Janay Rice has defended her husband, the sacked Baltimore Ravens NFL running back Ray Rice, and criticised the media for broadcasting a video of the him knocking her out.
The video, released yesterday, resulted in Rice being fired by the Ravens and indefinitely banned from America's National Football League.
A day after TMZ released a casino elevator video showing Rice punching his then-fiancee in the face and knocking her unconscious last February, Janay Rice says the extreme public attention was adding to her misery.
"I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I'm mourning the death of my closest friend," she wrote on Instagram.
"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 (opinions) from the public has caused my family."
The video prompted the Ravens to tear up Rice's contract, which was worth $NZ 12 million over the next three years, and the NFL, which had previously only suspended him for two games over the matter, to ban him indefinitely.
The video brought home the brutality of Rice's assault and in its aftermath, Nike dropped its endorsement contract with the 27-year-old.
Four days before he was to have returned from the original ban, Rice was a disgraced exile - but he did have the support of the victim in the video that dominated US news and sports coverage.
"To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing," Janay Rice posted on Instagram.
"To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass off 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!"
Ray Rice, who helped the Ravens win the 2013 Super Bowl, spoke briefly with ESPN.
"I have to be strong for my wife. She is so strong," he said.
"We are in good spirits. We have a lot of people praying for us and we will continue to support each other."
"I have to be there for (Janay) and my family right now and work through this."