Ray Rice Apologizes to Fans in a ‘Dear Baltimore’ Letter

Suspended Baltimore Ravens football player Ray Rice (R) and his wife Janay Palmer arrive for a hearing on November 5, 2014 in New York City. Rice is fighting his suspension after being caught beating his wife in an Atlantic City casino elevator in February 2014

Ray Rice is apologizing to Baltimore for punching his girlfriend-turned-wife.

The former NFL running back, who was suspended last season by the NFL after video surfaced of him punching his then-fiancée Janay in a hotel elevator, wrote a letter of apology Friday morning to the city and to Ravens fans.

“The last seven years that my family and I have spent in Baltimore have by far been the best of our lives,” Rice said in a letter issued to The Baltimore Sun. “From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for the love and support you’ve shown my family and I throughout my football career. We’ll always be grateful for the love we’ve received from all of our fans and supporters, and for winning a Super Bowl.

“To all the kids who looked up to me, I’m truly sorry for letting you down, but I hope it’s helped you learn that one bad decision can turn your dream into a nightmare. There is no excuse for domestic violence, and I apologize for the horrible mistake I made. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me, and I hope to make a positive difference in people’s lives by raising awareness of this issue.”

The Sun reported that Rice plans to move to New York as he attempts to return to the NFL.

Commissioner Roger Goodell initially suspended Rice for two games, but after video showing Rice punching Janay Palmer, his current wife, was made public, the commissioner said he made a mistake and suspended Rice indefinitely.

Rice later appealed the suspension and won. The three-time Pro Bowler was reinstated by the league in November but has not signed with a team.

He went on to thank the Ravens organization, owner Steve Bisciotti, general manager Ozzie Newsome and coach John Harbaugh.

“I love you all very much, and I’ll always be proud to say I played for the Baltimore Ravens,” Rice said in the letter to the Sun.

 

Bobbi Kristina’s Neighbor Reported Fight at Her Address a Week Before

Bobbi Kristina Brown

One of Bobbi Kristina Brown’s neighbors reported a domestic dispute at her address just eight days before she was found face-down in a bathtub, according to a 911 call released Tuesday, reports Atlanta’s Fox5.

A security guard for Ellard Village in Roswell called 911 on January 23 after a neighbor reported “some kind of domestic dispute” in the parking lot outside Brown’s unit. “Just had a neighbor call and report that there was, uh, people hitting each other and swinging outside in front of their–it’s the townhomes in Ellard Village,” said the guard, who identified himself as Rick.

Roswell Police said when they arrived, no one was home.

Bobbi Kristina's townhome

 

Brown, the only child of Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston, was found face-down in a bathtub at the townhome on Jan. 31 and has been hospitalized in Atlanta since.

Three years ago, on Feb. 11, 2012, Houston was found face-down and unresponsive in about a foot of water in a bathtub in the Beverly Hilton hotel just before the Grammys. She later died, and authorities concluded that she had accidentally drowned. Investigators found a dozen prescription drug bottles in the suite and listed heart disease and cocaine use as contributors to her death.

The ongoing investigation and limited details being provided in Bobbi Kristina Brown’s case have fueled speculation about her condition and the circumstances that led to her hospitalization.

Christopher Brown, Bobby Brown’s Boston-based attorney, released a statement Tuesday railing against several media outlets for publishing “false reports” about Brown’s condition and the family’s plans for her.

“This is a criminal investigation and the integrity of that process requires silence,” Brown said in the statement.

 

Janay Rice: Ravens ‘Suggested’ I Apologize for Any Role in Beating (Watch)

janay rice today show

The wife of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice says team officials “suggested” that she apologize for any role she played in her own beating.

Janay Rice told NBC’s “Today” show — in a taped interview which aired Monday — that she didn’t mean to let her then-boyfriend and current husband off the hook for a vicious knockout, captured on surveillance video at the Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City on Feb. 15.

She appeared next to Rice during a press conference on May 23, and appeared to take blame.

“Today” host Matt Lauer asked: “Did anyone at the Ravens say, “Janay, it would be really good if you issue some kind of apology’?”

Janay responded: “They suggested it, yes.”

Janay Rice said the Ravens didn’t put any exact words in her mouth but did giver her “a general script” of what to say. That press conference sparked a mountain of backlash against Rice and his wife.

rice family

“And that was frustrating for me, because obviously people took it as, you know, I’m taking light off of what Ray did,” said Janay Rice, who was originally charged with simple assault before that was dropped.

“In no way, I was basically, not doing what I was told. But at the same time, I didn’t think it was completely wrong for me to apologize, because at the end of the day, I got arrested too. So I did something wrong too.”

Janay maintains that if the Ravens hadn’t urged her to apologize by her husband’s side, she would have never made a statement because of the comments she has received in the wake of the incident. When Lauer recalled some people’s comments—”She’s a typical abused woman,” “She’s a woman in denial”—Janay’s mother, Candy Palmer, was quick to defend her daughter, saying that the elevator incident has made them more aware “about the people that are actually living this every day.”

The mother-daughter duo said that they have taken away “so many messages” from what happened with Ray, but Janay asserted that she and her now-husband are meant to be together.

“I feel like God chose Ray and me for a reason,” a teary-eyed Janay told Lauer. “It was definitely bringing awareness to what more people are going through every day. Even though it’s not what I’m going through every day, it’s definitely brought this topic to the forefront.”

Rice was suspended indefinitely by the NFL and the Ravens dropped him from the team. But an arbitrator ruled last week that Rice was unfairly punished twice by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Rice was originally slapped on the wrist with a two-game ban until that second, much more jarring video emerged, prompting Goodell to come down with an indefinite suspension.

Goodell said that Ray was “ambiguous” during his disciplinary hearing about what happened in the elevator and that was why his original ban was brief.

“I can’t say he’s telling the truth,” Janay Rice said of Goodell, according to Pro Football Talk. “I know for a fact that he told — that Ray told the honest truth that he’s been telling from February.”

Janay Rice and her mother Candy Palmer on NBC's "Today"

Janay Rice also told “Today” that she hasn’t watched that second video.

“No, I refuse,” she said. “I’m not going to let the public bring me back there.”

Rice’s wife says he never hit her before or after that night at the Revel.

“No,” there has never been another assault, she said. “He [Rice] knows what he’d have to deal with.”

The running back’s wife repeated her defense of Rice, blaming the public and media coverage for all their problems.

“Everybody makes mistakes,” Janay Rice said. “After this whole situation, you would think we lived in a country full of people who never made a mistake, who have never sinned ever in their life.”

Both Janay and her mother assert that Ray wouldn’t hurt his wife anymore, with Palmer forcefully saying, “There is no next time, and we’ve already made that clear.”

Watch the entire interview below:

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Lauer’s interview with Janay and Ray will air Tuesday.

 

Ray Rice Wins Appeal: Now Eligible for Immediate NFL Return

ray rice

Multiple outlets are reporting that former BALTIMORE RAVENS running back Ray Rice has won his appeal of an indefinite suspension and has been reinstated to the NFL. He’s now eligible to sign with any NFL team.

Rice was suspended indefinitely Sept. 8 for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy after a VIDEO of him hitting his then-fiancée was released publicly.

Goodell originally had suspended the running back for two games.

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome testified under oath Nov. 6 in Rice’s appeal hearing that he heard the former Baltimore running back tell Goodell during his June 16 disciplinary hearing that he had hit his then-fiancée in a casino HOTEL elevator, sources told “Outside the Lines.”

Rice’s appeal of his indefinite suspension ended Nov. 6 in the OFFICES of Judge Barbara Jones, who decided the appeal outcome. Rice also testified, as did his wife, Janay.

DETAILS of what Rice and his wife testified to Nov. 6 and what Goodell said Nov. 5 were not released because of a gag order that Jones imposed. But sources said Newsome backed Rice’s previous accounts of what he told Goodell. Goodell spent the majority of his time testifying under cross-examination by outside union attorney Jeffrey Kessler, sources said.

Rice, 27, is a three-time Pro Bowler and helped the Ravens WIN Super Bowl XLVII. He rushed for 6,180 yards and 37 touchdowns in six seasons with Baltimore.

 

Floyd Mayweather’s Ex Josie Harris: ‘I Was a Battered Woman’ (Watch)

josie harris usa today

Josie Harris, Floyd Mayweather’s former girlfriend and mother to three of his four children, spoke at length to USA Today about the physical and emotional abuse she says she endured during her relationship with the boxer.

Read an excerpt below, followed by a video piece:

[She] doesn’t see Mayweather much these days. Occasionally he will collect their children in person, but more often than not they are transported using the jet service he uses for much of his travel outside of Las Vegas.

It’s an arrangement she is happy with.

“(It means) I don’t have to take a Xanax before he comes, otherwise I will be sweating bullets,” Harris told USA TODAY Sports in an interview at her home 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles. “For some reason I still get anxiety when I know that he is on his way. I have no idea why, but I get really overwhelmed when I know that I have to be around him.”

Harris says she suffered physical abuse from the boxer on “six occasions,” the worst coming in September 2010, when Mayweather entered Harris’ home as she slept, yanked her to the floor by her hair, then punched and kicked and screamed cuss words at her in front of their children. It was the couple’s oldest son, Koraun, who slipped out of the house to alert a SECURITY GUARD to summon police.

Mayweather was eventually sentenced to 90 days in prison. It was one of seven alleged assaults Mayweather has committed against five different women that resulted in him being arrested or issued a citation. Last month, his former fiancée, Shantel Jackson, filed a civil lawsuit including claims of battery, false imprisonment and allegations that the fighter pointed a gun at her.

A year ago, Harris still viewed her history with Mayweather as a love story gone wrong. Now, in the light of recent public awareness sparked by a video of NFL running back Ray Rice punching his wife in an elevator, with even President Obama’s weighing in on efforts to stop domestic violence, she sees it differently.

“I was a battered woman,” Harris said. “I felt embarrassed about saying I was a battered woman. I felt shame. I felt like it was my fault. What did I do? I didn’t understand what a battered woman was at that time. Now I know I was in a very dysfunctional, hostile relationship and a victim of domestic violence.”

Read the entire article here.

Below, Josie Harris describes her rocky relationship with the pound-for-pound king of boxing with USA TODAY’s Martin Rogers.

 

Woman Sentenced in Attack on Mary J. Blige’s Dad

Artist Mary J Blige attends the Alexander Wang X H&M Launch on October 16, 2014 in New York City

A Michigan woman has been sentenced to jail for stabbing the father of Mary J. Blige during a domestic dispute.

Cheryl White of Battle Creek was sentenced Monday to 365 days in the Calhoun County jail with credit for 270 days already served, according to the Battle Creek Enquirer. She’ll also serve five years of probation and pay more than $17,000 for Thomas Blige’s nursing services.

In a photo from Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, Cheryl White listens to her attorneys, Jeff and Kimberly Schroder, during a court hearing in Battle Creek, Mich.

White didn’t address the court Monday. In September, she pleaded no contest to assault with intent to commit great bodily harm. A no contest plea isn’t an ADMISSION of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing.

Thomas Blige testified earlier in the case that White attacked him with a knife on Jan. 23 after he caught her slashing his tires.

 

‘SVU’ Tackles Ray Rice, Solange/Jay Z, Donald Sterling Scandals in One Episode

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 4.11.58 PM

”Law & Order: SVU” CONTINUES to “rip from the headlines” this season, with Wednesday’s episode borrowing from the recent domestic violence scandals rooted in elevator surveillance footage.

In this Wednesday’s episode, titled “American Disgrace,” famous basketball star Shakir “The Shark” Wilkins is accused of rape by a PR employee from his clothing line.

According to The Huffington Post, “SVU” borrows from the RAY RICE elevator assault and the Jay Z/Solange elevator fight to show just how ambiguous scandals can be when there’s no audio and only raw camera footage.

“I’m trying to keep the show 10 minutes ahead of the news,” “SVU” showrunner Warren Leight told HuffPost Entertainment earlier this month. Leight told us that he wanted to keep the series in tune with the manner in which news leaks now, which is coming more and more from SECURITY CAMERA footage released by TMZ (on the show it’s call LMZ).

“I loved the idea of just a silent black and white scene, then sound goes out,” Leight said. “You kinda wanna know what’s going on.”

The showrunner, who wrote the episode with Julie Martin, revealed that it also tackles the Donald Sterling scandal via Stacy Keach’s character .

Watch a teaser or the episode below:

“Law & Order: SVU” airs Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. ET on NBC.

 

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