Down
enlarge
Janay Rice details elevator incident, meeting with Goodell
1:60 | NFL
Janay Rice details elevator incident, meeting with Goodell
Friday November 28th, 2014

The wife of NFL running back Ray Rice explained what happened the night she was struck by Rice in the elevator of an Atlantic City hotel. 

Janay Rice's account of the incident, which includes details about what took place in the ensuing months, was written by ESPN's Jemele Hill, but Janay was given "approval over its content and release date."

In the story, Janay Rice said that the Ravens felt that the press conference held after the incident was "something that they felt we should do." The conference, staged on May 23, received backlash on social media. The team's official Twitter account said the following in a tweet: "Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident."

Rice said that her apology "followed the Ravens' suggested script," according to the story.  

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.

In the story, Janay said that she and Ray were sitting down at a restaurant inside a casino after sharing multiple bottles of liquor. Tensions between Janay and Ray escalated after Janay reached for Ray's phone, according to the story. Janay said that what happened inside the elevator is "foggy," the story says.

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.

Janay, who was Rice's fiancée​ at the time of the incident, also addressed the date of her marriage in the story. She said she didn't choose the date because it was one day after Rice was indicted, according to the story.

We were married March 28, the day after he was indicted for aggravated assault. We didn't choose that day because of the indictment. It just happened to be a Friday and a time when our families could attend our wedding without having to interrupt their work schedules. I didn't understand why that was suspicious to some people. We'd been together seven years and had been engaged for two. What happened that night wasn't going to change the fact that we were going to get married.

Also included in the story is Janay's account of how NFL commissioner Roger Goodell acted during Janay's and Ray's meeting with him. She described Goodell as a "really reasonable and caring guy" and said she was not surprised when he suspended Rice two games, the story says. 

Janay also said that Ray told Goodell and his colleagues "everything that happened," according to the story

They told us they would try to move the process along, so we would find out about Ray's suspension soon. We felt like a weight had been lifted. Mr. Goodell seemed to be a really reasonable and caring guy and wanted to make sure other people would learn from our mistake. He wanted to confirm that alcohol was a factor. He actually seemed to care about the facts and wanted to make sure that we would help other people learn from this experience.

Rice was later suspended indefinitely after being arrested on domestic violence charges. It was reported on Friday that the suspension has been overturned and Rice has been reinstated into the NFL after he won his appeal.

- Chris Johnson

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.