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Rebekah Vardy Loses Wagatha Christie Libel Case Against Coleen Rooney

Rebekah Vardy Loses Wagatha Christie Libel Case Against Coleen Rooney

The footballers' wives have been embroiled in a High Court libel battle since Colleen shared a viral social media post in October 2019

Rebekah Vardy has lost the 'Wagatha Christie' libel case she brought against Coleen Rooney.

The footballers' wives have been embroiled in a High Court libel battle following a viral social media post in October 2019, in which Rooney, 36, said she had carried out a 'sting operation' and accused Vardy, 40, of leaking 'false stories' about her private life to the press.

The wife of former England star Wayne Rooney publicly claimed Vardy's account was the source behind three fake stories she had posted on her private Instagram account.

Vardy - who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy - denied leaking the stories and sued Rooney for libel, while Rooney defended the claim on the basis her post was 'substantially true'.

After a highly-publicised libel trial in May, judge Mrs Justice Steyn has now published her ruling.

Rebekah Vardy and husband Jamie arriving at court.
Belinda Jiao/Alamy Stock Photo

The judge said it was 'likely' that Vardy's agent at the time, Caroline Watt, 'undertook the direct act' of passing the information to The Sun.

But she added: "Nonetheless, the evidence … clearly shows, in my view, that Mrs Vardy knew of and condoned this behaviour, actively engaging in it by directing Ms Watt to the private Instagram account, sending her screenshots of Mrs Rooney's posts, drawing attention to items of potential interest to the press, and answering additional queries raised by the press via Ms Watt."

Over seven days in courtroom number 13 at the Royal Courts of Justice, the two footballers' wives each gave evidence as revelations from the case made daily headlines across the British press.

During the trial, Rooney's barrister David Sherborne argued that Vardy had a 'habitual and established practice' of leaking information about those she knew – through her friend and former agent Watt – to The Sun newspaper.

Discussing Rooney's viral 'reveal' post, her barrister added: "It is what she believed at the time… and it is what she believes even more so now that we have got to the end of the case."

However, Hugh Tomlinson QC, for Vardy, said Rooney had 'failed to produce any evidence' that Vardy had 'regularly and frequently abused her status as a trusted follower' of her private Instagram account by passing on information from it to The Sun.

Tomlinson said the libel battle was a 'very simple case' when 'one clears away the conspiracy theories'.

He added: "Mrs Vardy's case is and always has been that she did not leak the information nor did she authorise anyone else to leak.

"She does not know to this day what happened. She does not know where this information came from."

Coleen Rooney and husband Wayne.
ZUMA Press Inc/Alamy Stock Photo

The barrister added that Vardy suffered 'very serious harm to her reputation' as a result of Rooney's post.

In the post in question, Rooney said she spent five months attempting to work out who was sharing information about her and her family based on posts she had made on her personal social media page.

After sharing a series of 'false' stories and using a process of elimination, Rooney claimed they were viewed by one Instagram account, belonging to Vardy.

Vardy, then pregnant with her fifth child, denied the allegations and said various people had access to her Instagram over the years.

Featured Image Credit: Stephen Chung/Alamy Isles Images/Alamy

Topics: UK News, Football