Janay Rice, the wife of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, said during an interview with NBC's Today show that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wasn't being honest when he said Rice was "ambiguous" about hitting her in an Atlantic City casino elevator.
Rice’s interview was shown Monday, and a second segment will air on Tuesday.
Goodell originally suspended Rice for two games after meeting with the running back and his wife in June. After TMZ published a video in September showing Ray punching Janay, the Ravens released Rice and the NFL suspended him indefinitely.
Goodell subsequently claimed that Rice's account at their June meeting was "ambiguous" and "inconsistent" with the video.
"I know for a fact ... that Ray told the honest truth that he's been telling from February," Janay said in her interview shown Monday.
When asked if Goodell was honest when he said that Rice was “ambiguous” about hitting her in the elevator, Janay said, “I can't say he's telling the truth."
Janay said in the interview that Ray never hit her before the elevator incident. She said she was upset with Rice over the incident.
“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," she said. "And then, you know, obviously by that time hotel security is there, the police are there.”
Rice was originally charged with third-degree aggravated assault, but he was accepted into a pretrial diversion program.
His indefinite suspension was thrown out by former U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones last Friday, making him a free agent. Jones said that Goodell's decision to indefinitely suspend Rice was an "abuse of discretion" and that Rice “did not mislead the commissioner” during that June meeting.
In an ESPN.com article published on Friday, Janay Rice had also explained what happened the night she was struck in the elevator of an Atlantic City hotel.
Ray Rice, 27, has 6,180 career rushing yards and 37 touchdowns in six NFL seasons, helping the Ravens win the Super Bowl in 2012. He has also been named to three Pro Bowls.
- Scooby Axson