Janay Rice, Ray Rice, Matt Lauer


When Ray Rice first assaulted his then-fiancée, Janay, she told Matt Lauer that she was "done" with the relationship.

"I was furious,'' Janay Rice told the Today show host in an interview that aired Monday. "We came home and we didn't talk the entire ride. He tried to talk to me. I didn't want to hear any of it. I just knew he hit me, and I was done. I just didn't even want to entertain it. Any explanation."

But that's not how it turned out. Janay later appeared by her now-husband's side to publically apologize for her involvement. But the NFL star's wife revealed that she didn't want to make a statement, but was willing to do anything to help her husband's image and career.

"I was ready to do anything that was going to help the situation," Janay said to Lauer. "They suggested [I apologize]."

Janay Rice, Ray Rice, Matt Lauer


Thinking about her husband's career in the NFL, Janay continued to tell Lauer that she wanted to do anything that would help get her husband's life and career back on track.

"[I wanted to] help the way we looked in the media, help his image, help—obviously—his career, so they told us earlier that week we would do the press conference and I was fine with it," she said.

The Baltimore Ravens terminated Ray's contract on Sept. 8, but he recently won an appeal to overturn an indefinite suspension following the release of a surveillance tape that showed him assaulting his then-fiancée in an elevator.

But it turns out Janay didn't write her own apology. She told Lauer that the Ravens gave her a general script to work with, which included her personal apology for her involvement—a statement that backfired for the NFL star's wife.

"That was frustrating for me because obviously people took it as I'm taking light off of what Ray did, in no way," she said. "I was basically not doing what I was told, but at the same time 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."

Janay maintains that if the Ravens hadn't urged her to apologize by her husband's side, she would have never made a statement because of the comments she has received in the wake of the incident. When Lauer recalled some people's comments—"She's a typical abused woman," "She's a woman in denial"—Janay's mother, Candy Palmer, was quick to defend her daughter, saying that the elevator incident has made them more aware "about the people that are actually living this every day."

Ray Rice, Janay Palmer

Rob Carr/Getty Images

The mother-daughter duo said that they have taken away "so many messages" from what happened with Ray, but Janay asserted that she and her now-husband are meant to be together.

"I feel like God chose Ray and me for a reason," a teary-eyed Janay told Lauer. "It was definitely bringing awareness to what more 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."

Both Janay and her mother assert that Ray wouldn't hurt his wife anymore, with Palmer forcefully saying, "There is no next time, and we've already made that clear."

Lauer's interview with Janay and Ray will air Tuesday.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.) 

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