Reuben Foster‘s former girlfriend testified in court Thursday that she lied about the San Francisco 49ers linebacker hitting her while also admitting it was not the first time she accused an ex-boyfriend of domestic violence, multiple media outlets reported.
Elissa Ennis recanted her charges that Foster physically assaulted her on Feb. 11, which led to felony domestic violence and weapons charges filed against the second-year linebacker.
Breaking down in tears during the preliminary trial in a San Jose, Calif., courtroom, Ennis revealed her motivation for lying to police: to destroy his career after Foster wanted to break up with her.
“I wanted to be extra. I wanted him to go down. I was pissed,” said Ennis under questioning from Foster’s attorney, Joshua Bentley.
Last week, Foster pleaded not guilty to charges of domestic violence, forcefully attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime and possessing an assault weapon.
In her initial statement to police, Ennis accused Foster of dragging her by the hair, punching her in the head eight to 10 times and physically removing her from the house.
During Thursday’s testimony, she admitted that her injuries — including scratches and a ruptured eardrum — were sustained during a fight with another woman in a road-rage incident.
The 28-year-old Ennis also testified that she stole money and jewelry from Foster in her attempt to get even with the player.
“It was all a money scheme,” said Ennis. “I didn’t want to get this far in the news. It was about money.”
Under more questioning by Bentley, Ennis acknowledged that she “went to jail” after falsely accusing another former boyfriend of domestic violence in Louisiana.
The San Jose Mercury News, citing information provided by court officials in Baton Rouge, La., reported that Ennis was arrested on suspicion of two counts of aggravated assault on Nov. 4, 2011. That case was dismissed two years later.
Quizzed by defense attorneys as to why she decided to testify and risk being subjected to perjury and other chargers, Ennis responded: “I had to do the right thing.”
After testimony concluded Thursday, Judge Nona L. Klipper said she will review all the evidence and make a ruling on May 23 if the case should proceed to trial.
One more witness was scheduled to be called after a mid-afternoon break. The judge is then expected to decide if the case should go to trial.
Foster, a first-round draft pick (No. 31 overall) in 2017, started all 10 games in which he played last season as a rookie. 49ers general manager John Lynch said the team is prepared to release Foster if the charges are proven to be true.
Given Ennis’ testimony, it’s unclear if Foster will be subject to possible NFL discipline under the league’s personal conduct policy. The league mandates a six-game suspension for a first-time domestic violence offense.