Janay Rice is not happy with the public's perception of her husband, former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice, who was caught on video punching her out and dragging her out of a casino elevator back in February.
"Everybody makes mistakes," Janay Rice told Matt Lauer in an interview that aired in part Monday on NBC's "Today" show. "After this whole situation you would think we lived in a country full of people who never made a mistake, never sinned ever in their life."
Janay Rice appeared in the taped interview with her mother, Candy Palmer. Ray Rice was not present for the portion that aired Monday, but Lauer indicated that the free agent running back would appear on parts that would be broadcast Tuesday.
Then engaged to be married, both Ray and Janay Rice were charged with simple assault after the incident. Atlantic City police dropped the charges against Janay, while Ray went on to be indicted by a grand jury for third-degree assault. He agreed to take part in a program for first-time offenders, which will clear his record of criminal charges if he meets the conditions.
Janay Rice discussed the controversial apology she issued during a press conference with her husband in the days after the incident became public.
"I was ready to do anything that was going to help the situation," she said, "help the way we looked in the media, help his image, help, obviously, his career."
She told Lauer that the Ravens, still Ray Rice's employer at the time, "suggested" she make the apology. "They basically gave us a general script," she said.
Janay Rice also agreed when Lauer suggested that she never would have been at the press conference or made the apology if the Ravens hadn't wanted her to do so. But she also said, "I didn't think it was completely wrong for me to apologize because at the end of the day I got arrested too, so I did something wrong too."
Both daughter and mother strongly disagreed with the face-of-domestic-violence image, with Janay Rice saying there have been no other such incidents before or after the one the public has seen.
And she said there's a "silver lining" to the situation.
"I feel that God chose me and Ray for a reason," she said. "It was definitely to bring awareness to what people are going through every day. Even though it's not what I'm going through every day, it's definitely brought this topic to the forefront and we're OK with that."
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