49er’s ex-girlfriend recants charges of abuse
Reuben Foster’s ex-girlfriend recanted allegations Thursday that the San Francisco 49ers linebacker beat her up, saying instead that she made up the domestic assault and lied to police and her family after Foster broke off their relationship.
Elissa Ennis, 28, took the stand at the Hall of Justice in San Jose for two hours, tearfully testifying in a preliminary hearing about what she said really happened the morning of Feb. 11 at Foster’s Los Gatos home.
She said she told Foster, “I’m about to f— your s— up. You’re not going to have a job no more,” before calling police with a story that he dragged her by her hair and punched her 10 times in the head and back.
Ennis had a bruised face, scratches and cuts on her back, knee and neck when officers arrived that morning, police said. But on Thursday, she said she sustained the injuries in a fight with two women the night prior in San Francisco.
Ennis’ testimony expanded on a public statement she is-
sued through her attorney in April , saying she made up the allegations against Foster. Officials with the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office, though, said they still believed Foster committed the attack based on the evidence and have proceeded with the case.
Foster, 24, was charged with domestic violence, forcefully attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime and possession of an assault weapon in connection with the incident at his home on Shannon Road.
The 49ers, who have seen several players face domestic violence and other charges in recent years, are closely watching the case. General manager John Lynch has said the team would release Foster if he’s found guilty .
“I do want to be very clear, abundantly clear, that if these charges are proven true, if Reuben did indeed hit this young lady, he won’t be part of our organization moving forward,” Lynch said.
In a bombshell revelation Thursday while under crossexamination, Ennis admitted having a history of lying about domestic violence. In her home state of Louisiana in 2011, she said, she falsely accused another boyfriend of beating her up after he broke up with her.
Ennis said her plan was to sue Foster in civil court as part of a “money scheme,” but once the criminal charges were filed, “things had gone too far.”
“I’m sorry,” Ennis said, wiping away tears with tissues. “I really am. I apologize to everybody. I really am sorry.”
After calling 911 three times from the house the morning of Feb. 11, Ennis went on to tell police investigators, hospital staff and her family members that Foster had assaulted her and had thrown their dog across the room.
“Clearly, the issue here is, what statement do you believe?” Kevin Smith, an assistant district attorney, said in court Thursday. “And it’s not just one statement. It’s one consistent statement she told police, her mother and her brother versus the inconsistent recent statement.”
Police said they found a Sig Sauer rifle on a downstairs bathroom floor of the home that violated California’s assaultweapons ban. Foster’s attorney, Joshua Bentley, said his client legally purchased the weapon in Alabama.
Ennis started backing off her story once she flew home to her mother’s house in Louisiana. Three days after arriving home, Ennis said, she told a Los Gatos police investigator that she’d really been injured in a fight in San Francisco.
She testified that when she got to Foster’s home the night of the fight, he asked what happened to her face but “didn’t want to talk to me. He was mad.”
The next morning, while she was cooking breakfast, Foster “broke up with me,” she said. “It hurt.”
Foster then began throwing her clothing into a pile in the home foyer, Ennis testified, and she attacked him.
“I tried to hit him with a hanger and he just ran out of the house,” she said. “I wanted to kill him, I was so hurt.”
That’s when Ennis said she called police, threw her phone at Foster, ran and flagged down a passing motorist, and called 911 again from the man’s phone.
After police interviewed Ennis and Foster at the home and she was treated at a hospital, Ennis said she grabbed more than $8,000 of Foster’s cash and two Rolex watches and bolted back to Louisiana. Foster has since recovered the money, she said, but she still has the watches in a safe deposit box at a bank back home.
Ennis told the court that she came back to Foster’s home to take care of their dog after he was arrested, and that they took a trip with her mother and her child from another relationship to Disney World after the incident.
Foster had purchased a Corvette that Ennis would drive when they were dating, she said, and upon her return to California after the episode, he made her follow him to the dealership to return the sports car.
Ennis admitted taking pictures of Foster as he dropped the Corvette off, and said she threatened to sell them to the celebrity gossip website TMZ.
On March 13, Ennis said, a friend sent her an email with a video of the alleged fight in San Francisco. The video had been posted on social media and showed Ennis fighting the women, she said. The district attorney’s office has the video, but prosecutors said it’s unclear where and when it was shot.
Ennis ended her testimony shortly before noon and abruptly left the courthouse amid a frenzy of television news cameras.
Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Nona Klippen said she will rule Wednesday whether there is enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial.
49ers linebacker Reuben Foster (center) arrives in court with his attorney Joshua Bentley in San Jose. A judge is expected to rule next week whether there is enough evidence for the case to go to trial.
Elissa Ennis, ex-girlfriend of 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster, leaves court after testifying that her earlier account was a lie.