Ryan Giggs on trial accused of attacking ex Kate Greville

Advertisement

Giggs is accused of treating his ex Kate Greville with controlling and coercive behavior and assaulting her

Former Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs was “idolized” for his skills on the pitch, but behind closed doors he had “a much uglier and sinister side to his character,” according to a court.

Advertisement

A jury at the Crown Court on Minshull Street in Manchester was told the 48-year-old’s private life included a “litany of physical and psychological abuse by a woman he allegedly loved”.

Giggs is accused of using controlling and coercive behavior against ex-girlfriend Kate Greville between August 2017 and November 2020.

Advertisement

He is also accused of assaulting and actually assaulting the 36-year-old and assaulting her younger sister Emma Greville together at his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester on November 1, 2020.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and the trial has been adjourned until Tuesday.

Advertisement

Giggs stepped down as manager of the Wales national team in June after being furloughed since November 2020.

During his time at Old Trafford, Manchester United won 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League trophies, four FA Cups and three League Cups.

Advertisement

He has 64 caps for Wales and is part-owner of second division side Salford City.

Former Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs appears in court.

What did the prosecutor say?

Advertisement

Prosecutor Peter Wright QC opened the case on Monday, saying of the defendant: “He was idolized by his adoring fans and supporters. On the pitch, his skills were plentiful and a thing of beauty.

“Off the field, in the privacy of his own personal life at home or behind closed doors, there was, shall we say, the facts show, a much uglier and more sinister side of his character.

Advertisement

“This was a private life that included a litany of physical and psychological abuse of a woman he allegedly loved.

“A woman who, in reality, if the evidence is to be believed, was treated in a way that cannot be condoned or overlooked by an adoring public or the law.

Advertisement

“This is a story of control and coercion from a woman who believed she was loved and respected; Unfortunately, the reality was very different.”

The attorney continued, “When the scales finally fell from her eyes after years of turbulence, she realized she needed to step outside of his sphere of influence.”

Advertisement

Mr Wright said the result of that decision to break away was the incident on November 1, 2020, when Giggs “lost control” and headbutted Ms Greville.

While out with friends at the Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester that evening, Ms Greville decided to end their relationship, Mr Wright said.

Advertisement

He said: “She knew the defendant had cheated on her once again.

“The behavior of the defendants towards her led to her making this decision in the evening and leaving early. Before returning home, she texted her sister about her plans.

Advertisement

“She wanted to leave before he got back from the hotel. The plan didn’t work out.

“When she left the defendant’s home address, he came back and started arguing with her and trying to stop her.”

Advertisement

The prosecutor said she took his phone as a “negotiation chip” to convince him not to stop her from leaving.

A heated argument ensued and Giggs then attempted to grab her phone, which was later found hanging from a fence post in the garden of the property, Mr Wright said.

Advertisement

In the ensuing altercation, they wrestled on the floor together before Ms Greville’s sister intervened, the court heard.

Mr Wright said: “She (Emma Greville) tried to pull the defendant away from her sister. For her pain, shall we say, the defendant intentionally elbowed her in the jaw, causing her discomfort and the shock that he was going to do violence to her and her sister.

Advertisement

“The argument between the defendant and Kate Greville has moved to the kitchen. The couple continued to argue over their cellphone.

“At that point, shall we say, the defendant completely lost control and intentionally headbutted Kate, causing her lips to swell and bruise. Emma then called the police, who visited the premises.”

Advertisement

Mr Wright told the jury he would give a “snapshot” of the nature of the relationship between the defendant and Ms Greville.

What has been said about email messages?

Advertisement

Ms Greville would block Giggs on social media then he would email her instead, he said.

Giggs would threaten to send pictures of her “personal nature” to her friends unless she did what he was said to do.

Advertisement

He physically threw her and her belongings out of an address where they were staying after Ms Greville challenged him about another woman and threw her an object during a raid on a London hotel room, the jury heard.

The court was told that Giggs would harass Greville with messages, including messages to her friends, and would show up “undesirably” at her home or the gym she used.

Advertisement

Mr Wright added: “This was not an expression of love, this is obsessive behavior on his part.”

Mr Wright gave the judges a taste of some of the “thousands” of messages the couple had exchanged.

Advertisement

He quoted one of Giggs saying, “Please unblock me. All this blocking nonsense is shit. Promise, no more naked pictures.”

“You might want to wonder what he threatened to do,” Mr. Wright added.

Advertisement

Minutes later, Giggs sent an email with an attachment and the subject “Extortion”.

What did the defense say?

Advertisement

Giggs’ attorney, Chris Daw QC, told the jury that Giggs fully accepts that his behavior – on a moral level – was at times “far from perfect” during their time together.

The defendant also concedes that he has not always handled their arguments “in the best possible manner” and the jury might think that in their numerous exchanges of messages, the couple acted like “quarreling teenagers,” Mr Daw said.

Advertisement

But the defensive case is that “there were lines Mr. Giggs would never cross.”

Mr Daw said: “He never once used unlawful force on Ms Greville in the course of their relationship, no matter how bad things got.

Advertisement

“His defense against the attacks is simple. These allegations are based on distortion, exaggeration and lies. He didn’t attack anyone.

“In the weeks prior, Kate Greville told her friends that she was determined not to leave the relationship with nothing.”

Advertisement

He said Giggs and wife Greville both tripped and fell to the ground in the kitchen of his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester, in November 2020 and she kicked him in the face as he tried to pull away.

Mr Daw said Giggs was not even aware that the applicant’s sister was in the house at the time and certainly did not elbow her as alleged.

Advertisement

The alleged headbutt was “not just a wicked lie, but a ridiculous one,” he said, as evidence will show there was only “minor and incidental contact” between their faces.

He continued, “In stark contrast to the picture painted by Ms. Greville, Mr. Giggs did not control or coerce at all.”

Advertisement

The court heard Ms Greville was employed by public relations firm Tangerine and also by Gigg’s own company, GG Hospitality, for part of the alleged conduct control period.

Mr. Daw said his client nurtured her career aspirations and introduced most of her clients when she started her own business and was earning a six-figure salary.

Advertisement

He said Ms Greville is “always completely financially independent” and free to travel and see her friends.

Advertisement