At the time, we were all shocked—sickened, really—at what we were seeing: a man, on Valentine's Day, beating his girlfriend in a casino elevator and dragging her semi-conscious body out of it once they'd reached their floor.
In the wake of the leak, Rice issued a public apology, during which Janay, who is now his wife, sat silently by his side, looking profoundly sad, to say the least. He later entered a divergent program, but was never charged with a crime for his actions.
"That's been the hardest part," she told Lauer. "Having so much of your life made public and have it all be negative not having control over anything that has to do with you. It's a natural thing for a human to say 'No, no—that's not me; that's not true.' But it's a battle that we've had to go through."
By her side through the interview was her mom, Candy Palmer, who shared that when she was finally able to watch the security video, it made her sick to her stomach.
"I didn't want to see it at first, and it took me a while," she said. "[But] I did cause I had to. That's my child and if something happened to her, I don't care what it is, I want to see it."
As for Janay, she insists that besides that terrible night in February when they were both "highly intoxicated," her husband has never raised a hand to her.
"No. Not at all," she told Lauer. "There's no way. He knows what he would have to deal with, you know, if this was something. You know, I'm not going to sit there in silence and let something happen to me—and God forbid, in front of my child, just like, let it happen? There's no way."