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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.”


SRJC swimmers/divers and their rankings ahead of this week’s state championships:


Drew Sipple: 500-yard free-1st; 1,650-yard free-1st, 200-yard butterfly-5th, relays

Bradley-John Erickson: 200-yard IM-4th, 100-yard breast-4th, 200-yard breast-3rd, relays

R.J. Williams: 50-yard free-7th, 100-yard butterfly-3rd, 100-yard free-17th, relays

Grant Howell: 500-yard free-12th, 400-yard IM-7th, 1,650-yard free-13th, relays

Nathan Parker: relays

Daniel Castagnola: relays

Kyle Bonzell: relays


Taylor Sargis: 200-yard IM-2nd, 100-yard breast-2nd, 200-yard breast-3rd, relays

Lucia Mora: 500-yard free-28th, 100-yard breast-3rd, 200-yard breast-4th, relays

Hailey Vance: 50-yard free-15th, 100-yard back-3rd, 200-yard back-3rd, relays

Mary Lane: 200-yard IM-5th, 400-yard IM-4th, 1,650-yard free-16th, relays

Jasmine Alger: 400-yard IM-14th, 100-yard butterfly-12th, 200-yard butterfly-4th, relays

Annika Erickson: 200-yard IM-9th, 100-yard butterfly-17th, 100-yard free-17th, relays

Jordan Jayne: 400-yard IM-18th, 200-yard butterfly-15th

Elana Candiotti: 1 meter, 3 meter diving

Lizzie Walls 1 meter, 3 meter diving

Source: Santa Rosa Junior College

Ennis also says she lied about Foster throwing a dog across a room during an argument. Bentley: “Why would you lie about that?” Ennis: “I was pissed and I wanted to end him.”

Ennis also acknowledged threatening to sell photos of Foster to TMZ showing him returning a Corvette he bought for her to drive.

After nearly two hours of testimony, Ennis then left the courtroom in tears with her attorney and did not comment to reporters.

Foster pleaded not guilty May 8 to felony domestic violence and weapons charges and invoked his right to a speedy trial, a move that suggested confidence in his situation and accelerated the window for the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office to build its case. Judge Nona Klippen will determine whether the evidence against Foster warrants a jury trial, or should be dismissed outright.

Two months after the arrest, Ennis recanted her allegations that led to the second-year linebacker’s Feb. 11 arrest at their Los Gatos home.

Foster is charged with felony domestic violence, forcefully attempting to dissuade a witness, and possession of an assault weapon. Under his speedy trial rights, if the judge clears the way for a trial on some or all of the charges, it would have to start within 60 days, or no later than July 9.

Legal experts not affiliated with the case described the decision by Foster’s defense as a shrewd legal strategy given the doubt that the accuser’s retraction has cast.

Ennis maintains that the video depicts a fight she had with another woman that is the real cause of her injuries police documented the morning of Foster’s arrest.

It’s unlikely prosecutors would exercise their option to file false-reporting charges against Ennis because their own case rests on bolstering the authenticity of the initial account she gave to police, as well as relying on other independent evidence like medical records, witness accounts and the 911 call.

The District Attorney’s Office proceeded in part on the notion that it is not uncommon for domestic-violence victims to be unwilling to testify against their partners. Victim advocates, particularly those who focus on the partners and spouses of professional athletes, have maintained skepticism of retractions like the one Ennis issued, describing a troubling power dynamic where victims become reluctant after assessing how much they stand to lose personally and financially.

The weapon charge, based on a SIG Sauer 516 short-barreled rifle seized from his home the morning of his arrest, could be separated from the case, but on its own would be unlikely to threaten his freedom or football career provided there is no proof he menacingly used the firearm.

Foster has been ordered to stay away from his accuser and remains free on $75,000 bail. He also voluntarily has agreed to stay away from the 49ers facility during offseason workouts . The team has said it will cut him if it’s proven he hit Ennis, and he still could face at least a six-week NFL suspension based on its domestic-violence policy.

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