One moment in their lives brought Ray and Janay Rice into the public eye for all the wrong reasons. While Ray Rice has now been reinstated, and is looking for a team, his life off the field, and that of his wife Janay, are forever changed by what happened in that elevator.
Recently, Matt Lauer traveled to the Rice home in Baltimore and Janay spoke out with her mother Candy Palmer by her side.
Janay Rice on the last six months
Matt Lauer: You have remained silent. Has it been hard not to speak out about this?
Rice: Yes. That's been the hardest part, is having so much of your life made public and have it all be negative. That's the hardest part. Is not having control over anything that has to do with you. It's a natural thing for a human to want to come out and say, 'No, no. That's not me,' or, 'No, that's not true.' But it's like a battle that we just can't win.
Rice on that night in the elevator
Lauer: I guess it was about four days or so after the incident at the casino that the tape, the first tape, came out, the one that was taken outside the elevator. Had you seen the tape?
Rice: I saw the first one.
Lauer: So did you see it before it was released to the public?
Rice: No. We just knew about it.
Lauer: Were you dreading the moment that that tape came out?
Rice: Yes. We knew that it was going to happen. We didn't know exactly when it was going to happen. But there was no preparing us for that at all. When I saw that it was horrible you can't make excuses for anything, but we were highly intoxicated. And in the moment you're not thinking about, 'Oh my god. I'm on camera in an elevator.' So of course people are going to read into everything and pick at everything about the situation. We understand that.'
Rice on seeing the second video
Lauer: Have you seen the second tape?
Rice: No. I refuse. I refuse. I'm not going to let the public bring me back there.
Rice on any prior violence
Lauer: So me just ask you directly and bluntly. Prior to what we have now seen in that elevator was there ever any incident of violence in your relationship with Ray or has there been any incident of violence since that elevator incident.
Candy Palmer: No
Rice: No. Not at all. Ray knows me. And there's no way. He knows what he would have to deal with, you know, if this was something. You know, I'm not going to sit there in silence and let something happen to me — and God forbid, in front of my child, just like, let it happen? There's no way.
Rice on her husband's behavior immediately after the incident
Lauer: And instead of being so freaked out that he kneels down and takes your daughter's head in his arms, and strokes her face and strokes her hair, and says, 'I'm sorry,' he stands there for a long time. What did you think when you saw that part of the tape?
Palmer: I was very upset by that part and I told him so. I basically told him that I didn't care who was out there at the elevator. 'You should have never left her there like that.' I did tell him that.
Rice: And I asked him after I saw it, 'Why did you just leave me there like that?' He said he was terrified. He was in such shock that this had just happened and he didn't know how to function at that point. And then, you know, obviously by that time hotel security is there, the police are there.
Rice on apologizing at the press conference
Lauer: Did anyone at the Ravens say, 'Janay, it would be really good if you issue some kind of an apology?'
Rice: They suggested it. Yes.
Lauer: Did they come up with the wording?
Rice: No not specifically. They basically gave us a general script
Lauer: That (apology) really started it.
Rice: Yes. And that was frustrating for me, because obviously people took it as, you know, I'm taking light off of what Ray did. In no way. I was basically, not doing what I was told, but at the same time I didn't think it was completely wrong for me to apologize, because at the end of the day I got arrested, too, so I did something wrong, too. Not taking any light off of what Ray did because I agree with everybody else. He was wrong.