The curtain was pulled just before Kate Greville entered the courtroom. It was to shield her from having to see the man in the glass-panelled dock.
That man was Ryan Giggs and, even with the curtain pulled across, she was only a few minutes into her evidence before her voice cracked with emotion.
More than once, Greville broke down in tears as she was asked about the three years during which Giggs allegedly subjected her to an abusive and violent relationship that finished with him headbutting her when she tried to leave him.
Greville was speaking as the former girlfriend who had fallen in love with the most decorated player in Manchester United’s history and, in her own words, imagined having a family and a happy life together. Instead, her account is that the reality was threatening and sinister.
He was, in Greville’s words, a serial adulterer who was having eight affairs at the same time and “flipped, absolutely flipped” when she challenged him about his behaviour.
Giggs is accused of assaulting Greville, as well as her younger sister Emma, and a separate charge of controlling and coercive behaviour towards his then-girlfriend between August 2017 and November 2020. Giggs denies all the offences.
What did we hear on the second day?
It was another extraordinary day in court, culminating in Greville’s account about how she formed a secret plan to remove herself from what she described as a cycle of lies, abuse and, at times, physical violence.
That plan was to leave Giggs, having moved in with him during lockdown, and start a new life away from the one-time superstar, now 48, who is accused by the prosecution of “preying on her vulnerabilities for his own gratification”.
First, though, she did something she had never done before — and looked through his iPad to find out more about the man who, at the time, was the Wales national team manager.
“The reality of what I found on that iPad was way worse than I could imagine,” Greville said in her police interview, shown to the jury. “There were eight women he was having affairs with — full-on relationships that had gone on constantly from 2014. It was literally all there in black and white.”
There were other messages in which Giggs allegedly described her to friends as a “slag” and a “silly cow” and, according to Greville’s account, talked about openly wanting to cheat on her again.
Giggs is said to have written: “I just need the bars to open now so I can go out and pull some clunge.”
So Greville, in her own words, “put a plan in place to leave” and kept it to herself for three weeks. She went to the doctor to check she had not caught a sexually transmitted disease from her boyfriend. She arranged to move into a new flat and wrote a letter to Giggs that she intended to send to him once she had got away.
“I needed to take a bit of control. My plan was to leave while he was away with Wales, block him and make sure all my friends would block him.
“I was waiting until he had gone on camp, so he was out of the area. I had signed for a flat in secret. And I planned to speak to a lawyer about the dog.”
The problem, she said, was that Giggs returned home while she and her sister were packing up her belongings into her car. Giggs blocked it in with his own Range Rover. “I was pleading with him to let me go. ‘Please, please, please let me go — I just want to go.’ He was very angry. I hadn’t seen him that angry before.”
Inside the house, Giggs allegedly pushed her over and, according to Greville, shoved her head into the floor. In this struggle, she thought she had broken her elbow. “He was pinning me down. I was shouting to my sister for help: ‘Get him off me’. She grabbed him by the waist. I said, ‘Emma, please help get him off me’.”
This was the fight that led to the police being called and Giggs being arrested. But at one stage, according to Greville, it was the 13-time Premier League champion threatening to call 999, saying he would accuse her of attacking him and “being a psycho”.
In her evidence, Greville says she told him she was glad the police were on their way. “That’s when he came towards me and headbutted me in the face. He came at me from nowhere, grabbed me by the shoulders and headbutted me.
“I said, ‘I can’t believe you’ve just done that’. I was in shock. I fell backwards. My lip instantly swelled. I could feel it straight away. I put my hands over my mouth and I was really worried because I could taste the blood. I thought he’d split my lip open.
“I was just in shock. All the other times he had hurt me, this was different. It was with real intent. This was not a grab or a push. He really wanted to hurt me. He looked me straight in the eye and headbutted me in the face. This one was different.”
The police were on their way and Giggs’ response was allegedly to say: “You need to think about this, Kate, this will ruin me and it will ruin you.”
Greville’s voice was cracking with emotion again. “He was talking about his kids. ‘Think about my career, think about my job, think about my kids.’ I said, ‘Well, you shouldn’t have done it then’. He left me and I was on the floor, really upset, crying.”
Did she report any other incidents of alleged violence?
According to Greville, the first time she saw Giggs being aggressive was when they were staying in a Dubai hotel. Giggs, it is alleged, forcibly grabbed her by the arm and threw her belongings out of the hotel room into the corridor. Her arm was left “black and really badly bruised”.
In her police interview, she also recalled a night out in London that ended with the couple arguing in a nightclub. Giggs, she said, left her to return to their hotel alone. She climbed into bed and went to sleep before being awoken in the middle of the night. “He (Giggs) kicked me in the back so hard I flew off the bed and landed on the floor.”
Giggs, she said, “dragged” her into another room of their suite and would not let her back in the bedroom. She was naked and “crying her eyes out” and Giggs threw her laptop bag at her head.
The next morning, she “had a massive lump on her head” and asked Giggs if he had meant it. According to Greville’s account, he replied, “Yeah, because you accused me of flirting. You made me do it. You make me so angry, you made me do that. It’s bad for me how angry you make me. You need to be careful of that.”
Their relationship, according to Greville, became a pattern of finding out he was cheating with numerous women and him “flipping” whenever she confronted him about it. On occasions, she would end up apologising to Giggs, ten years her senior, for bringing it up.
Another time, Giggs kicked her door and had to apologise to one of her friends for being so aggressive. “I was used to his behaviour — that was normal to me,” Greville said. “It didn’t shock me like the first few times he did it.”
What was in Greville’s police interview?
The full video, lasting nearly two hours, was shown to the jury and began with Greville explaining how she and Giggs had started an affair in 2013.
Greville worked for the Tangerine PR agency that had been hired by Giggs’ company, GG Hospitality, to promote his business, including Hotel Football opposite Old Trafford. Greville was, in her own words, in an unhappy relationship. Giggs had a wife, Stacey, but talked about leaving her.
“I was so happy with Ryan, I literally felt he was my soulmate,” Greville said of their early days together. “I was massively in love. He was like my best friend, my soulmate, we would talk for hours. You see these love stories in the movies — that’s how it felt.”
Then, however, the “first red flags” started to appear. Giggs, she says, would turn up at her house and, if she did not answer the doorbell, send her “a load of abuse – ‘you’re fucking somebody else, you’re a whore’ – and say, ‘I’m going to tell your boss at work, it’s not going to look good for you’”. She said Giggs had lied to her about leaving his wife (even though they later separated).
Giggs, it is alleged, would send his girlfriend “a load of abuse threatening my job”. One email to Greville’s work account was titled “blackmail” and included an attachment of a video they had made together. Greville said she deleted the email immediately but suspected it might have been a sexual video because Giggs had previously sent a naked picture of himself. His message, she says, was: “If you don’t reply to me or unblock me I’m going to send this to the (company Whatsapp) group.”
Speaking in court, Greville said it left her feeling “violated” and “helpless”.
“I had no control of what he could do and his actions. I had to do what he wanted all the time. Because if I didn’t, he would threaten my job. I was just mortified he would even put it on my work email.”
Breaking down in tears, Greville said she felt “constantly attacked”. Giggs, she said, would often call her ‘Stacey’ to insult her. “It was like his ultimate insult… he knew that would really upset me. He would say it quite a lot. He would say she used to make his life hell… and I was just like her.”
One of their text exchanges showed Greville trying to appease her boyfriend by promising not to hassle him and to be a “good girl” — which, she explained to the court, was what “he liked to call it”.
Another exchange shows Giggs calling her “an evil, horrible c***” and telling her, “You don’t deserve to be a parent.” He texted that he hoped her business failed and followed it up with a message saying, “Keep hiding behind your anxiety too.”
Did Greville explain why she kept going back to him?
In her police interviews, Greville said she had been worn down. She was suffering “horrendous anxiety” and, at times, did not have the energy to repel his attempts to win her back. It felt easier going back to him, she explained, than having to deal with his “constant bombardment”.
Her anxiety had reached “the point sometimes when it felt like I had run a marathon and couldn’t breathe.”
Giggs, she says, would not take no for an answer. He was “relentless”. He would turn up at her house and wait up to three hours to see her. He would follow her home from her gym and be “ringing the buzzer constantly”. If he gained entry, she says, he would refuse to leave. On one occasion “it got to the point where I said, ‘If you don’t get out I’m going to call the police.’ He stormed through my flat, got one of my lamps and smashed it across the floor.”
On other occasions, he would send her flowers and takeaway deliveries and there would be other acts of kindness. He would send messages about getting a dog, buying a house and having a baby together. “He would stand outside the door with a puppy. He got his mum to ring me. He would say, ‘Let’s get engaged’ and then he’d be incessantly messaging me and my friends. I got flowers every day for a week. My friends got flowers. It was ridiculous.”
At one point Giggs sent her a text message — “Do you really want me to chase you through the group? I will do it” — threatening to go to their work WhatsApp group. “It scared me,” Greville told the court. “When he threatened that, it scared me. He could have said anything because he wasn’t very rational. Something to embarrass me, humiliate me.”
She could not concentrate at work because she thought Giggs might be waiting outside her home. This process would last “days and days” and could be “absolutely draining”. Eventually, she “gave in” and went back to him even though she suspected the same pattern of behaviour would happen again. Asked by the prosecutor, Peter Wright QC, why she would return to Giggs, she replied, “Because he made me feel like I was so alone, so isolated.”
On one occasion she says Giggs arrived at her flat, an argument flared up and he allegedly took her phone and threw it at her head. It missed and, according to Greville, smashed on the floor.
The couple moved in together during lockdown and at that stage, she says, his behaviour changed again. Giggs was “constantly telling me to leave. I did leave one time and then he begged me to come back. He would always want sex at night but there was no other affection”.
If they were arguing in his car, Giggs would make her get out and “leave me in the middle of the road”.
“I felt I couldn’t ever stand up for myself because he would just flip on me,” Greville told the police. “If I ever brought up any of the girls, he would just kick me out. He would just switch and ‘get the fuck out of my house’. He would literally get my stuff and throw me out of the door.”
Greville went on to describe herself as effectively taking on the role of his personal “housemaid”, even though he employed a housekeeper. Giggs, she said, did not like the way Greville made their bed and would turn against her over the smallest things.
“The way I loaded the dishwasher was wrong (to Giggs). So he’d take all the dishes out and reload it. ‘Do I have to show you everything?’ If his tea wasn’t ready on time, or wasn’t how he liked it, he would have a massive go at me.”
It was around this time that Greville had some devastating family news.
“My dad got cancer and I remember telling him (Giggs). He didn’t even look up from his phone.”
The trial at Manchester crown court continues on Wednesday, when Greville will be cross-examined by Giggs’ legal team. His defence is that he is the victim of exaggeration and lies.
(Top photo: Getty Images; design: Sam Richardson)