Janay Palmer has been thrust into the spotlight since the widely reported domestic abuse incident in February that's now gotten her NFL-player husband suspended from the league. New footage was released Monday of Rice knocking then-fiancée Palmer unconscious in an elevator at the Revel hotel-casino in Atlantic City, then dragging her outside. But who is Rice’s wife, and why would she marry someone a month after he attacked her?
How long has Palmer been with Rice?
The 26-year-old Mount Pleasant, New York, native has been with Rice for six years. They met in high school and kept in touch while he was at Rutgers University and she was at a junior college, reports Larry Brown Sports. They began dating shortly before Rice was drafted by the Ravens in 2008, and their first date was at a Cheesecake Factory. “I was so nervous, I didn’t even eat dinner. I just ate a slice of cheesecake,” she later told the Times West Virginian of Fairmont, according to Heavy.com.
Palmer later moved with Rice to Maryland, and attended Towson University near Baltimore, where she majored in communication studies. On her graduation day, Rice asked her to grab his wallet from their car. Rice then told Palmer the car and an engagement ring were for her.
“I almost passed out when he told me the car was mine,” Palmer later told the Exponent-Telegram of Clarksburg, West Virginia. “I’m just happy I decided to be nice that day instead of letting him get his own wallet.”
In 2010, Palmer spoke about her relationship with Rice, saying, “I’m just happy that Ray and I have a good foundation. We’ve been through a lot, and we trust each other, so as long as we’re on the same page, the media has little relevance in our life,” reports Heavy.com.
Their First Child
Two years later, they had their first child, Rayven. “I have a lot to be thankful for,” Palmer told the Exponent-Telegram. “I’m aware of my blessings. I try to keep grounded because in any second my life can change in the blink of an eye like it has already done.”
Relationship Takes Turn for the Worse
The couple’s relationship clearly was in trouble on Feb. 15, when the two went to the Revel and got into a physical altercation while on an elevator. Both Palmer and Rice were arrested and taken to the Atlantic City Police Department holding facility and charged with simple assault but were released on a summons to appear in court, according to the city.
Janay Palmer and Ray Rice are arrested in Atlantic City and charged w assault following altercation at Revel Casino. pic.twitter.com/Rz4uN7hPW2
— BEVERLY HILLS CELEB (@BEVERLY59205492) February 20, 2014
Palmer’s chargers were later dropped, while Rice’s were upped on March 27 to aggravated assault after the case was presented by prosecutors to a grand jury. The following day, Rice and Palmer got married. Rice ended up striking a deal with prosecutors to enter a pretrial intervention program that allowed him to avoid jail time.
In videos of the incident released by TMZ, it is clear that he hits her when they get onto the elevator. In a video released on Monday, the second time the NFL player hits her, she is knocked unconscious. Rice then drags her out of the elevator, eventually speaking with security guards.
After the second video was released, the Baltimore Ravens terminated the running back’s contract, the team announced on Monday. In addition, National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that Rice would be indefinitely suspended from the league.