RYAN Giggs pleaded not guilty to headbutting his ex-girlfriend and controlling her over a three-year period.
The Manchester United legend, 47, wore a face mask and was flanked by security as he arrived at Manchester Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning.
Giggs spoke only to confirm his name and address and enter a not guilty plea in front of a socially-distanced courtroom.
He is accused of causing actual bodily harm to PR executive Kate Greville, 36, at his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester.
The former United star and Wales national team manager faces an additional charge of engaging in coercive or controlling behaviour against her over a three-year period.
It’s claimed that throughout their three-year relationship – between December 2017 and November 2020 – Giggs used “harassment, humiliation, degradation and abuse” against Kate.
Giggs has also been charged with common assault against Kate's younger sister, Emma.
Prosecuting, Andrea Griffiths said he “isolated her from her friends and colleagues” and “subjected her to degrading treatment.”
Mrs Griffiths said the alleged treatment, which “spanned a very long period of time” resulted in Giggs attacking her following a night out.
Giggs will next appear at Manchester Crown Court on Wednesday, May 26.
Police were called to Giggs' £1.7million mansion at 10.05pm on November 1 last year following reports of a disturbance.
He was arrested and later bailed pending further inquiries.
Kate met Giggs when she was working on PR for his Hotel Football business venture, opposite Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium.
In April 2018 she was appointed head of PR and communications for GG Hospitality, the hospitality management firm co-owned by Giggs and former United team-mate Gary Neville.
She was involved in the launch of their Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester city centre before she took up a new PR consultancy post last July with a former employer.
Coercive or controlling behaviour became an offence in 2015 and carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment.
It is defined in law as: “An act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten a victim.”
- Repeatedly or continuously engaging in behaviour which was controlling or coercive, contrary to section 76(1) and (11) of the Serious Crime Act 2015.
- Assault occasioning actual bodily harm, contrary to section 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.
- Assault by beating, contrary to section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. This relates to a second woman.
The Football Association of Wales (FAW) has announced caretaker boss Robert Page will manage the country at this summer's European Championship finals following the charges against Giggs.
He won 64 caps for Wales and had a glittering playing career with Manchester United, winning 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League trophies, four FA Cups and three League Cups.
Giggs is also co-owner of League Two side Salford City alongside fellow former Manchester United team-mates David Beckham, Gary and Phil Neville, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt.
- If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, go to www.womensaid.org.uk. Live Chat open daily 10am-6pm or email [email protected] Or call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline (run by Refuge) on 0808 2000 247
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