Former Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs has arrived at court to face trial accused of assaulting and controlling his ex-girlfriend.
The 48-year-old was surrounded by a scrum of press photographers and TV camera crews as he arrived at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester with his legal team and accompanied by four family members.
Later, Giggs, wearing a dark suit, white shirt and tie, stood in the dock and identified himself to the clerk as the judge came into court shortly before 11am.
Before the trial starts with Peter Wright QC opening for the prosecution, a jury will be chosen to hear the case.
At the beginning of the proceedings, the public gallery was occupied by about 30 reporters, with more viewing remotely via a video link.
Giggs is charged with using coercive and controlling tactics towards 36-year-old Kate Greville between August 2017 and November 2020.
He is also accused of assaulting Emma Greville, Ms. Greville’s younger sister, and causing actual bodily harm to both of them on November 1, 2020, at his house in Worsley, Greater Manchester.
To each charge, he has entered a not guilty plea.
The trial, which will be heard by Judge Hilary Manley, might go on for up to ten days.
Giggs’ trial was originally scheduled to begin in January, but it was delayed because to the current backlog of legal cases, which has been made worse by the Covid-19 outbreak.
After taking a leave of absence starting in November 2020, Giggs resigned in June as the manager of the Wales national team.
He stated in a statement that he did not want the ongoing attention surrounding this case to “affect, destabilise, or jeopardise in any way” the nation’s preparations for this year’s World Cup in Qatar.
During Giggs’ time at Old Trafford, Manchester United won 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League trophies, four FA Cups and three League Cups.
He has 64 Wales appearances under his belt and co-owns League Two team Salford City.