Former Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs has told a jury how rows with his partner like one he had in a Dubai hotel corridor were a “regular” feature of their relationship.
Earlier, he confirmed to Manchester Crown Court he had always been unfaithful in his romantic relationships – but had never assaulted a woman.
Giggs began giving evidence in his defence on Tuesday, where he is on trial accused of assaulting his ex-partner Kate Greville (38) and her younger sister Emma Greville (26) at his Greater Manchester home, in Worsley, on November 1st, 2020.
The 48-year-old is also accused of using controlling and coercive behaviour against Kate Greville.
The former winger’s barrister, Chris Daw QC, asked Giggs if he agreed he was “well known” the world over for being a footballer.
Mr Daw added: “But you are also known for something else, you have a reputation for infidelity. Is that reputation justified?”
Giggs replied: “Yes.”
Turning to the ex-Wales international’s romantic life, Mr Daw asked: “In the course of your relationships with women, up to and including Ms Greville, have you managed to be faithful to any of them?”
“No,” said Giggs.
The barrister asked: “If an attractive woman has shown you interest regardless of your marital status, are you able to resist?”
Giggs replied: “No.”
He agreed he was a “flirt by nature” and confirmed he lied to his ex-wife Stacey and Ms Greville about his infidelities.
Turning to the allegations for which he is on trial, Mr Daw asked: “Have you ever physically assaulted a woman?”
“No,” replied Giggs.
Mr Daw went on: “Either on November 1st, 2020 or on any other occasion?”
Giggs repeated: “No.”
Mr Daw then asked: “Have you ever set out to control or coerce a woman in any way, or in the ways alleged by Ms Greville?”
Again, Giggs replied: “No.”
Mr Daw asked: “Did you make Kate Greville a slave to your every need and every demand as she described?” and Giggs replied: “I did not.”
Giggs told jurors about his early football career, training with Manchester City before being spotted by Sir Alex Ferguson at the age of 13 and playing for the first team at Manchester United while still a teenager.
He spoke of meeting his now ex-wife at a barbecue when he was 18, how they started a relationship in his late 20s, moved to Worsley and had two children.
Giggs said he had a “very good” relationship with his children but, asked if he was faithful to his wife, Giggs replied: “No, I wasn’t.”
Around 2013-2014, he first met Ms Greville while she was working for a PR firm employed to look after his businesses with Gary Neville.
“The first time I met Kate I was immediately attracted to her, I thought she was attractive, I thought she was intelligent, I thought she was funny,” he said.
The pair, who were both married, later swapped photos, including one of her in a cropped gym top.
“I had never seen her body before,” said Giggs.
“It was the first time I knew she had abs. She was in good shape. I thought she looked hot.”
They had sex for the first time on the night before a planned photoshoot in London for Cafe Football.
Ms Greville was “unhappy” in her marriage and left her husband “no longer than six months” after she and Giggs first slept together.
Giggs said he continued to stay at his family home with then-wife Stacey and their two children, as the affair carried on.
He added they “were falling in love with each other” but that he did not move out until “some time later”.
Mr Daw asked: “Cutting to the chase, did you in a sense want to have your cake and eat it?”
Giggs replied: “Yes.”
In the end, Giggs said it was a “press article where I was linked with Kate”, published in May 2016, which led to his leaving – a decision he described as “hard”.
“She (Stacey) questioned me about it. I denied it,” he said.
Asked if it was an amicable break-up with his ex-wife, he replied: “No, I would say challenging.”
In the summer of 2016, with Ms Greville preparing to move to Abu Dhabi for a work opportunity, they discussed a relationship and decided to “make it work”.
He was asked about an incident at the Westin Hotel in Dubai in 2017, when Ms Greville has claimed Giggs dragged her naked body across the floor of his hotel room before throwing her belongings into a corridor.
After “getting on really well” that evening, Giggs claimed matters took a turn when he was texting his daughter Libby.
“I just got a bit irritated because she (Kate) was making it quite obvious she was peering over my shoulder,” he added.
“It felt like she didn’t believe it was Libby who I was messaging,” Giggs said, adding that when he “stormed off” to his hotel room, Ms Greville “followed him back” and a row started.
Giggs denied any “physical element” to the argument and said he started packing Ms Greville’s suitcase after telling her he did not want her to stay with him.
“I didn’t manage to shut it (the case) but I was ushering her towards the front door with the suitcase,” he said.
He said they were “half outside”, between the corridor and the room, before Ms Greville got back inside with her luggage.
Later they made up and “had sex that we would have quite often – which could get quite rough, but not anything weird, but just rough,” said Giggs.
He added they would regularly “message each other what we were going to do”.
Asked by Mr Daw if the incident was unusual in their “roller coaster-type” relationship, Giggs replied: “It wasn’t unusual but I wouldn’t say it was regular.”
Ms Greville was appointed to a £100,000-a-year PR job for GG Hospitality, co-owned by Giggs and former United team-mate Gary Neville, and specifically to organise PR for the launch of their new initiative, the Stock Exchange hotel and restaurant.
At about the same time in January 2019, Giggs was interviewed and got his “dream job” of manager of the Wales football team.
Giggs was then asked about how the couple would row, then “block” each other, with the ex-footballer saying “it was immature”, but denying it was an effort to control Ms Greville.
His barrister asked about why Giggs sent Ms Greville an email with the subject Blackmail, and a video attached, of her dancing to Christmas songs.
Giggs replied: “It was just a joke between me and Kate.
“Just dancing embarrassingly, something which was out of her nature, acting silly at a Christmas party.”
He told the court he had “never” shared any private photos or videos of Ms Greville.
Earlier, jurors heard how, in a prepared statement, Giggs told detectives his “head clashed” with his girlfriend’s during a “scuffle” over a mobile phone at his home, but the blow was “not deliberate”.
Giggs denies wrongdoing and the trial continues.
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can contact Women’s Aid (24-hour freephone helpline at 1800 341 900, email email@example.com) or Men’s Aid Ireland (confidential helpline at 01 554 3811, email firstname.lastname@example.org) for support and information.
Safe Ireland also outlines a number of local services and helplines at safeireland.ie/get-help/where-to-find-help/. In the case of an emergency, always dial 999/112