Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo credits his football position for the public interest in his companions.
Asked at a team press conference, “How do you respond to reports that you were with Britney Spears this weekend?” Romo broke out in a laugh and replied, according to ETonline: “I think [it] sometimes goes with this position. Being the quarterback … you’re at the same place with someone else and people just run with it now.”
The NFL star also claimed he’s no stranger to being gossip fodder. “It’s happened a few times now, two or three times where people just say, ‘You’re dating whoever,’ ” he said, citing “Jessica Simpson last year, you know?
“So it’s just the position, I guess, in some ways. And you just learn that and shake your head every once in a while and you move on.”
Spears, 25, and Romo, 27, were briefly spotted together last weekend at the L.A. restaurant Ketchup, where Romo was having dinner, and then later with Spears’s pal Alli Sims and some others at the Hollywood hotspot Les Deux.
Alli Disputes Romo Report
Speaking exclusively to PEOPLE this week, Sims staunchly refuted some reports that Spears had performed a lap dance for Romo.
“The story is untrue,” says Sims, 26. “Tony is a gentleman, and Britney wouldn’t do that, especially to a good friend of mine.”
Explaining their activities, Sims said, “We were all in a private area upstairs and sat down talking for most of the night, but did get up to dance a little.”
As for claims that Spears pulled another infamous outfit change: “Not true,” says Sims – though the pop star did leave her cell phone behind on the table, which they retrieved shortly after.
• Reporting by MARY MARGARET