Former Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs has told a jury he has never been faithful in any of his romantic relationships but he has never assaulted a woman.
Giggs began giving evidence in his defence for the first time on Tuesday at Manchester Crown Court, where he is on trial accused of assaulting his ex-partner Kate Greville, 38, and her younger sister Emma Greville, 26, on November 1 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, calling his client to the witness box, 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 1 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 he was 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 2013-14, 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.”
The pair 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.
Earlier, jurors heard how in a prepared statement Giggs told police his “head clashed” with his girlfriend’s during a “scuffle” over a mobile phone but the blow was “not deliberate”.
Giggs was interviewed by detectives the day after being arrested on suspicion of assaulting Ms Greville and her sister during an the incident at the defendant’s home in Worsley, Greater Manchester.
Jurors were told on Tuesday that he provided officers with a handwritten prepared statement which began with the words “at this stage I feel very emotional about the incident”.
He went on: “It is correct that unfortunately Kate and I got into an argument which resulted in us having a tussle over my phone which she had taken.
“I accept during the tussle she caught me in the face, causing bleeding to the lip and inner mouth.”
Later, he claimed that while in the utility room at the house there was a “scuffle”.
“Kate Greville grabbed his hand and a scuffle developed with her sister Emma ‘standing in close proximity’,” the statement given to police said.
Giggs said: “I accept during this scuffle my head clashed with hers (Kate).
“I am not sure if it was the face or head but I am sure it was not deliberate.”
He added the couple had been together for four years and had had their “ups and downs”, but that the relationship was mainly “wonderful”.
In a prepared defence statement given to police and read in court by prosecutor Peter Wright QC, Giggs denied his behaviour towards Ms Greville was “in any way controlling or coercive, nor that I have done any of the incidents in the manner described”.
In response to an allegation that he had threatened to release intimate photos of Ms Greville or himself, Giggs’ statement said he “didn’t recall” making the threat and would “never” have released such material.
“I would be terrified of the publicity that would be generated,” he said.
He also claimed Ms Greville had tried to “control our relationship”, including an incident when she was jealous of his “contact with other females”.
“She ordered me to message certain women with whom she incorrectly accused me of having an affair,” he said.
“She dictated the content of the messages and watched me while I sent them.
“I feel extremely distressed, hurt and emotional by the way this relationship is being painted to be.”
Giggs denies wrongdoing and the the trial continues.