Ryan Giggs’ former girlfriend is set to be questioned in the witness stand after her police interview is played in court.
Kate Greville, 36, claims that the former Manchester United and Wales great abused her physically and psychologically during their on-off relationship which ended on Nov 1, 2020, Manchester Crown Court heard on Monday.
The opening day of the trial heard that on that day, former footballer had head-butted Ms Greville and elbowed her younger sister Emma in the jaw.
Whilst the Crown Prosecution Service allege Mr Giggs had been gaslighting his former partner, the defence argue that these were “nasty” and “exaggerated” lies.
Mr Giggs, 48, also denies ever assaulting Ms Greville, claiming it was him who was kicked in the head and body during the altercation on Nov 1.
Follow day 2 of the trial live below.
Ryan Giggs' ex-girlfriend will give evidence from behind screen
The judge told the jury at Manchester Crown Court that Kate Greville will give evidence from behind a screen so that she will only be visible to herself, the jury and the barrister questioning her.
The jury were told this was “very common” in court.
The 15 key moments from day one
Ryan Giggs was mobbed by photographers as he arrived at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court
It took four hours for proceedings to get underway owing to jury issues, but eventually a panel of seven women and five men were sworn in to try the case
Opening the case for the Crown Prosecution Service, Peter Wright QC told the court: "On the pitch his skills were abundant and a thing of beauty. Off the pitch and in the privacy of his personal life and home and behind closed doors, there was a much uglier and more sinister side to his character." He said that this private life "involved a litany of abuse, both physical and psychological abuse of a woman that he professed to love".
Mr Wright QC continued: "This was not a state of affairs that was arrived at overnight or by chance. It was a deliberate cause of conduct by him, calculated to gaslight her into doubting herself…to wear her down."
The court heard how Kate Greville QC found out that Mr Giggs was cheating on her. She left for Dubai, at which stage the former footballer went after her and they got back together, the jury was told.
Ms Greville had decided she was going to leave Mr Giggs, and hatched a plan to move out of their home, the court heard. This plan was executed with the help of her younger sister Emma who was house-sitting her sister and Mr Giggs' home while they were out with friends at The Stock Exchange hotel in Manchester.
Mr Wright told the jury the plan failed because Mr Giggs arrived home as she was attempting to leave their house. An altercation ensued, during which Mr Giggs "deliberately headbutted" Ms Greville and elbowed her sister in the jaw, the CPS allege.
The court heard messages sent from Ryan Giggs to his former girlfriend, including one which read: "Please unblock me, all this blocking malarkey is poo. Promise, no more naked piccies."
The jury were told that the pair were "almost umbilically" attached to their phones, and that they would regularly block each other on social media during their spats.
Mr Wright QC said: "This was a turbulent relationship lived out in the public eye. There is a case of considerable press interested... but this is not trial by press or public opinion. His popularity is not a passport to an acquittal."
The defence, through Chris Daw QC, said: "Mr Giggs fully accepts on a moral level at times he was far from perfect. He also fully agrees that he did not always handle their arguments in the best possible way. Some of his messages showed a combination of immaturity and completely inappropriate language."
He added: "The pair of them behaved like squabbling children, each of them played on the insecurities of each other. Much of the evidence you will hear is - especially the emotional outbursts - is exactly the thing that goes on behind closed doors in relationships. Words said in anger may be instantly regretted."
There are certain lines Mr Giggs would "never cross", his defence barrister told the court. "Physical assaults and violence, the defence says, are simply false," Mr Daw QC said. "He never once used unlawful violence against Ms Greville, the allegations are simply not true."
Addressing the incident on Nov 1, 2020, when the CPS allege Mr Giggs headbutted Kate Greville and elbowed her sister Emma, Mr Daw QC said it was a "nasty" and "ridiculous" lie, adding: "Those accusations are based on distortion, exaggeration and lies. He assaulted nobody that night."
We're going to hear in some form from Sir Alex Ferguson and Gary Neville as well as a number of Ryan Giggs' family at the trial, which is expected to last two weeks, but jurors have been told it could go into a third week.