Janay Rice Refuses to Watch Footage of Elevator Attack

PHOTO: Janay Rice looks on as her husband, Ray Rice, speaks to the media during a news conference in Owings Mills, Md. on May 23, 2014.PlayPatrick Semansky/AP Photo
WATCH Ray Rice's Wife Comes to His Defense

Janay Rice, the wife of NFL player Ray Rice, says her husband hasn't been violent toward her since, or before, a February incident inside a hotel elevator, and that she has avoided watching surveillance footage showing the attack.

“No. I refuse. I refuse. I’m not going to let the public bring me back there,” she told NBC’s Matt Lauer in an interview that aired this morning.

Rice held back tears during the interview conducted last week, which also involved her mother, Candy Parker. Janay Rice said it has been difficult to remain silent as the episode drew national attention.

“That's the hardest part,” she said. “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.”

Surveillance footage showing the outside of the elevator appeared online four days after the incident. More than half a year later – on Sept. 8 – a second video appeared on the website TMZ.com. The footage from inside the elevator shows Ray Rice striking his then-fiancee. Following the emergence of the second video, Ray Rice was released by the Baltimore Ravens, and the NFL suspended him indefinitely. That suspension was overturned Friday by an arbitrator.

Four teams have expressed interest in signing Rice, ESPN reports.

PHOTO: Ray Rice arrives with his wife, Janay, for an appeal hearing of his indefinite suspension from the NFL, Nov. 5, 2014, in New York. Jason DeCrow/AP Photo
Ray Rice arrives with his wife, Janay, for an appeal hearing of his indefinite suspension from the NFL, Nov. 5, 2014, in New York.

Janay Rice previously spoke with ESPN’s Jemele Hill, recounting what happened on the night of the incident, stating that her recollections remains foggy.

“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,” she said.

While the couple was warned that footage from the incident could emerge, Janay Rice admits that she wasn’t ready for the video to be released, or the subsequent fallout.