SAN JOSE — San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster’s former girlfriend testified that she fabricated allegations that he beat her and denied she is receiving any money for recanting an initial story to police.
During a Thursday morning court hearing and with Foster looking on, Elissa Ennis also said she threatened to mess up Foster’s career after he broke up with her.
“It was all a money scheme. I didn’t want to get this far in the news. It was about money,” Ennis said.
She called 911 because “I wanted him to go down. I was pissed,” she said.
Under questioning from Foster’s attorney Joshua Bentley, Ennis also admitted to attempting to get a previous boyfriend arrested for domestic violence in 2011 in a similar scheme.
“You knew in this case when Reuben Foster broke up with you, you were going to go to your playbook and ruin his career,” Bentley said. “Isn’t that true?”
“Yes, sir,” Ennis said.
Ennis often struggled with her recall of events, particularly the night before Foster’s Feb. 11 arrest. She said got into a fight with two women in San Francisco, which caused the injuries she told Los Gatos police that Foster caused.
Ennis repeatedly said she couldn’t recall what she told police, which was the basis of the criminal charges. Her testimony came Thursday morning at a preliminary hearing that will determine if Foster will go to trial for domestic violence charges.
Ennis’ attorney, Stephanie Rickard, stated in court Thursday that she advised her client against testifying, and had urged her to plead the Fifth Amendment and her right against self-incrimination.
In her initial allegations, Ennis told Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police that Foster “punched her in the head 8 to 10 times,” rupturing her eardrum, but also that Foster hit her “hard, but not that hard,” according to a police report. The report also includes the allegation that Foster threw Ennis’ dog across a room during an earlier argument.
The night of the alleged beating Ennis flagged down a passing motorist outside the Los Gatos home she shared with Foster. A witness said that Ennis was calm and “she wasn’t panicking” when she asked to use his cell phone.
Ennis also testified that after Foster was arrested she went home to Louisiana, taking a safe deposit box that contained Foster’s jewelry and money.
When asked by prosecutor Kevin Smith if she still loves Foster, Ennis replied, “I don’t love him, I need help for myself.” Then she said she plans to check herself into an unspecified clinic.
Asked why she is risking perjury to exonerate Foster, Ennis said: “I had to do the right thing.”
Of the purported lies against Foster, she said, “I wanted to sue him on my own.”
On cross examination, defense attorney Joshua Bentley methodically questioned Ennis over her accusations and elicited repeated responses from Ennis: “Yes sir, that was a lie.”
During the hearing, 911 calls were played, including one with Ennis frantic and another with her her calm and deliberate, stating, “My boyfriend, he beat me up.”
Bentley asked her directly, “Did Mr. Foster ever hit you?” Ennis replied “No sir,” then broke down in tears. “I’m sorry. I really am. I apologize to everybody.”