Video of Ray Rice dragging his unconscious then-fiancee from an elevator sparked a domestic abuse crisis in the NFL, and new footage released on Friday shows the emotional aftermath of the attack.
According to ABC, nearly 45 minutes of never-before-seen footage shows Janay Palmer (now Rice) looking clearly distraught and refusing to talk to the NFL star who had allegedly violently beaten her in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino in February.
In the black-and-white surveillance video, Palmer pushes Rice away as he tries to calm her, before security at the Revel Casino, which has since closed, moves in to protect her.
As TheWrap previously reported, Rice, 27, was cut by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL on Sept. 8. A media firestorm ensued, in which the league and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell were criticized for initially suspending Rice for just two games for the altercation before seeing the full video released by TMZ.
The new surveillance video shows Palmer spiraling from anger to tears, crying as she and Rice are escorted away in handcuffs. Her emotional roller coaster continues as she then appears to kiss and cuddle the NFL player, whom she went on to marry on March 28.
Rice went to court to stop ABC News from obtaining the recording, but lost, according to a statement from the network, and Rice’s attorney, Peter Ginsberg, was disappointed that the new video was made public.
“This is a time of healing and he, quite naturally, doesn’t want another media showing of what must have been the worst event of his life,” Ginsberg said on Friday. “What the media ought to be focusing on is the issue of domestic violence and why the NFL never did anything to construct a personal conduct program that works and why the NFL ignored the issue of domestic violence. Showing yet another Ray Rice video is simply a distraction.”
Rice and Palmer were both arrested after the elevator incident, Rice was charged with third-degree aggravated assault, with a possible jail sentence of three to five years, but criminal charges were later dropped after he agreed to undergo court-supervised counseling.
The couple sat down with Matt Lauer last month for a “Today” show interview, in which Palmer revealed that they didn’t speak on the way home after her fiancé hit her.
“I just didn’t even want to entertain it — any explanation. Of course in the back of my mind and in my heart, I knew that our relationship wouldn’t be over because I know that this isn’t us, and it’s not him,” she told Lauer.
As for Rice, he said, “I made an inexcusable mistake and accept full responsibility for my actions. I am thankful that there was a proper appeals process in place to address this issue.”
The running back was reinstated into the NFL on Nov. 28, but has not yet been picked up by a team.