Who is Janay Rice? A look at the woman behind the Ray Rice scandal

Ray Rice has become the center point of the sports media world after a video was released of him assaulting then fiance and now wife Janay Rice at the Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. Rice was originally suspended for two games by the NFL, but as of Monday, September 8th, Rice was released by the Baltimore Ravens and indefinitely banned by the league, according to ESPN.

Ray Rice, the NFL, and the Baltimore Ravens received massive scrutiny in their handling of the case. But the victim at the center of it hasn't received that much attention. Janay Rice is a 26-year-old native of Mount Pleasant, New York. Janay met Rice while she was attending junior college and Rice was playing football at Rutgers University.

The couple began dating shortly after Rice was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens into the NFL, and moved with Rice to Maryland. Janay then enrolled at Towson University, and on the day of her graduation in 2010, Ray Rice proposed.

Two years later, Ray and Janay had their first child Rayven in 2012, according to International Business Times. In February 2014, the couple were arrested after an altercation on an elevator at the Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. Both were charged with simple assault. Janay's charges were later dropped, but Rice's were elevated to aggravated assault on March 27th, 2014.

In the first video released by TMZ on the incident, Rice is clearly shown dragging an unconscious Janay out of the elevator. The NFL reacted by suspending Rice for two games, but it was only until a second video showing Ray striking and knocking out his then fiance that the Ravens terminated Rice's contract and he was indefinitely banned from the league, according to ESPN.

On September 9th, Janay released the following statement in a now private post on her Instagram page.

"I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I'm mourning the death of my closest friend. But to have to accept the fact that it's reality is a nightmare in itself. No one knows the pain that the media & unwanted options from the public has caused my family. To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing. To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass of for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific. THIS IS OUR LIFE! What don't you all get. If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you've succeeded on so many levels. Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is! Ravensnation we love you!"
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