) — Las Vegas police said they had investigated an incident between French National Basketball Association top draft pick Victor Wembanyama’s security and pop star Britney Spears, who said she had been hit in the face.
Wembanyama is in Las Vegas ahead of his first game in the NBA Summer League against Charlotte on Friday and was heading to a restaurant when he was spotted by fans — and Spears.
Media reports said that Spears was pushed away by Wembanyama’s security, which the singer’s husband Sam Asghari said was “violent” and “out of control.”
Wembanyama told reporters after practice that he only heard of Spears’ involvement some hours after his dinner.
“There was one person who was calling me but we talked before with the security (to not) stop because it’s gonna make a crowd,” the Frenchman said, referring to the singer and songwriter who popularized the song “Oops! I did it again.”
“That person was calling me ‘sir, sir’ and that person grabbed me from behind, so I didn’t see what happened because I was walking straight.”
“I don’t know with how much force but security pushed her away and I didn’t stop to look so I kept walking and enjoyed a nice dinner.”
Spears said she had simply wanted to greet the player and questioned Wembanyama’s account.
“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 said on Instagram.
“I tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention. I am aware of the players 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.”
The Las Vegas Police Department investigated the incident but did not take any action.
“On 5 July 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 police said in a statement.
“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.”
Asghari posted on social media that Spears had been “assaulted.”
“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,” he wrote.
Curfew halts Murray rally
LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Andy Murray was within touching distance of the Wimbledon third round when he opened up a two sets-to-one lead over world No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas while Stan Wawrinka set up a tasty clash with Novak Djokovic.
British two-time champion Murray lost the first set of a high-class contest but roared back to lead 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 when the Center Court duel was halted just before the All England Club curfew of 11 p.m.
The suspension came at the right moment for the 36-year-old as he fell and hurt his left groin, leaving him screaming in pain.
He, however, picked himself up to serve out the third set and will be in the ascendancy when the match resumes on Friday.
In the biggest shock of the tournament so far, fourth seed Casper Ruud crashed out at the hands of British wild card Liam Broady in five sets.
Defending women’s champion Elena Rybakina reached the Last 32 with a 6-2, 7-6 (7/2) win against French veteran Alize Cornet despite an error-strewn display.
On a day when the rain stayed away from the All England Club, all eyes were on Center Court for the late clash between Murray and Tsitsipas, played under the roof.
Murray won the 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon titles but it was the first time the Greek had played on Center Court.
Britain’s former world No. 1, who plays with a metal hip, is rolling back the years as he seeks to reach the second week of a major for the first time since 2017.