TMZ Claims NFL Knew About Ray Rice Elevator Video and ‘Turned a Blind Eye’

Founder Harvey Levin promises to release new details Tuesday morning, adding, “It’s a shameful story that the NFL knew this surveillance video existed”

Janay Palmer and Ray Rice
Getty Images

TMZ has announced that it will release new details on Tuesday morning to prove that the NFL knew about the four-month old hotel elevator video that shows Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, and knocking her unconscious. The two have since married.

TMZ’s founder Harvey Levin spoke to WTTG Fox 5 in Washington DC about the video on Monday evening, saying that the NFL “turned a blind eye” to the surveillance video, insisting that they’ve known it existed.

Also read: Real-Life ‘Jerry Maguire’ Agent: Ray Rice’s Stardom Stopped NFL From Issuing Harsher Punishment

“They didn’t do anything to look at this video,” he said. “It was no secret that she was pulled out of an elevator unconscious, and the NFL, it almost feels like they didn’t want to know, and that’s really bad.”

After the video was posted to TMZ on Monday, the Baltimore Ravens terminated Rice’s contract. Shortly after that, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handed down an indefinite suspension based on “the new video evidence.” The league insisted it had not seen the video prior to Monday.

“Authorities had this video,” Levin said. “[Rice] ended up getting a slap on the wrist in terms of a criminal case and virtually nothing, until the video came out, in terms of the NFL … The only reason all of this has happened today is they were backed into a corner because we put the video up on the website.”

Also read: NFL Star Ray Rice Terminated by Baltimore Ravens After Domestic Violence Video Leaks

When asked for comment, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told TheWrap, “Of course we knew there was a video from an elevator in a casino. We said this morning we asked law enforcement for it. Security for Atlantic City casinos is handled by the New Jersey State Police. Any videos related to an ongoing criminal investigation are held in the custody of the state police. As we said earlier today: We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator. That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today.”

On Fox Sports Live Monday night, TMZ’s Charles Latibeaudiere clarified that TMZ was asserting that someone from the NFL had seen the video, though they did not know who.

See video: ‘Fox & Friends’ Co-Host Jokes About Graphic Ray Rice Elevator Assault: ‘Take the Stairs’

“We’ve spoken to multiple sources at Revel Casino, which of course is now closed. But we’ve spoken to people who were working there at the time, and we are assured that … there were people from the NFL who came and saw the video,” he said. “So now the question becomes how much of that information got back to Roger Goodell and did he ever see an actual copy of the video?”

When asked if this could be a cover-up by the NFL, Latibeaudiere said, “I can’t tell you 100% it was a cover-up. It certainly smells like it, and that’s why we are continuing to work on the story.” He reiterated that TMZ will have a major development in this story on Tuesday morning.

See Harvey Levin’s interview with WTTG Fox 5 in Washington, D.C. below.DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG