By James Tozer and Liz Thomas
Telling all: Giggs's sister-in-law Natasha yesterday
Ryan Giggs was accused yesterday of an eight-year affair with his brother’s wife as the fall-out from his ill-fated gagging order became ever more damaging.
The Manchester United star, formerly regarded as the model professional and committed family man, found his reputation further sullied by tawdry details of the relationship with his 28-year-old sister-in-law Natasha.
He had been cheating on his wife Stacey with her before she began dating his younger brother Rhodri, a Sunday newspaper claimed.
It said Giggs slept with Natasha the day after his eight-year-old daughter was born, and again the day after the arrival of his four-year-old son. The affair was alleged to have continued until April 9.
To underline 37-year-old Giggs’s folly in taking out his notorious injunction over an alleged fling with former Big Brother housemate Imogen Thomas, his sister-in-law said it was this which spurred her to break her silence.
‘When I found out he was cheating with Imogen too, I was really hurt,’ she told the News of the World through a ‘friend’.
‘I know that sounds really strange, but he wasn’t just cheating on Stacey, he was cheating on me too. Our relationship was just about sex to him.’
Rhodri, 33 – a failed professional footballer who served a prison sentence for attacking a fan with a bottle – was yesterday said to be furious at the astonishing betrayal by both his brother and his wife.
Estate agent Natasha was pictured at a petrol station before apparently heading abroad with her two young children – after insisting that her account was ‘100 per cent accurate’. She said she was a single mother when she met Giggs at a Manchester bar in March 2003 while Stacey – then his fiancée – was pregnant with their first child. The pair enjoyed a brief fling but after they broke it off she began seeing Rhodri, who had joined them on a night out, the paper said.
That did not stop Giggs secretly resuming their relationship the following year, it alleged, and even when she became engaged to Rhodri in 2005 and was expecting his child, he continued demanding to see her.
Natasha gave birth in August 2006 and Stacey had her son two months later, but the affair was quickly rekindled, it was claimed. ‘The day after his son was born we met up and had sex,’ the paper quoted Natasha as saying through her friend. ‘Stacey was still in hospital.’
Betrayed: Wife Stacey with Ryan Giggs at an awards ceremony earlier this year
Despite rumours among their friends about the affair, and near-misses when the pair’s respective partners became suspicious of messages on their mobile phones, the couple continued their liaisons.
The paper said a falling-out between the brothers over Giggs supposedly flirting with one of Natasha’s friends meant he pulled out of being best man at her wedding to Rhodri in Las Vegas last summer.
He also failed to turn up at a celebration party in Manchester – instead, fatefully, attending a friend’s birthday event in London where he met Imogen Thomas. Shortly after his last tryst with Natasha, rumours began to circulate that he was the mystery footballer who had taken out an injunction forbidding discussion of his affair with Miss Thomas.
Betrayed: Rhodri Giggs pictured in holiday with his wife Natasha
Natasha texted him to ask if this was true. He reportedly insisted: ‘No way. It’s not me.’
The following month, however, shortly before Twitter users broadcast the truth around the world, she realised he was lying.
In a furious text message she wrote: ‘I know u may not have any loyalties towards me n my feelings, that’s fine… now I no longer have any loyalties to u!
‘Any kind of feelings or respect I may have had for u disappeared when I realized how much u have manipulated me! You’re an idiot!’
However Giggs allegedly responded: ‘What the **** u going on about? This has been the worst 2 weeks of my life!!!’
Natasha also accused the £80,000-a-week star of being astonishingly tight-fisted, the paper said. He allegedly conducted their liaisons in empty flats she was marketing and left her to pay for rounds of drinks and expensive hotel rooms.
Giggs is said to have left on a make-or-break foreign holiday with his wife and children before yesterday’s allegations appeared. His mother Lynne, who lives a few doors from his £6million mansion in Worsley, Manchester, refused to comment.
His younger brother was described as ‘in a bad way’ by a friend at the marital home, a £170,000 terrace townhouse in Bolton. Last night Rhodri changed his Facebook profile picture to a defiant quote reading: ‘Isn’t it weird how people talk s*** about you, when the only thing they actually know about you is your name?’ Rhodri combines his duties as player-manager of non-league Salford City with a day job delivering lorryloads of paper.
Max Clifford, who is representing both Natasha and Imogen Thomas, said the whole sordid saga would have remained under wraps had Giggs not obtained the gagging order, because Miss Thomas had not wanted it made public.
He added that Miss Thomas was ‘hurt and very upset’.
‘It’s a double-edged sword for her – it is horrible to find out this has been going on, but she does feel vindicated because this shows the kind of man he really is.’