BALTIMORE (WJZ)— What really happened inside that casino elevator? Ray Rice’s lawyer suggests—through a hypothetical account—that the Ravens running back did not start the altercation with his wife.
Investigative reporter Mike Hellgren has the details.
His lawyer says Rice could have won in court based on self-defense, but it would have been a loss in the court of public opinion.
Critics have largely panned Ray Rice’s awkward news conference, where he apologized to everyone except the woman sitting next to him: his wife–the woman he was indicted for assaulting.
Rice has been under fire for months, particularly after this notorious video obtained by TMZ Sports surfaced–showing him dragging her from an elevator at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City. One witness says he knocked her out cold.
And while Rice refused to take questions, his lawyer, Michael Diamondstein, is now laying out what he says is a theoretical account of how the assault played out in an interview with New Jersey radio station 97.3 ESPN FM.
“The video shows–hypothetically speaking, now, hypothetically speaking–shows that Ray wasn’t the first person that hit and Ray was getting repeatedly hit, but just Ray hit harder, fired one back and hit harder,” Diamondstein said.
“His wife was arrested initially as well, and the prosecutors for whatever reason–and I can’t speak for the prosecution–they decided to drop the charges against Janay and then simply go prosecute Ray,” he said.
Rice’s lawyer maintains there’s never been an issue with domestic violence in the couple’s relationship in the past.
“I don’t want you to think for one second that I’m excusing any behavior, but there was more to this story than the public saw,” Diamondstein said.
But is this blaming the victim? The lawyer’s comments seemed to outrage the show’s host.
“The incident that night was an aberration in his behavior,” Diamondstein said.
“Right. Even though hypothetically in that scenario that would still mean that a 210-pound man struck a woman, potentially knocking her unconscious,” the host responded. “If you had daughters, would you buy them a Ray Rice jersey?”
“I do have daughters. My daughters are Eagles’ fans, so the answer is no,” Diamondstein said.
The court approved Rice for a pre-trial intervention program that once complete will wipe away any record of the assault charge. Rice will be in the program for one year and must undergo counseling.
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