Ryan Giggs has admitted trying to use his teenage daughter as “leverage” to stop police being called the night he allegedly headbutted his ex-girlfriend.
However, the former Manchester United footballer has denied engaging in ’emotional blackmail’ after Kate Greville’s sister Emma called 999 on the evening of November 1, 2020.
Giggs is also accused of elbowing Emma and threatening to headbutt her.
Testifying for a third day in his assault trial, the former Wales manager said online harassment was ‘common’ in his relationship with Kate Greville and he believed it was his infidelity which had caused him “alarm and distress”.
Warning: Notes language
Gushing messages exchanged between Gigg and Ms Greville were also read out in court, including a poem the ex-footballer wrote for his then-girlfriend, in which he said she made him ‘feel as tough as a totem’ .
Read live trial updates as they happened
Giggs is accused of using controlling and coercive behavior against Ms Greville, as well as assaulting her and her sister.
He denies the charges against him.
Jurors heard that during a 999 call, Emma Greville told Giggs, “I don’t care if your daughter is 17. I don’t care about your daughter.”
Prosecutor Peter Wright QC asked Giggs: “Were you trying here to dissuade her from making this complaint?”
“Yes,” he answered.
The prosecutor asked, “And you were looking to use your daughter as leverage?”
“Yes,” Giggs said.
When asked why, the ex-footballer replied: “I don’t know.”
Mr Wright suggested that Giggs “sought to use emotional influence”.
“Emotional blackmail, isn’t it?” asked the prosecutor.
“No,” Giggs replied.
Responding to questions from his lawyer Chris Daw QC, Giggs said he was “afraid” that the police would be called and charges would be brought against him.
When asked what the potential consequences would be, Giggs replied, “I’m not too sure. It didn’t look good.”
Giggs said a remark overheard on the 999 call when he said ‘we’ll be everywhere’ referred to ‘newspapers and media’.
Online harassment was ‘common’ in relationships, says Giggs
The court has already heard that Giggs sent a message to Ms Greville in which he said: “I’m going to hunt you down like crazy.”
Giggs told the court that online harassment was “common in our relationship”, adding: “It meant we were watching each other”.
The former footballer previously admitted he showed up unannounced at Ms Greville’s home, work and gym following rifts in their on-and-off relationship.
Testifying on Thursday, Giggs said every time he showed up out of the blue, they got back together.
Asked about Ms Greville’s attitude towards him showing up unannounced, Giggs said she was ‘glad I fought for us and persisted’.
The former Manchester United player also told the court that when he said in his evidence that he had caused ‘alarm and distress’ to Ms Greville, he was referring to her ‘infidelity’.
Poem written by Giggs to his ex read in court
Once Giggs completed his evidence, messages exchanged between the ex-footballer and Ms Greville in 2016 and 2017 were read out in court.
They included a poem he wrote to his then girlfriend in which he said she made him “feel as tough as a totem pole”.
The court heard that in August 2017, Ms Greville sent a message to Giggs saying: “You make my heart race because you are crazy.
“Every day you make me proud, not just because you are well endowed.”
The next day, Giggs wrote: “Dear Kate, unequivocally our love was fate,
“I fell in love with you at first sight, I remember because I was high as a kite,
“Those beautiful eyes made me shiver,
“I’m not going to lie I think of you, I dream of you,
“I can’t help but think that shooting you was my biggest coo ever,
“That belly, those abs, those pictures you send so I can keep an eye out.”
Giggs continued, “You make me feel funny out there, especially when you’re out there and you look up and stare.
“I’m starting to think you’re always right, it’s okay it’ll keep us tight,
“I will end by saying that you are my love my friend and my soul,
“And most importantly you believe in me, which makes me feel as tough as a totem.”
In other messages, Giggs told Ms Greville he loved her ‘more than all my Premier League appearances, which is a lot’ and called her ‘incredibly fucking beautiful’.
The trial at Manchester Crown Court has been adjourned until Friday.