Ryan Giggs’ private life ‘involved a litany of abuse’, court told

Football hero Ryan Giggs was an idol on the pitch but an abusive “gaslighter” of his ex-girlfriend in his private life, a court heard.

Behind his public persona the former Manchester United and Wales international star, accused of headbutting his ex-girlfriend, had a “much uglier and more sinister side to his character”, Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester heard.

Jurors were told the 48-year-old’s private life involved a “litany of abuse, both physical and psychological, of a woman he professed to love”.

Giggs denies using controlling and coercive behaviour against ex-girlfriend, PR executive, Kate Greville between August 2017 and November 2020.

He has also pleaded not guilty to assaulting the 36-year-old, causing her actual bodily harm, and of the common assault of her younger sister, Emma Greville, at his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester, on November 1 2020.

Prosecutor Peter Wright QC said: “Off the pitch, in the privacy of his own personal life at home or behind closed doors, there was, we say the facts reveal, a much uglier and more sinister side to his character.

“This was a private life that involved a litany of abuse, both physical and psychological, of a woman he professed to love.”

Mr Wright said after Ms Greville decided to leave him Giggs “lost control” and assaulted her at his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester on November 1 2020.

Mr Wright continued: “As she was vacating the defendant’s home address, he came back and began arguing with her and trying to stop her leaving.”

A heated argument followed and Giggs attempted to grab her phone.

Mr Wright went on: “At that stage, we say, the defendant entirely lost self-control and he deliberately headbutted Kate, thereby causing swelling to her lips and bruising.”

Jurors heard the alleged assault was the culmination of a “litany” of years of abuse.

Giggs would threaten to send images of her, “of a personal nature”, to her friends unless she did what he said, it was alleged.

He threw her, and her belongings, out of an address they were staying at, after Ms Greville challenged him about another woman and threw an item at her in a bust-up in a hotel room in London, the jury heard.

He would also turn up “unwanted” at her house or the gym she used.

Mr Wright gave the jury a flavour of some of the “thousands” of messages the pair exchanged.

He cited one from Giggs, which stated: “Please unblock me. All this blocking malarkey is poo. Promise, no more naked piccies.”

Giggs also sent Ms Greville warning: ”‘I’m so f***** mad right now I’m scaring myself because I could do anything’.”

Mr Wright said this provided a “shaft of light” on the real Ryan Giggs, who “stays in the dark, not the public persona”.

Chris Daw QC, defending, said Giggs accepted he was “far from perfect” during his relationship with Kate Greville but the alleged headbutt a “ridiculous lie”.

Giggs stood down in June as manager of the Wales national team.

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

He won 64 caps for Wales and is co-owner of League Two side Salford City.

The case continues.