BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Ray Rice and his wife Janay break their silence after the former Ravens running back won an appeal of his indefinite suspension from the NFL.
Janay Rice gave an extensive interview to ESPN, published Friday, describing the night her fiancee, now husband, hit her in the elevator of an Atlantic City hotel and casino.
"We got into the elevator and what happened inside is still foggy to me," she said to ESPN. "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."
ESPN said that Janay Rice had editorial control over what was published, but described in her own words what happened.
"The video didn't make me rethink our relationship," she said. "But I did want more of an explanation from him. I asked why he left me on the floor like that. He told me he was in shock."
She also explains at length why she says they decided to stay together.
"I just had to remember the things I saw in my parents' marriage; be strong when your partner is weak. I stuck with Ray because I truly love him," she said.
Another interview with Ray and Janay Rice will air Monday and Tuesday. Experts tell our media partner, The Baltimore Sun, the interviews are the "first and second steps" toward rebuilding Ray Rice's image.
The third, says Marty Conway—a former vice president of marketing with the Orioles, who teaches sports management at Georgetown University— is to be as available and forthcoming as possible.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell first suspended Ray Rice for two games. But when the full video of the incident surfaced, the Ravens cut Ray Rice and the league banned him indefinitely, claiming it was new evidence.
"It was clear there was an act of domestic violence, but it was inconsistent with the way he described what happened," said Goodell.
But former judge Barbara Jones ultimately decided Rice never misled the commissioner.
Ray Rice has apologized several times.
"I made an inexcusable mistake and accept full responsibility for my actions… I will continue working hard to improve myself and be the best husband, father and friend," he said Friday in a written statement.
Experts say Rice is likely to join a list of pro athletes whose talent has carried them past scandals.
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