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

Ryan Giggs’s ex-partner had panic attacks in ‘horrific’ relationship, court told

Ryan Giggs arriving at Manchester crown court
Ryan Giggs arriving at Manchester crown court on Thursday for his assault trial. Photograph: Steven Allen/PA

The former partner of Ryan Giggs has told his assault trial that she had panic attacks when their relationship became “utter hell” during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Kate Greville, 36, said she was “hugely ashamed” that she moved in with the former Manchester United footballer in March 2020 despite his allegedly aggressive and controlling behaviour.

The PR executive told jurors at Manchester crown court: “I felt like I was losing my mind. I was having panic attacks. It was a horrific time. Mentally, it was a horrendous time for me.”

Giggs, 48, denies using controlling and coercive behaviour against Greville between August 2017 and November 2020, assaulting her, causing actual bodily harm, and the common assault of her younger sister, Emma.

Under cross-examination for a second day by Giggs’s barrister, Chris Daw QC, Greville denied “making up random things” when she first spoke to police officers about an alleged head-butt by Giggs on 1 November 2020.

Jurors were shown footage from a police body-worn camera of Greville in tears moments after an alleged altercation with the then Wales manager in which she claimed he had “head-butted me before”.

Greville said: “I was just trying to explain what happened. I was completely confused. I didn’t know what had happened to me. I was in shock. It was an extremely traumatic time.”

She said their relationship became “utter hell” over the course of 2020 after they moved in together at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Asked by Daw why she had wanted to move in with a man she believed to be a “serial abuser”, the complainant said: “It was a cycle of abuse that made me feel insecure. I kept going back, he kept promising the world.

“He made me believe that he would not do it again and, stupidly, I went back. I am hugely ashamed of that but I did.”

In August 2020, Greville discovered that Giggs had been texting other women, when she looked at his phone when he had been drinking one day. In emails read to the jury, Giggs wrote: “Kate, you didn’t catch me in bed with anyone. I sent a few drunken texts. Chills babe.”

He said: “Wish I had cheated now,” when Greville expressed her anger, telling Giggs to “go to hell you absolute skank”.

Giggs then wrote: “Give the therapist a call, Kate … you’re right I don’t give a fuck about your feelings but your hatred today is on another level. That bad it’s funny.” Two days later he emailed her again: “I miss you so much.”

Giggs’s barrister suggested that Greville devised “a plan” to get pregnant and leave the Welshman after she discovered the messages.

Having Giggs’s child before their split would have meant she was entitled to a “significant amount of support” for a long time, Daw said, allowing her to continue to fund her lifestyle. Greville denied the claim.

The jury were also told about an incident in February 2020 in which Giggs allegedly grabbed Greville by the wrist and pulled her arm during a trip to Dubai.

Greville said this argument started when Giggs described his then partner as a “liability when drunk” after drinking wine with friends. But Daw, for Giggs, said the row began when the footballer accidentally called her “Stace” – the name of his former wife, whom he left for Greville in 2017.

Greville said she was “upset” at this but did not go “ballistic”, as Daw suggested.

Giggs’s barrister read a series of texts between the pair in the hours and days after allegedly violent incidents. He put to Greville that she “never mentioned” the physical attacks in the messages.

Greville replied: “I never would do that because he would make me feel like it was my fault and if I raised it there would be consequences.”

Concluding two days of cross-examination, Greville was asked about a photograph she helped to “stage” two weeks after the alleged head-butt, which resulted in a story published by the Sun.

Jurors were shown texts in which Greville joked with a friend about making £5,000 from a photograph “to cover my legal costs”.

Greville said she arranged the picture – which showed her with a cut lip – to stop “the paparazzi turning up at my door every day, and get a bit of control back”.

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