To say that Janay Rice’s life was turned upside down is an understatement. In 2014, video surfaced of her husband, Ray Rice, striking her unconscious inside a hotel elevator. The recording set off a firestorm that put the family under a national spotlight, and cost Ray his job with the Baltimore Ravens.
Now, a year later, Janay opens up to New York Magazine about how the stress of "dating a celebrity" weighed on the relationship, as well as what led up to the fight.
Their relationship hit a rough patch after the birth of their daughter Rayven in 2012. ”I felt I was doing everything by myself,” she said. “After a while, I resented that. I felt like a walking zombie. I told Ray he needed to change more diapers.”
They grew more distant, instead of talking out their problems. In fact there wasn’t much talking of any kind, let alone arguing. Ray instead fell into a routine of performing well on the field, and going silent at home. ”That’s not what a man does,” Janay recalled telling him. “I know what a man is supposed to be. I know how a man acts in a relationship. I know what a father is. I experienced it.”
She admitted that the intent was not to “be malicious” but wanted her words “sting.”
Valentine’s Day 2014 brought up another issue: Janay wanted to spend time alone together, while Ray invited his brother and brother’s wife, and a fellow Rayven’s player to Atlantic City. “It was an annoyance to me,” Janay said. “I was a little perturbed, though I didn’t communicate that to him.”
They were drinking heavily and bickering the night of the elevator fight. Janay slapped him before Ray delivered the punch that knocked her out. According to his deposition, Ray was in “shock” when he dragged Janay unconscious out of the elevator. He later placed a call to his agent, and then his mom. “Ma, I made a huge mistake. I’m probably going to go to jail tonight,” he told her.
Janay and Ray got married after the altercation, and have weathered the storm of scrutiny that followed. The year has been “good for the family,” Janay said. “Ray spends as much time with us as he possibly can.”
Despite winning an appeal to re-enter the NFL, Ray has yet to find an interested team. When asked how he’d feel if his career was in fact over, the 28-year-old said it would “hurt” because things didn’t end on his terms. “I didn’t leave the game because I wasn’t good enough. I’ve still got a whole lot of game, and I’m not ready to call it quits,” he said. “But I don’t love football more than I love my wife.”
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(Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images)