Ray Rice’s wife, Janay Rice has broken her silence about the domestic violence incidence captured on casino elevator surveillance video which led to his suspension from the NFL. The Baltimore Ravens running back and his wife were interviewed jointly exclusively by NBC’s Matt Lauer.
While it is not the first time Janay Rice has spoken out about the elevator surveillance video from Ravel Casino in Atlantic City which eventually led to her husband’s suspension from the NFL, it is the first formal television interview. She has previously taken to social media to express herself.
Also a few weeks earlier, Rice gave an interview to ESPN which has provoked some controversy because of the admitted circumstances: “Janay Rice was given approval over its content and release date.” This has led more than a few commentators to accuse ESPN of essentially being a PR vehicle for Ray Rice and his wife.
However, with the NBC News’ interview, which is being broadcast in multiple parts spanning three days, Janay Rice and her husband there are no such restrictions. Additionally, the entire family is involved, as Ray Rice is also seen and heard on camera and parts of the interview were conducted at the home of Janay Rice’s parents Candy and Joe Palmer. Even the couple’s daughter, Rayven Rice, is seen on camera.
For months it has been the highly disturbing video driving the story. First obtained by TMZ Sports, it reveals Ray Rice punching his then-fiance, knocking her unconscious and then dragging her body out of the elevator. He was arrested and eventually charged with third-degree aggravated assault.
Janay Rice said of that February incident which untold millions around the world have seen and heard about, “I was furious. We came home and we didn’t talk the entire ride. He tried to talk to me. I didn’t want to hear any of it. I just knew he hit me, and I was done. I just didn’t even want to entertain it. Any explanation.”
However, as we know the story took a different turn, as the couple got married a few weeks later. As months went by, and the full video of the elevator incident was released, the dialogue already begun on domestic violence began to intensify, as #WhyIStayed and #WHyILeft became poignant hashtags on Twitter as women shared their painful stories of abuse.
Ray Rice was initially suspended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for only two games. Later after intense uproar and outcry, the NFL suspended him indefinitely and the Ravens released him from his $35 million contract. In the latest development, Rice won his court appeal of the indefinite NFL suspension, with the judge ruling that it was “arbitrary.”
The first two segments of the video interview of Janay Rice are below. Check back for the third and final segment which will be added as soon as available.