Ryan Giggs breaks down in court describing night in cell as ‘worst experience’

·6-min read
Former Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs arrives at Manchester Crown Court (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA)
Former Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs arrives at Manchester Crown Court (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA)

Former Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs has broken down in court as he described his night in a police cell as “the worst experience of my life”.

The 48-year-old later admitted to being “jealous” and “hot-headed” on occasions in his relationship with PR executive Kate Greville and had bullied and threatened her.

He also accepted monitoring her movements online but he maintained he had never been violent towards her or controlling and coercive in their relationship.

The ex-Wales manager said he was taken to Pendleton police station after being arrested on suspicion of assaulting his ex-partner on November 1 2020.

He told the jury at Manchester Crown Court the incident was a “sort of tug-of-war” in which he and Kate Greville “clashed heads” after he attempted to grab her phone.

Asked by his lawyer, Chris Daw QC, how he engaged with the police when they arrived at his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester, Giggs said: “Just answered their questions.”

Describing his emotional state at the time, he said: “I was scared. I’d never been in that position before, so scared.”

Giggs confirmed he was arrested, taken to the police station and spent the night in a cell.

He then started crying as he said it was the “worst experience of my life”.

Giggs told the court he got “hardly any” sleep that night and spoke to a solicitor for the first time the next day.

The defendant told jurors he would never headbutt Ms Greville, telling the court he and his ex-girlfriend “totally lost balance because we slipped on the shopping bags”.

He is on trial accused of assaulting the 38-year-old and her younger sister, Emma Greville, 26, at his home. He is also accused of using controlling and coercive behaviour against his ex-partner between August 2017 and November 2020.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Speaking about the incident at his home, Giggs said: “I was frustrated that Kate would not give me my phone back so I tried to get her phone.

“As I went to grab the phone I’m facing the cloakroom door and Kate has her back to that door. We both slipped on the bags and I fell on Kate into the cloakroom.”

Mr Daw asked: “Was that deliberate on your part?”

Giggs replied: “No, we just totally lost balance because we slipped on the shopping bags.

“My head was around her waist height. Then Kate just proceeded to kicking me in the head.”

“Did you do anything physical?” Mr Daw asked.

Giggs said: “No, as soon as we were on the floor I was just protecting my head. After these six, seven kicks to the head, I just got up and we went our separate ways.”

He said he did not see Emma Greville when the struggle took place.

Mr Daw asked: “Did you deliberately elbow Emma?” and Giggs replied: “No.”

Giggs said he later found his phone on a window sill near the front door.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

He said he later discovered Kate Greville’s phone in the utility room and put it in his trouser pocket, adding: “It was tit for tat. If she was going to take my phone, I was going to take her phone.

“She said she wanted her phone back and I said I was not giving it back.

“Stupidly I kept on to her phone. Then Kate sort of grabbed my wrist while my hand was in my pocket and led me to the fridge.

“I was not resisting. We went all around the kitchen island.”

Mr Daw asked: “How far did the two of you get around the island?”

Giggs replied: “All the way round up to the dining room table and chairs. Kate had then stopped because her back was against the chair and table.

“The tugging just got a little bit more aggressive… we were facing each other, it was sort of tug-of-war and we then clashed heads.

“It happened really quickly. I felt my lips against hers.”

Mr Daw asked: “What was her reaction?”

Giggs said: “I could see quite clearly she had been hurt. She just fell backwards, more towards the table.”

Mr Daw asked: “Did she (Kate Greville) say anything at that point?”


“Did she say anything after that to say what had happened?”

“She accused me of hitting her in the face. She accused me of headbutting her.”

“Did you at any stage put your hands on Kate’s shoulders and forcefully and deliberately headbutt her in the face?”

“No, I did not.”

“Would you ever do such a thing?”


Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, asked Giggs: “The reality here, isn’t it, that there is a very different side to Ryan Giggs?”

Giggs said: “No.”

Mr Wright said: “There is the Ryan Giggs the public knows, and there is the Ryan Giggs that you know, isn’t there?”

“No,” said Giggs.

(Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)
(Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)

The defendant admitted he was the “jealous type” on occasions and also “hot-headed”.

Mr Wright asked him to explain why he referred to Kate Greville in one e-mail as “c***”.

Giggs said: “I was emotional and there was no excuse for my language.”

Mr Wright said: “That’s an excuse, not an explanation. My question was why?”

Giggs said: “Because I was angry.”

He also agreed he could be “impetuous sometimes”.

Mr Wright asked: “Is it because you thought, so far as your private life is concerned, you could get away with it?”

Giggs replied: “No.”

Mr Wright said: “You could do whatever you wanted.”

Giggs repeated: “No.”

Mr Wright said: “Until the evening of November 1 when the police arrived – that’s the truth isn’t it?”

Giggs said: “No.”

Mr Wright said: “Until, I suggest, the woman you had controlled and coerced for years stood up to you, didn’t she?”

Giggs replied: “No.”

Mr Wright went on to read an e-mail exchange between the pair on their work accounts at GG Hospitality  – the firm co-owned by Giggs and former team-mate Gary Neville – about a man they both knew.

Giggs wrote: “ROB F****** WHO????? ARE YOU F****** DATING ROB. IF YOU ARE YOU FINISHED. END OF.”

Mr Wright asked Giggs: “What power did you have over her? How are you going to be able do anything to finish her?”

Giggs replied: “I don’t know.”

Mr Wright said: “Would you agree you are threatening her?”

“Yes,” said Giggs.

Giggs went on to agree that such a message may have caused her to be distressed and alarmed.

Mr Wright said: “Because she really valued her job?”

“Yes,” said Giggs.

Mr Wright said: “Because it was an important part of her life?”

“Yes,” repeated Giggs.

Mr Wright said: “And you manipulated that?”

Giggs said: “No.”

Mr Wright said: “Is there any excuse for that?”

“No,” said Giggs.

Mr Wright said: “Would you consider it to be bullying?”

“Yes,” said Giggs.

Mr Wright asked: “Did you apologise?”

Giggs replied “I can’t say.”

The defendant denies wrongdoing and the trial continues on Thursday.