Ryan Giggs has finally been outed as the Premier League footballer who had a seven month affair with Imogen Thomas, after an MP blurted it out earlier today. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not up to me who Ryan Giggs sleeps with and I’m not entirely bothered about the affair as such, but what bothers me is the lengths Ryan went to protect his identity. Super-injunctions are all the rage these days, and barely a week passes without a new footballer/actor/singer getting a new injunction because they’re unable to keep it in their trousers. Most so far have managed to stay water-tight, with only rumours floating around about who they’re about.
But it’s been an entirely different story with Ryan Giggs. Because the fact is most people knew absolutely ages ago that it was him who had had the affair, but instead of coming out and admitting it, he decided to sue Twitter (I kid you not). And then everything came out today although there still hasn’t been an official line from camp Giggs. It’s all been a farce, really. If Ryan had just admitted it right at the beginning when it all started bubbling out, it would be chip wrappers by now. But instead of admitting to his wrongs he’s instead tried to cover it up, despite the fact it’s been fruitless. As much as I hoped it wasn’t him, I knew it was. There’s no smoke without fire.
Giggs has always cultivated a family image – intentionally or not, many people respect the fact that up until now Giggs is mainly known for his football. He doesn’t stumble out of clubs drunk, or be in the papers for all the wrong reasons and he’s always seemed a decent, family bloke. Of course, this now blows that image entirely out of the water and I must admit I have lost some respect for him. Yes, he’s a bloke. Yes, it’s his private life. Yes, it’s up to him to do what he wants to do. But on the other hand, he’s in the public eye and many many people admire him. They admire what they believe is a family man who concentrates hard on being a good footballer first and doesn’t cultivate the celebrity status many footballers aspire to nowadays. I still think he’s a wonderful footballer, but as a person, he’s gone down. It’s not my place to judge him, but it is always disappointing when someone you admire turns out to be just like the rest of us.
I must admit, I generally don’t like super-injunctions. I don’t want to know who is sleeping with whom, but I think we the public have a right to know if somebody has cheated, if you’re a world famous actor or footballer than you’re in the public eye, and if you’ve flaunted that when things are going good, why should we now protect you when you’ve been caught cheating? We shouldn’t. Super-injunctions set a dangerous precedent, and I for one hope they’re taken away because I just don’t agree with them.
I’m loathe to discuss Imogen Thomas, who seems to hop from footballer to footballer in her desperation to be a WAG, but she’s in the centre of this. She’s bleating on and on about how devastated she is, and there are numerous pictures of her crying and looking sad, when all I can wonder is: What about his family? She knew what she was doing, everybody knows Ryan Giggs is married (Ryan included) and to come out now and try and get the press to sympathise with her is wrong. She knew what she was getting in to and all the backlash she’s receiving is deserved. I do think it’s unfair that she’s getting the backlash alone – Ryan deserves it, too, and more – but to be honest, Imogen can’t complain that people are labelling her as a marriage-wrecker because it’s true. Women like her disgust me. She’ll undoubtedly sell her story to the News of the World on Sunday and make a quick buck, which I presume is what she was in for all along. She may go on about how she ‘loved’ him but frankly, if she truly loved him, she wouldn’t continually be going to the press with more stories and more crap. That’s not love. That’s someone trying to get famous and have their 15 minutes in the spotlight.
No, I won’t be suddenly disliking Giggs. I respect him as a footballer, he’s a brilliant footballer, but as a person, not so much. The entire thing has been a farce from beginning to end, frankly, and it all could have been dealt with in an entirely different way. The people I feel worst for is Giggs’ wife and kids. To go through this must be horrific and it’s nice to see that the press have (so far) steered away from printing anything nasty about them. It’s clear Emma and Ryan are staying together, as they were pictured together at the Man United Player Awards last week, and who are we to judge her for the decision? Either way, I just hope that by next week this will indeed be old news.