Ryan Giggs has admitted trying to use his teenage daughter as “a lever” to stop the police being called on the night he allegedly headbutted his ex-girlfriend.
However the former Manchester United footballer denied using “emotional blackmail” after Kate Greville’s sister Emma rang 999 on the evening of 1 November 2020.
Giggs is also accused of elbowing Emma and threatening to headbutt her.
Giving evidence for a third day at his assault trial, the ex-Wales manager said online stalking was “common” in his relationship with Kate Greville and he believed it was his infidelity that had caused her “alarm and distress”.
Gushing messages exchanged between Giggs and Ms Greville were also read to the court, including a poem the ex-footballer wrote for his then-girlfriend, in which he said she makes him “feel as hard as a totem pole”.
Giggs is standing trial accused of using controlling and coercive behaviour 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 said to Giggs: “I don’t care if your daughter is 17. I don’t care about your daughter.”
Prosecutor Peter Wright QC asked Giggs: “You were seeking here to dissuade her from making that complaint?”
“Yes,” he replied.
The prosecutor asked: “And you were seeking to use your daughter as the lever?”
“Yes,” Giggs said.
Asked why, the ex-footballer said: “I don’t know.”
Mr Wright suggested Giggs “sought to use emotional influence”.
“Emotional blackmail wasn’t it?”, the prosecutor asked.
“No,” Giggs responded.
Answering questions from his defence barrister Chris Daw QC, Giggs said he was “scared” about the police being called and the accusations being made about him.
Asked what he thought the potential consequences would be, Giggs said: “I’m not too sure. It didn’t look good.”
Giggs said a remark heard during the 999 call when he said “we’ll be everywhere” was referring to “newspapers and media”.
Online stalking was ‘common’ in relationship, says Giggs
The court has previously heard that Giggs sent a message to Ms Greville in which he said: “I’ll stalk you like mad.”
Giggs told the court that online stalking was “common in our relationship”, adding: “It meant we were checking up on each other.”
The former footballer had previously admitted he had turned up unannounced at Ms Greville’s home, workplace, and gym following break-ups in their on-off relationship.
Giving evidence on Thursday, Giggs said that every time he had turned up unannounced, they had got back together.
Asked about Ms Greville’s attitude towards him turning up unannounced, Giggs said she was “happy I had fought for us and I’d persisted”.
The former Manchester United player also told the court that when he said in his evidence that he had caused Ms Greville “alarm and distress”, he was referring to his “infidelity”.
Poem written by Giggs to ex read to court
After Giggs completed his evidence, messages exchanged between the ex-footballer and Ms Greville in 2016 and 2017 were read to the court.
They included a poem he wrote to his then-girlfriend in which he said she makes him “feel as hard as a totem pole”.
The court heard Giggs wrote: “My darling Kate, unequivocally our love was fate,
“I fell in love with you at first sight, I remember coz I was high as a kite,
“Those beautiful eyes made me shiver,
“I’m not gonna lie I think of you, I dream of you,
“Can’t help thinking pulling you was my greatest ever coo,
“That stomach, those abs, those pictures you send.”
Giggs went on: “You make me feel funny down there especially when you’re there and you look up and stare.
“I’m beginning to think you are always right, that’s ok it will keep us tight,
“I’m gonna end by saying you are my love my friend and my soul,
“And most of all you believe in me, which makes me feel as hard as a totem pole.”
In other messages, Giggs told Ms Greville he loved her “more than all my Premier League appearances, which is a lot” and called her “f***ing unbelievably beautiful”.
The trial at Manchester Crown Court was adjourned until Friday.