Ryan Giggs has told a court he does “not remember any physical sort of interaction” during a row after calling ex-girlfriend Kate Greville by his ex-wife’s name. The 48-year-old former Manchester United star denies assaulting Ms Greville, 37, on multiple occasions during their six-year relationship.
Ms Greville claimed in court last week that, during a holiday to Dubai in February 2020, Giggs called her “Stacey” and pulled the strap on her bag so hard that she fell forward and landed on her knee, causing a bruise.
Giving evidence at Manchester Crown Court for a second day this morning (Weds), Giggs said the name incident was a “slip of the tongue” and denied assaulting her.
He said: “We just had lunch. We had a few bottles of rosé. It was outside. It was at the Burj Al Arab hotel in the swimming pool area. It was quite a nice meal and a really good end of the holiday.
“It was on the way back to the hotel that we were both quite drunk. Like I say, we had both been drinking rosé more or less all through the day and I, slip of the tongue, called Kate my ex-wife’s name.
“She wasn’t happy. With the history we had, the break-up, understandably my ex-wife wasn’t a fan of Kate and I had obviously had issues with the relationship between myself and my ex-wife with what happened.
“So she took it as a derogatory remark but I didn’t mean it like that – it was just a slip of the tongue. By this time we were arguing and we were both drunk. In my view it was just a stupid argument.
“I could see why she was upset but, from my part, it was just a slip of the tongue and the argument escalated, calling each other names. I said ‘Listen you are not going to treat it as a slip of the tongue, you can go’.”
Giggs claimed Ms Greville packed her bag and suitcase in their hotel room and he told her “Come on, we can resolve this, it’s stupid. A stupid argument” but she was “insistent” on leaving. Chris Daw QC, defending Giggs, asked him: “Did you do anything physical towards her?”
Giggs replied: “I may have tried to stop her from leaving but I don’t remember any sort of physical interaction between me and Kate.” He said he had run down to reception minutes after Ms Greville had left the room but found she had already left the hotel.
The former Wales manager said he assumed Ms Greville had gone to stay with a friend who lived in Dubai and told the court he flew home alone. He added: “I was obviously gutted over something I just considered a stupid argument. After such an amazing holiday it would end like this. I was obviously on the flight on my own and felt devastated.”
Giggs claimed Ms Greville stayed in Dubai for another week and that, when she returned, the pair got back together. Giggs, who is accused of coercive and controlling behaviour towards Ms Greville, is also charged with assaulting her after a row at their home in Worsley, Greater Manchester on November 1, 2020.
Ms Greville told jurors that Giggs “grabbed me by both shoulders, looked me straight in the eyes and headbutted me in my lip” and elbowed her younger sister Emma in the jaw. He denies all charges.
The trial continues.