For the first time, Janay Rice has opened up with a full accounting of that infamous night when her husband Ray Rice beat her inside an Atlantic City elevator. ESPN has an essay up, taken from an interview Rice did with them, in which she recounts the lead-up to that infamous moment and the fallout after it happened.
Rice admits before that night in question, their relationship had been going “pretty well.” But they started arguing over something––she doesn’t remember what––and then this happened:
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.
Rice was shocked, but as she writes, “This came out of nowhere. Nothing like this had ever happened before. I knew it wasn’t him.”
She had hoped that they would be able to put this incident behind them, but they had to address it (this was before the surveillance video was released by TMZ), and Rice recounts what was going through her mind during the joint press conference with her husband that the Ravens pushed them into doing:
Looking out over the media, I became angry, seeing all the people who had been covering this and adding to the story. I wanted to tell everyone what was really on my mind. When it was my turn to speak, I said I regretted my role in the incident. 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? I had already apologized to Ray, and I felt that I should take responsibility for what I did. Even though this followed the Ravens’ suggested script, I owned my words.
But once the video was out, that’s when things took a huge turn. Rice was booted from the Baltimore Ravens and the NFL (though today Rice won his appeal to be reinstated), and Janay Rice was was very angry with how quickly they dropped him.
Rice concludes by addressing why she has stayed with her husband after he got violent with her:
No matter how long we have known each other and no matter what the circumstance is, Ray understands that violent behavior like this, even one time, is never acceptable. Ray told the truth and has fully accepted responsibility for his actions, which allowed us to work together at improving ourselves and get to the better place we are today.
You can read Rice’s full essay here.
[image via screengrab]
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