In Part 1 of Today's interview with Janay Rice, the wife of disgraced football pro Ray Rice has opened up about why she stayed by his side, how the NFL essentially scripted their "awkward" press conference and that she's never watched — and never plans to watch — that second released tape of her husband beating her unconscious.
"I refuse," Rice told Matt Lauer in the taped interview which aired on Monday. "I'm not going to let the public bring me back there."
In February, footage was leaked depicting Ray dragging an unconscious Janay out of the Alantic City casino elevator. When a tape of the actual knock-out punch was released in September, Rice was terminated from the NFL. Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Rice from the league indefinitely, but last week he won an appeal which overturned the suspension. He's now eligible to sign with any NFL team.
In the lengthy interview, Janay and her mother Candy Palmer both are adamant there was never any domestic abuse prior to the incident. "No. Not at all," she says when Lauer bluntly asks. "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."
As for how he left her unconscious, Janay adds, "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."
As for the May press conference which shocked many when Janay stood by Ray's side, she says, "I was ready to do anything that was going to help the situation... Help the way we looked in the media. Help his image. Help obviously his career. So, you know, they told us earlier that week we would do the press conference."
Although Ray did not apologize at the conference, Janay adds, "He apologized to me more than once. Countless amounts of times. I'm sitting there next to him, so I wouldn't be sitting there next to him if I wasn't the first person to get an apology. There's no way. But the whole thing was awkward. We were just doing what we had to do to get it over and done with."
Watch the rest of the interview excerpts below: