Janay Rice, wife of NFL player Ray Rice, is now telling all. In a 3-hour interview with ESPN, she tells every detail (that she can remember) of before, during and after that domestic abuse situation in an Atlantic City elevator.
Get the highlights inside…
In an interview taped Nov. 5th (and just released today because ESPN wanted to wait until the District judge ruled on the NFL’s decision), Janay is speaking her piece. We’ve got the main excerpts from this interesting sit-down:
On what lead to the breaking point
"There was something different about that day. The two of us were just off, starting that morning. I was annoyed because it was Valentine’s Day and Ray and one of his friends had planned a group trip to Atlantic City, while I had wanted to do something with just the two of us.
I was going to surprise Ray at the hotel with a couples massage, but the manager spoiled the surprise by calling Ray to confirm the time, instead of checking with me. From that moment on I was annoyed with everything, but I continued to act as if I was fine. We weren’t even in Atlantic City yet and nothing seemed to be going right.
After a silent, three-hour car ride we arrived at the hotel, where everything seemed to be much better. There were two other couples hanging out with us — Ray’s brother and his girlfriend, plus another couple we’d become close to in Baltimore. All of us went to dinner, and then met up again later at the club inside of the Revel Casino. We were drinking and having a good time. The six of us shared two to three bottles of liquor, which we also shared with a few fans who came up to us.
After the club, our friends from Baltimore, Ray and I decided to go to the late-night restaurant in the casino. Ray and I were bickering. We were drunk and tired and while I know that some people may find it hard to believe, none of the six of us can remember exactly what Ray and I were arguing about. It was that insignificant."
On how the physical incident inside that elevator went down
"As we were arguing, he was on his phone and not looking at me. I went to reach for his phone, and when he grabbed it back, he spit at me and I slapped him."
"We got into the elevator and what happened inside is still foggy to me. The only thing I know — and I can’t even say I "remember" because I only know from what Ray has told me — is that I slapped him again and then he hit me. I remember nothing else from inside the elevator.
The next thing I do recall is being in the casino lobby, surrounded by cops."
On what went down immediately after the incident
The police separated us and arrested us. They told me they had the entire incident on video. I was bawling. The cops tried to tell me what happened and I refused to believe them. If anything, I just felt like I was still drunk. I said to one officer, "That’s not us. What do you mean?" There were no marks on my face or body, and I felt perfectly fine. I was in complete shock.
They took Ray and I to the police station, where they held us together in the same room, but they kept us far enough apart so that they could talk to us separately. Eventually, we were left alone and Ray kept saying, "It’s going to be OK. We’ll be OK." He just kept crying and apologizing, but I didn’t really want to speak to him.
On Apologizing for Her Role in the Incident at Ravens News Conference:
"I know some people disagreed with me publicly apologizing. I’m not saying that what Ray did wasn’t wrong. He and I both know it was wrong. It’s been made clear to him that it was wrong. But at the same time, who am I to put my hands on somebody? "
On What Ray Was Thinking After He Hit Her:
"I asked him how he felt when he saw that I was unconscious. He told me he was in shock. I asked him what happened when we got out of the elevator. He told me he was terrified because security was there. I asked him how he felt seeing me like that. He said he was thinking, "What did I just do?" I didn’t watch the video again."
On What Ray and Janay told Roger Goodell:
"Ray told the commissioner, and his colleagues, everything that happened. There was no reason to lie because we knew that there was a video and we assumed the NFL knew what was in it, even though we didn’t know whether or not they saw it.
On her reaction once video was released
IT WAS six o’clock in the morning on September 8, nearly seven months after the incident. Ray’s manager was the first one to call. I heard Ray on the phone, and based off the way he responded, I thought somebody had died.
When he got off the phone, he told me the whole video had been released. I just went into a shell. I started crying. We knew it was going to be another media storm. We didn’t know what to do.
I sent out a text to everybody close to me: "The video’s out. I would ask you not to watch it." I know some of them probably did. But I refused to.
I was over this, and I didn’t need the visual. How was seeing it going to help me? I knew that would only bring me back there. After Ray watched it, I asked him not to look at it again, because I knew it was only the devil trying to come in and ruin how far we’ve come. I refused to go backwards.
On Anger at Baltimore Ravens for Cutting Ray:
"I was extremely surprised and angry that the Ravens released him, because they know him. They were our family, but I felt like the Ravens completely disregarded the past six years with him. Anytime the Ravens needed someone for a community event, Ray was their man
On what her mother said to her afterwards
RIDING BACK from Atlantic City to our house in Baltimore County, I still felt like I was in a fog. My mom had been babysitting Rayven, so she was there when we arrived. She knew we had been arrested, but she didn’t know exactly why. When we came in, she tried to talk to me, but I told her I didn’t want to go there yet.
Ray pulled her aside to tell her what happened, and when he did, I left the room. We separated in the house for most of the day. Ray was in tears, and I let him have his time.
Later, my mother asked me privately did this ever happen before. I understood why she asked, but I was livid — probably because I was embarrassed. She told me she was not going to allow me to be in a situation like this. She said she wasn’t going to tolerate that from either one of us, and that I needed to make a decision about whether I was able to move past it. I just sat there and let her speak because I had no words. She wasn’t saying anything wrong. But I was still processing everything.
On how they met
THE FIRST TIME Ray and I met was at the local movie theatre in New Rochelle. I was 14 years old and he was 15. I was standing outside with a friend when he came up to me. I don’t remember much, except that he said I was pretty and I reminded him of Alicia Keys. I remember everyone walking by knowing him and coming up to just shake his hand. I had no clue Ray was a football player. I’m from New Rochelle’s rival town, Mt. Vernon where we eat, sleep, breathe basketball, so Ray knew from day one I wasn’t impressed by Ray Rice the football player. After continually asking for my number, I gave it to him and we’ve been friends ever since.
We started talking regularly and began building a friendship. He was a good guy and what I loved most was he made me laugh. We were friends for about five years, but didn’t date. During the summer of 2007, he started coming home from Rutgers a lot, and we just kept running into each other. I loved the fact that he had such a huge heart, and put everyone else first. I will always remember the time we went to the Galleria Mall and he bought sneakers and clothes for all his siblings and family members, but not one thing for himself. He always made me feel like the most special woman in the world. We started seeing and talking to each other more, and it grew into a relationship.
On why they waited to get married soon after the incident
We were engaged in May 2012. Ray had come home for the weekend and proposed in front of my house. The first thing I asked him was, "Did you ask my dad?" He said yes, course.
A few weeks after Ray proposed, I found out I was pregnant with Rayven. I told him I didn’t want to get married with baby weight, so we waited. That was a good thing, because there were things we needed to work on in our relationship that we might have ignored because we were just young.
It appears she is intent on standing by her man and pacing blame on alcohol and other things. And is even more intent on putting more emphasis on his past, and how good things were, than his present. We’ll keep our thoughts to ourselves on this one. Get the full interview HERE.
By the way, Ray won his appeal today, if an indefinite suspension, and has been reinstated in the NFL.
Former U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones explained in her written decision:
"In this arbitration, the NFL argues that Commissioner Goodell was misled when he disciplined Rice the first time. Because, after careful consideration of all of the evidence, I am not persuaded that Rice lied to, or misled, the NFL at his June interview, I find that the indefinite suspension was an abuse of discretion and must be vacated," Jones’ decision stated.
"I find that the NFLPA carried its burden of showing that Rice did not mislead the Commissioner at the June 16th meeting, and therefore, that the imposition of a second suspension based on the same incident and the same known facts about the incident, was arbitrary," Jones also wrote.
"The Commissioner needed to be fair and consistent in his imposition of discipline."
"Moreover, any failure on the part of the League to understand the level of violence was not due to Rice’s description of the event but to the inadequacy of words to convey the seriousness of domestic violence. That the League did not realize the severity of the conduct without a visual record also speaks to their admitted failure in the past to sanction this type of conduct more severely."
"I would like to thank Judge Barbara Jones, the NFL Players Association, my attorneys, agents, advisors, family, friends and fans — but most importantly, my wife Janay," Rice said in a statement released by the NFLPA on Friday. "I made an inexcusable mistake and accept full responsibility for my actions.
"I am thankful that there was a proper appeals process in place to address this issue. I will continue working hard to improve myself and be the best husband, father and friend, while giving back to my community and helping others to learn from my mistakes."
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