UPDATE: Foster did not stand trial for domestic violence after a judge determined in May that there was no evidence. The weapons charge was eventually reduced to a misdemeanor.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The former girlfriend of Reuben Foster testified at a preliminary hearing Thursday that she lied to police when she said the San Francisco 49ers linebacker attacked her, allegations that led to a domestic violence case against him.
Elissa Ennis testified she lied because she wanted retribution after Foster tried to end their relationship, saying she was angry “and I wanted to end him.” When asked by prosecutor Kevin Smith if Foster ever hit her, Ennis replied, “No, sir. Not once.”
Foster, a former University of Alabama player and first-round draft pick by the 49ers, was arrested after Ennis told police he dragged her by her hair, physically threw her out of their house, and punched her in the head eight to 10 times in February. He has been charged with domestic violence with an allegation that he inflicted great bodily injury, forcefully attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime, and possession of an assault weapon. Foster pleaded not guilty last week.
Ennis subsequently issued a statement through her attorney saying her injuries, including a ruptured eardrum, were the result of a fight with another woman.
Prosecutors have said they will continue to pursue the case even if Ennis does not cooperate with the investigation. The prosecution said Ennis’ testimony couldn’t be trusted given inconsistencies throughout.
Judge Nona Klippen said she will rule Wednesday on whether the case should continue to trial.
Ennis, who testified against the advice of her attorney, said in court Thursday that she wanted to testify to “do the right thing.”
She said Foster broke up with her after she got into the fight with another woman during a road rage incident in San Francisco. A 22-second video clip of that fight was presented as evidence in the case.
Ennis said she initially wanted to sue Foster. “It was all about the money,” she said.
Ennis also testified that she stole more than $8,000 in cash from Foster, two Rolex watches and designer clothing.
During cross examination by Foster’s attorney Joshua Bentley, Ennis said she went to jail in 2011 for falsely accusing an ex-boyfriend of domestic violence.
If convicted of all charges, Foster could face up to 11 years in prison. Foster remains a member of the 49ers although the team hasn’t allowed him to participate in the offseason program while his case is ongoing.