The estranged girlfriend of NFL linebacker Reuben Foster has talked publicly for the first time about what led to his November arrest in Tampa the night before Foster was to have played for the 49ers against the Buccaneers.
Elissa Ennis told ABC’s Good Morning America in an exclusive interview aired Thursday morning that Foster became upset with her looking at his phone about him allegedly having cheated on her in their relationship, again. Ennis then told the show that Fosters slapped her and grabbed her around the chest. She provided photographic evidence to ABC of his alleged assault.
— ABC News (@ABC) December 6, 2018
That incident at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, where the 49ers were staying the night before their game with Tampa Bay, led to Foster being arrested by Tampa Police. ABC played a portion of Ennis’ 911 call that night, as well.
Foster was subsequently released by the 49ers, while he was still in jail Sunday morning prior to the game.
Ennis further alleges that unidentified members of the 49ers staff dealt with her and with the police that night trying to downplay what had happened. She told ABC that that her credibility was being questioned due to a previous allegation from Ennis about Foster back in February.
Foster was arrested, then, for allegedly trying to abuse Ennis in Northern California. However, the charges were dismissed after Ennis told the judge in April that she had made-up and/or embellished her account of what had happened. Her motive, she told the judge, was jealously about another girlfriend of Foster’s that she had found out about and fought with that woman that night.
However, Thursday morning, Ennis told ABC that she was lying then, to the court, and that Foster had in fact abused her, including slapping her and dragging her down flights of stairs. And, that she had more photographic proof of that incident.
Foster was a former number one pick out of Alabama to the 49ers in 2017. After his release by San Francisco on November 25th, he was picked up off waivers the next day for his original rookie salary by the Washington Redskins. That created a firestorm of controversy in D.C. and eventually nationally, that the Redskins would disregard the questionable, at best, background for Foster and his most recent arrest.
Foster is currently on the “Commissioners Exempt List,” which means he is not eligible to play for the Skins until his case is resolved and the league is satisfied and/or has punished him themselves.
The charges are still pending against Foster in Tampa.
Ennis also told ABC that she and Foster have both been seeking counseling since earlier this year. And it was Foster’s idea to fly her to meet him in Tampa, as a 49ers had come into West Central Florida a day early for their East Coast game. Typically, family and friends of players are forbidden by NFL teams from staying with them on road games.
At times in tears during the interview, she said that she now realizes she’s not in love with Foster and that through help with a therapist she realizes what a mess the situation had become.
Ennis was asked by the interviewer why she should be believed now, if she says she lied before to the court in California. She told Good Morning America that “anybody in my position (in a relationship, scared, not knowing what to do) would have done the same thing.”
There is a very real possibility that Foster is facing at least a four-game suspension and maybe longer from the NFL for violation of the personal conduct policy, again. The league suspended him for the first two games of this season for violation of that policy related to the February incident.
However, that suspension was not for the domestic violence, but that Foster also had an illegal handgun and marijuana present at the time of the arrest.