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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Josh Halliday North of England correspondent

Ryan Giggs admits reputation as ‘love cheat’ is justified

Ryan Giggs outside Manchester crown court.
Ryan Giggs outside Manchester crown court. Photograph: Peter Powell/Reuters

Ryan Giggs has admitted cheating on his ex-wife and girlfriends “many times” and said his reputation as a “love cheat” was justified – but told a court he had never abused women.

The former Manchester United and Wales footballer said he had never been faithful to any of his partners but denied using coercive or controlling behaviour.

Giving evidence for the first time in his trial, Giggs, 48, was asked whether he had ever lied to his ex-wife, Stacey Giggs, and former partner Kate Greville about his infidelity. He answered: “Yes. More than once. Many times.”

Asked by his barrister, Chris Daw QC, if his reputation as a “love cheat” was justified, Giggs said: “Yes.”

Asked if he was able to resist women if he was attracted to them, despite being in a relationship, he said: “No.”

Giggs told the jury at Manchester crown court he had never physically assaulted or used coercive and controlling behaviour on women.

He has denied deliberately head-butting Greville and elbowing her younger sister in the face during a drunken row at his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester, on 1 November 2020.

The former Wales manager also denies manipulating Greville over a period of three years leading up to their separation.

Greville, 36, has accused Giggs of making her life “utter hell”, isolating her from friends and family and destroying her self-confidence during their “toxic” on-off relationship.

Giggs described how he “fell in love” with Greville after meeting her while she worked as a PR person for his hospitality business with Gary Neville.

They were both married at the time, he said, but they began an affair, and within three or four months she left her husband for Giggs, who left his wife several months later.

Giggs told the jury: “Me and my wife had problems. I cheated on my ex-wife, which was quite a public affair.

“We got over that and things were good and it was a part of my life where I was just finishing football and going into a coaching career which was longer hours, more time away from the house and away from the family and Stacey.

“I wasn’t giving the Stacey the attention she deserved. Eventually we were getting more and more unhappy. Gradually it became more and more difficult.”

Giggs was asked about an incident in which he is alleged to have thrown Greville naked out of a hotel room in Dubai in September 2017. Greville has claimed Giggs dragged her across the floor of his hotel room before throwing her belongings into a corridor.

Giggs denied any “physical element” to the argument and said he started packing Greville’s suitcase after telling her he did not want her to stay with him. He said he eventually let her sleep in his bed.

He said they then had sex. Asked by Daw what sort of sex they had, Giggs said: “Sex that we would have quite often which could get rough – but not anything weird but just rough sex.”

Giggs’s defence is that Greville sustained bruising to her wrist because of rough sex – not, as the prosecution claim, because he grabbed her arm during an argument.

Earlier on Tuesday, the jury heard that Giggs told police following his arrest for allegedly head-butting Greville in November 2020 that “during this scuffle my head clashed with hers”.

He added: “I am not sure if it was the face or head but I am sure it was not deliberate.”

He told detectives in a prepared statement that he felt “extremely distressed, hurt and emotional” that Greville had alleged that he had been coercive and controlling.

Giggs claims to police that it was Greville who had tried to “control our relationship”. He said: “She ordered me to message certain women with whom she incorrectly accused me of having an affair … She dictated the content of the messages and watched me while I sent them.”

The trial continues.

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