The Baltimore Ravens say they did not tell Janay Rice to apologize or give her a script prior to a May 23 press conference in which she said she regretted her role on the night that her now-husband Ray Rice punched her in a casino elevator, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Janay Rice said in an account told to ESPN's Jemele Hill that the Ravens gave her a "suggested script" for the press conference. Janay Rice later told The Today Show the same thing and said the Ravens had suggested she apologize.
On Wednesday, the Ravens issued a statement from senior vice president of public and community relations Kevin Byrne that said they did give talking points to Ray Rice prior to the press conference, but did not talk to Janay Rice at all beforehand. From Byrne's statement:
"I asked Ray on two different days if Ray wanted me to speak with Janay in advance of the press session. Both times, Ray declined and said: 'She's good. She knows what she wants to say.' At no time prior to the May 23 session did we provide talking points, a script or suggested script to Janay or speak with her about the press event. We did not recommend or suggest to Ray or Janay that she apologize in any way."
Byrne told the Sun that the team decided to issue the statement after reading in the media multiple times that the Ravens suggested Janay Rice apologize.
"We’ve discussed internally over the last couple of days and decided that if we don’t respond, people may believe what is being inaccurately reported," Byrne said. "We’re trying to put out the facts as we know them."
Ray Rice was suspended indefinitely and released by the Ravens on Sept. 8 after TMZ released video showing him punching Janay Rice in the elavator. Last week, Rice was reinstated to the league after he won his appeal.
- Molly Geary