Reuben Foster’s accuser said she lied on the witness stand when she recanted her domestic violence claims against the former 49ers linebacker in May.
Elissa Ennis – Foster’s on-again, off-again girlfriend and the alleged victim in the most recent incident in Tampa, Fla., that led to Foster’s release from the 49ers Nov. 25 – said in a television interview with ABC News this week she lied to protect Foster after he was charged with three felonies relating to domestic violence following an incident at their home in Los Gatos in February.
“Reuben threw my clothes off the balcony, he threw my stuff out the house, he dragged me down the stairs, two or three times, he punched me in my face two or three times, he pulled me by my hair, kicked me, spit on me,” Ennis said.
Ennis’ testimony in the spring played a crucial role in domestic violence charges against Foster getting dropped by a judge in Santa Clara County Superior Court, which led to the 49ers allowing Foster back on the team after his status was in question as the case played out.
Ennis said during the preliminary trial she fabricated domestic violence claims against a previous boyfriend in the past. Ennis was asked why she lied on the stand.
“Because I loved him. And love will have you doing things that’s not your best interest because of the person you love,“ she said.
Ennis said Foster invited her to the team hotel in Tampa last month before the 49ers were slated to play against the Buccaneers. The two got into a verbal altercation which led to police getting called to the scene, where they found a one-inch scratch on Ennis’ left collarbone, according to a Hillsborough County criminal affidavit.
Foster was arrested and released on $2,000 bail. It was his third arrest of the calendar year. He was cited for marijuana possession in Alabama in January, a month before the first incident with Ennis. He opened the NFL regular season suspended for two games for violating the league’s personal conduct and substance abuse policies.
The 49ers released Foster the morning after the incident in Tampa, less than two years after trading up into the first round of the 2017 NFL draft to select him No. 31 overall. The former Alabama star was claimed off waivers by the Washington Redskins two days after his release from San Francisco. It was a decision that came with harsh criticism.
“When he got signed, I was like, ‘I can’t believe somebody picked him up,’” Ennis said. “And, I just couldn’t believe somebody picked him up in less than, how many hours? Like, I was shocked.”
Foster is currently on the commissioner’s exempt list, which prevents him from practicing or playing with Washington until the NFL concludes an investigation into the incident.