A St. Louis woman who claimed to be the victim of the infamous "knockout game" was actually covering for her boyfriend, whom police say struck her in the face during an argument.

Ashley DePew made headlines last month after she told local news outlets she was attacked by three black males whom she believed was participating in the media-hyped "game" known as "knockout."

But police now say the 23-year-old made up the story in order to protect her boyfriend, 25-year-old Justin Simms.

DePew initially told officers she and Simms were picking up a friend from The Trophy Room on November 17th, when she wandered into a crowd outside the bar and was punched in the face by the three young men.

Authorities investigated the claim and found that neither DePew nor Simms were at that bar, and the friend they were allegedly picking up denied having seen them that night.

After police confronted DePew and Simms, they reportedly confessed to inventing the knockout game story for fear of repercussions from police and their respective families.

DePew actually sustained her injury — which required facial reconstructive surgery — during an argument that took place inside Simms' car.

The two claim Simms inadvertently hit DePew in the eye after she placed her hand on his and he "flung it back violently."

"We had to spend a significant amount of resources unraveling the lies they told," said St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson. "That’s resources that could have been spent on other crimes and it damaged the perception of the city. I hope these two individuals get help in their relationship."

Both face misdemeanor charges, but DePew's attorney Ethan Corlija said he hoped his client's lying wouldn't "detract from the fact that she’s still a victim."

"She sustained pretty serious injuries. No matter how the circuit attorney chooses to view it, it still boils down to her being a victim and we can’t lose sight of that fact," he said.

[screengrab via Facebook]