Wagatha Christie: Coleen Rooney WINS High Court libel battle with Rebekah Vardy


Coleen Rooney today laid into the £3million cost of the disastrous Wagatha Christie libel brought by Rebekah Vardy who doggedly pursued the own goal High Court battle that has destroyed her reputation and saw her ‘effectively branded a liar’.

Mrs Vardy and her footballer husband have been left with a multi-million pound legal bill after a judge ruled that swathes of her evidence given under oath had been ‘manifestly inconsistent, ‘not credible’ and was at times ‘evasive or implausible’.

Coleen said in a statement that she was ‘pleased’ the ruling went in her favour but that she ‘never believed’ the case should have gone to court ‘at such expense in times of hardship for so many people when the money could have been far better spent helping others’.

It came as leading media lawyer Jonathan Coad said today that Rebekah had been ‘effectively branded a liar’ and said a self-inflected defeat in a case she had brought herself had been ‘a disaster’ for Jamie Vardy’s wife.

Mrs Rooney said: ‘It was not a case I ever sought or wanted. I never believed it should have gone to court at such expense in times of hardship for so many people when the money could have been far better spent helping others.

‘Both before and after my social media posts in October 2019, I made every effort to avoid the need for such a drawn out and public court case. All my attempts to do so were knocked back by Mrs (Rebekah) Vardy.

‘This left me with no alternative but to go through with the case to defend myself and to end the repeated leaking of my private information to The Sun.

The High Court judgment that damns Rebekah Vardy after her extraordinary self-inflicted libel defeat

‘Significant’ parts of Vardy’s evidence ‘not credible’

The Court found that it was necessary to treat the Claimant’s evidence with very considerable caution, determining that significant parts of her evidence were not credible. There were many occasions when the Claimant’s evidence was manifestly inconsistent with the contemporaneous documentary evidence, evasive or implausible.

On the ‘Davy Jones’ incident that left Vardy’s agent’s phone at the bottom of the North Sea

The Court determined that the loss of both the Claimant’s and Ms Watt’s copies of their original WhatsApp conversation was deliberate rather than accidental.  

In my judgment, it is likely that Ms Vardy deliberately deleted her WhatsApp chat with Ms Watt, and that Ms Watt deliberately dropped her phone in the sea.

On her agent’s ‘breakdown’ 

The Court considered that the primary reason Ms Watt was so reluctant to give evidence, and has suffered adversely from the pressure to do so, was that she knew that to a large extent the evidence she was due to give (but then withdrew) was untrue. And the Court inferred that the Claimant’s decision not to call Ms Watt was in part motivated by an assessment that her evidence, when tested in cross-examination, would have been likely to have undermined the Claimant’s case.

On whether Vardy leaked to The Sun 

The Court found that the Claimant [Mrs Vardy], together with Ms Watt, was party to the disclosure to The Sun of the Marriage, Birthday, Halloween, Pyjamas, Car Crash, Gender Selection, Babysitting and Flooded Basement Posts. The Court considered it likely that Ms Watt undertook the direct act, in relation to each post, of passing the information to a journalist at The Sun, but found that the Claimant knew of, condoned and was actively engaged in this process. Additional information from the Defendant’s Private Instagram Account was likely to have been passed to The Sun by the Claimant and Ms Watt, acting together.

‘These leaks from my private Instagram account began in 2017. They continued for almost two years, intruding on my privacy and that of my family. Although I bear Mrs Vardy no ill-will, today’s judgment makes clear that I was right in what I said in my posts of October 2019.

‘Finally, I would like to thank all of my legal team, my family, friends and everyone who supported me, including the public, through this difficult and stressful time.’

The 40-year-old wife of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy relentlessly pursued the case against her Wag rival Coleen Rooney for nearly three years after being accused of leaking private stories about Coleen and her family to The Sun newspaper.

The bombshell verdict from Court 13 of the High Court was handed down remotely online at noon by Mrs Justice Steyn just over two months after the hearing in May. Vardy’s failed libel suit has been branded the most ill-advised in history.

The High Court has found that Mrs Rooney’s social media post accusing her rival was ‘substantially true’ and that Mrs Vardy ‘knew of, condoned and was actively engaged’ in leaks to the media by her ex-agent Caroline Watt. 

And in a damning assessment of Mrs Vardy’s evidence, the judge said ‘significant parts were not credible’ and at times her ‘evidence was manifestly inconsistent with the contemporaneous documentary evidence, evasive or implausible’. By contrast, the judge found that Coleen and her witnesses, including husband Wayne, ‘gave honest, reliable evidence.’

Mrs Justice Steyn also ruled that loss of WhatsApp messages between Mrs Vardy and Ms Watt was ‘deliberate rather than accidental’ – dismissing her agent’s claim that a phone fell into the North Sea when a ship hit a big wave.

In her ruling, the judge said it was ‘likely’ that Mrs 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.

The judge added: ‘In my judgment, the conclusions that I have reached as to the extent to which the claimant engaged in disclosing to The Sun information to which she only had access as a permitted follower of an Instagram account which she knew, and Mrs Rooney repeatedly asserted, was private, suffice to show the single meaning is substantially true.’

For a week in May, the case captivated millions who were left open-mouthed by the evidence including explosive and expletive-filled Whatsapp messages sent by Ms Vardy as well as Coleen’s evidence about leaking false stories about her private life to find who was giving them to the tabloids and how her marriage almost fell apart after her husband Wayne was caught drink-driving with a party girl. 

The case was nicknamed ‘Wagatha Christie’ because of the amateur detective work that led to Coleen’s accusation about her rival. 

Mrs Rooney, 36, had posted fake stories on Instagram to find out who was passing her private information to the press. Rooney said she had blocked all accounts from seeing her Instagram stories, apart from the one she suspected of being the leaker.

In an October 2019 social media post that instantly went viral, she revealed: ‘It’s ……………. Rebekah Vardy’s account.’

Now Rebekah and her husband, with an estimated net worth between them of around £12million will have to find an estimated £3million to pay both sets of lawyers engaged in a libel suit branded the most ill-advised in history.

Rebekah Vardy's reputation lies in tatters today after she sensationally lost the 'Wagatha Christie' libel case with Coleen Rooney

Rebekah Vardy’s reputation lies in tatters today after she sensationally lost the ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel case with Coleen Rooney

Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy together in 2016. The WAGs have ended up in court in the libel trial of the year and Mrs Vardy's reputation is in tatters after bringing the case and losing

Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy together in 2016. The WAGs have ended up in court in the libel trial of the year and Mrs Vardy’s reputation is in tatters after bringing the case and losing

Coleen Rooney out and about on the day of the final result of the Wagatha Christie trial in Cheshire

Coleen Rooney out and about on the day of the final result of the Wagatha Christie trial in Cheshire

The post that accused Rebekah Vardy's social media account of leaking stories. It sparked a £3million legal battle that Mrs Rooney has won after the judge agreed it was 'substantially true' and therefore not libellous

The post that accused Rebekah Vardy’s social media account of leaking stories. It sparked a £3million legal battle that Mrs Rooney has won after the judge agreed it was ‘substantially true’ and therefore not libellous

Wagatha Christie judgment in full 

Cashing in: Vardy vs Rooney estimated £3m costs making their lawyers the REAL winners – but the Leicester WAG will now pick up the bill

                                            VARDY            ROONEY              TOTAL

Pre-trial costs –             £1.1m              £900,000            £2m 

 

Trial costs –                     £500,000    £500,000            £1m

 

Grand total –                  £1.6m               £1.4m                     £3m

And perhaps even more costly, after being accused time after time of lying in court by 36-year-old Coleen’s rottweiler barrister David Sherborne, the mother-of-five has emerged not only emotionally bruised and battered, but with her credibility equally damaged.

During the seven-day case, Mr Sherborne highlighted the ‘unfortunate, improbable series of events’ offered by Rebekah’s side about devices which he claims could have contained key evidence in the case.

Rebekah said her WhatsApp messages were lost as she tried to transfer them to her solicitor; her husband said he lost his messages when his mobile telephone was hacked and her former agent Ms Watt claimed her phone accidentally dropped into the North Sea when her boat was hit by a wave during a Scottish holiday.

The judge said that Rebekah’s decision not to call her former agent Caroline Watt was ‘motivated to a substantial degree by concern for her friend’s welfare’, but added: ‘Nonetheless, the Court considered that the primary reason Ms Watt was so reluctant to give evidence, and has suffered adversely from the pressure to do so, was that she knew that to a large extent the evidence she was due to give (but then withdrew) was untrue.

‘And the Court inferred that the Claimant’s decision not to call Ms Watt was in part motivated by an assessment that her evidence, when tested in cross-examination, would have been likely to have undermined the Claimant’s case.’

In conclusion the judge said: ‘The Court found that the Claimant, together with Ms Watt, was party to the disclosure to The Sun of the Marriage, Birthday, Halloween, Pyjamas, Car Crash, Gender Selection, Babysitting and Flooded Basement Posts.

‘The Court considered it likely that Ms Watt undertook the direct act, in relation to each post, of passing the information to a journalist at The Sun, but found that the Claimant knew of, condoned and was actively engaged in this process.’

She added: ‘The Court drew the inference that additional information from the Defendant’s Private Instagram Account was likely to have been passed to The Sun by the Claimant and Ms Watt, acting together.’

The judge said she found that the case should be dismissed on the basis that Coleen ‘had succeeded in proving that the single meaning [of her Wagatha post] was substantially true.’

Wagatha Christie timeline: How Coleen and Rebekah’s long-running, vicious war unfolded before the eyes of the world 

September 2017 to October 2019 – The Sun runs a number of articles about Coleen, including that she travelled to Mexico to look into baby ‘gender selection’ treatment, her plan to revive her TV career and the flooding of her basement.

October 9, 2019 – Coleen uses social media to accuse Rebekah of selling stories from her private Instagram account to the tabloids.

Coleen says 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, Coleen claims they were viewed by one Instagram account, belonging to Rebekah.

Rebekah, then pregnant with her fifth child, denies the allegations and says various people had access to her Instagram over the years.

She claims to be ‘so upset’ by Coleen’s accusation, later adding: ‘I thought she was my friend but she completely annihilated me.’

The public dispute makes headlines around the world, with the hashtag #WagathaChristie trending.

How it all began: On October 9, 2019, Coleen Rooney, now 36, accused Rebekah Vardy, 40, of leaking 'false stories' about her to the press in an Instagram post (above)

How it all began: On October 9, 2019, Coleen Rooney, now 36, accused Rebekah Vardy, 40, of leaking ‘false stories’ about her to the press in an Instagram post (above) 

Shortly after Coleen's public accusation, Rebekah - who was pregnant and on holiday in Dubai at the time - denied any involvement (above)

Shortly after Coleen’s public accusation, Rebekah – who was pregnant and on holiday in Dubai at the time – denied any involvement (above) 

February 13, 2020 – In a tearful appearance on ITV’s Loose Women, Rebekah says the stress of the dispute caused her to have severe anxiety attacks and she ‘ended up in hospital three times’. Coleen says in a statement that she does not want to ‘engage in further public debate’.

June 23, 2020 – It emerges that Rebekah has launched libel proceedings against Coleen.

Rebekah’s lawyers allege she ‘suffered extreme distress, hurt, anxiety and embarrassment as a result of the publication of the post and the events which followed’.

November 19-20, 2020 – The libel battle has its first High Court hearing in London. A judge rules that Coleen’s October 2019 post ‘clearly identified’ Rebekah as being ‘guilty of the serious and consistent breach of trust’.

Mr Justice Warby concludes that the ‘natural and ordinary’ meaning of the posts was that Rebekah had ‘regularly and frequently abused her status as a trusted follower of Coleen’s personal Instagram account by secretly informing The Sun of Coleen’s private posts and stories’.

February 8-9, 2022 – A series of explosive messages between Rebekah and her agent Caroline Watt – which Coleen’s lawyers allege were about her – are revealed at a preliminary court hearing.

The court is told Rebekah was not referring to Coleen when she called someone a ‘nasty bitch’ in one exchange with Ms Watt.

Coleen’s lawyers seek further information from the WhatsApp messages, but the court is told that Ms Watt’s phone fell into the North Sea after a boat she was on hit a wave, before further information could be extracted from it.

February 14 – Coleen is refused permission to bring a High Court claim against Ms Watt for misuse of private information to be heard alongside the libel battle. A High Court judge, Mrs Justice Steyn, says the bid was brought too late and previous opportunities to make the claim had not been taken.

April 13 – Ms Watt is not fit to give oral evidence at the upcoming libel trial, the High Court is told as the case returns for another hearing.

The agent revokes permission for her witness statement to be used, and withdraws her waiver which would have allowed Sun journalists to say whether she was a source of the allegedly leaked stories.

April 29 – Rebekah ‘appears to accept’ that her agent was the source of allegedly leaked stories, Coleen’s barrister David Sherborne tells the High Court. He argues that a new witness statement submitted by Rebekah suggests Ms Watt was the source but Rebekah claims she ‘did not authorise or condone her’.

Rebekah’s lawyer Hugh Tomlinson says the statement did not contain ‘any change whatever in the pleaded case’, with her legal team having no communication with Ms Watt.

May 10 onwards – The trial lasts seven days

But Coleen’s alternative defence – that her post was in the public interest – was rejected, largely because Rebekah was given no opportunity to respond to the allegation before it was published.

The judge agreed with Coleen’s lawyer’s claim that the ‘series of improbable, unfortunate events which befell several piece of potentially key evidence in the case were deliberately destroyed by Rebekah and her agent Caroline Watt. Rebekah said she accidentally deleted messages from her mobile phone while trying to export them to her lawyers, while Ms Watt claimed to have accidentally dropped her mobile phone into the North Sea while ‘filming the coastline from a boat’.

The judge said: ‘The Court determined that the loss of both the Claimant’s and Ms Watt’s copies of their original WhatsApp conversation was deliberate rather than accidental.

‘The Court drew the inference that the missing data would have supported the Defendant’s truth defence in relation to the Gender Selection and Flooded Basement Posts, and more broadly.’

At the end of the 75-page judgement, Mrs Justice Steyn concluded: ‘For the reasons that I have given, the claim is dismissed.’

David Sherborne alleged Rebekah had purposefully chosen not to export potentially damaging evidence in the WhatsApp account, then disposed of the laptop used to make a back-up. He also claimed Rebekah had manually deleted large numbers of messages to and from her agent.

Asked what happened to nine months of missing WhatsApp chats between her and Ms Watts, Rebekah seemed unclear. She said she had ‘potentially switched phones’ during the period and lost the WhatsApp messages in the process but ‘I can neither confirm or deny that’.

Mr Sherborne alleged in reality it was a deliberate attempt to destroy evidence: ‘You deleted all of the messages between you and Caroline Watt.’

On other occasions, Rebekah changed her statements after evidence emerged in a series of WhatApp messages between her and Caroline Watt which contradicted her earlier accounts.

Only days before the case went to trial, Rebekah made her most dramatic shift in her evidence, stating that she believed it may well have been Miss Watts who leaked information to the press.

Mr Sherborne said this was a ‘radical change’, as Rebekah had previously said ‘Caroline Watt is not the source’.

But throwing her former agent and friend ‘under a bus’, as the lawyer put it would not be enough for Rebekah to escape her own role in the affair.

Rebekah claimed that Coleen had ‘weaponised her fanbase’ when, in 2019, she made the original accusation that Rebekah had leaked stories to the media.

The court heard comments Rebekah made in a 2019 interview following the original accusation: ‘Arguing with Coleen is like arguing with a pigeon. You can tell it that you are right and it is wrong but it’s still going to shit in your hair.’

During one exchange, Rebekah admitted knowing that her agent was discussing private information about Coleen with Sun journalist Andy Halls – yet insisted it was material the newspaper already knew and therefore not a fresh leak.

Mr Sherborne asked her: ‘You didn’t object at any stage to the fact that Ms Watt was plainly passing on information from Mrs Rooney’s private Instagram account to Andy Halls?’

Rebekah replied: ‘I didn’t think she was passing on any new information.’

Mr Sherborne said: ‘Take the word ‘new’ out of it. Did you, or did you not, know that Ms Watt was passing on information from Mrs Rooney’s private account?’

Rebekah replied: ‘She was talking to Mr Halls about information that was already being discussed.’

In one WhatsApp exchange read to the court, Ms Watts said a reporter at the Sun wanted to know whether Rooney had definitely crashed her car, a detail that allegedly came from the private Instagram account. Vardy replied with the words: ‘Haha she deffo did.’

Towards the end of the third day in court, Rebekah slumped forward with her head in her hands during cross-examination. The court took regular breaks as she became tearful.

When Vardy began one answer by saying ‘if I’m honest’, the barrister shot back: ‘I would hope you’re honest because you’re sitting in a witness box.’

Rebekah was seen in tears and left early with her husband Jamie with Mrs Rooney’s barrister claiming her case ‘disintegrated’ during the week-long trial.

Mrs Rooney was said to be ‘supremely confident’ ahead of the verdict today and has reportedly told friends: ‘Whatever the judge decides, I’ve already won’. The source added: ‘She believes the evidence presented before the court has proved her case that Becky knew about leaks to the Press — and approved them.’

Media lawyer Mark Stephens predicted: ‘If the sting of the libel is true, in that Rebekah Vardy is a habitual leaker, then Coleen Rooney probably wins. Even if Rebekah does win, the measure of her damages will be very low. It could be as low as £1. If she is awarded that level of damages, she will end up paying the other side’s legal costs.’

He added: ‘In the court of public opinion Rebekah Vardy did herself a disservice with her evidence. The only winners here are the lawyers, who are going to be putting up Vardy or Rooney extensions in their homes.’

The two women have been locked in a bitter legal dispute since 2019 after Mrs Rooney, wife of former England captain Wayne, took to social media to accuse her fellow WAG Mrs Vardy of leaking stories to the press.

60832615 11060893 image m 30 1659084616002

Wayne Rooney reunited with wife Coleen and the children as they spent a day out in Manchester

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According to the Sun, Mrs Rooney privately told pals: ‘Whatever the judge decides, I’ve already won’

Rebekah, pictured with Jamie Vardy leaving court, began a libel action against Coleen, arguing that the accusation over her Instagram account was false

Rebekah, pictured with Jamie Vardy leaving court, began a libel action against Coleen, arguing that the accusation over her Instagram account was false

A screenshot of one of two posts from Coleen Rooney's private instagram made on the day of her viral public post accusing 'Rebekah Vardy's account'

A screenshot of one of two posts from Coleen Rooney’s private instagram made on the day of her viral public post accusing ‘Rebekah Vardy’s account’

High Court judge’s scathing ruling questioned Vardy’s evidence AND credibility 

The judge’s assessment of Rebekah’s credibility was nothing short of scathing, based on her three witness statements and giving evidence for two and a half days.

She said: ‘It was evident that Ms Vardy found the process of giving evidence stressful and, at times, distressing. I bear in mind when assessing her evidence the degree of stress she was naturally feeling, given the high profile nature of the trial, the abuse that she has suffered since the Reveal Post was published, and the length of time she was in the witness box.

‘Nevertheless, I find that it is, unfortunately, necessary to treat Ms Vardy’s evidence with very considerable caution. There were many occasions when her evidence was manifestly inconsistent with the contemporaneous documentary evidence (e.g. in relation to the World Cup 2018 and the photoshopped pictures), and others where she was evasive (e.g. in relation to the Car Crash Post and Mr X).

‘Ms Vardy was generally unwilling to make factual concessions, however implausible her evidence. This inevitably affects my overall view of her credibility, although I have borne in mind that untruthful evidence may be given to mask guilt or to fortify innocence.’

She added that Rebekah’s hurt at the Wagatha post, known as the ‘Reveal’ post in court, was not because she hadn’t been the leak, but rather that she had deceived herself to her degree of involvement.

She said: ‘Although significant parts of Ms Vardy’s evidence were not credible, my assessment is that she is genuinely offended by the accusation made against her by Ms Rooney in the Reveal Post.

‘However, that is not because she was not involved in disclosing information from the Private Instagram Account: I have found that she was.

‘Rather, her indignation at the accusation flows, in my judgment, from a combination of factors. Ms Vardy’s part in disclosing information to The Sun was, it seems to me, unthinking rather than part of a considered and concerted business practice.

‘Consequently, there has been a degree of self-deception on her part regarding the extent to which she was involved, as well as a degree of justified resentment at the exaggerated way in which her role has at times been presented during the litigation. ‘

The judge said she thought Rebekah regarded the information on Coleen’s private Instagram account as ‘harmless’, adding: ‘When Ms Rooney repeatedly made clear her objection to her private posts being given to the press, Ms Vardy seems to have viewed this as making a fuss about nothing and attention-seeking.

‘In addition, it is evident that Ms Vardy genuinely believed that some information about Ms Rooney was being given to the press by (unknown) others and that she has unfairly been made the scapegoat for press coverage of the Rooneys.’

As for Rebekah’s former agent Caroline Watt, whose absence at the trial on health grounds Coleen’s lawyer David Sherborne had described as ‘Hamlet without the Prince’, the judge agreed, saying: ‘Given the allegation that information from the Private Instagram Account was disclosed directly to journalists at The Sun by Ms Watt, with Ms Vardy’s knowledge and approval, Ms Watt is a vital witness to the matters in issue, whose absence is striking.’

And while she accepted that Ms Watt’s health had been affected, she believed the main reason for not wanting to give evidence was that she had lied.

The judge said: ‘I accept that her health has been adversely affected by these proceedings.

‘In part, no doubt, that is because she is not someone who has previously been, or ever sought to be, in the public eye, and being a key witness in a trial of this nature would have been uncomfortable even if she had nothing to hide.

‘However, I am compelled to the conclusion that the primary reason Ms Watt was so very reluctant to give evidence, and has suffered adversely from the pressure to do so, was that she knew that to a large extent the evidence in her statements was untrue.’

 

The packed hearings at the High Court in May saw both Rebekah, 40, and Coleen, 36, give dramatic testimony from the witness box in the case which centred on Coleen’s claims that her rival had leaked information to the Sun based on posts from her private Instagram account. 

Coleen was also said to be ‘supremely confident’ of winning the case.

A friend reportedly said: ‘She believes the evidence presented before the court has proved her case that Becky knew about leaks to the Press — and approved them.’

In most cases, the verdict would be revealed to the parties in advance of the handing down of the verdict.

But legal sources have reportedly said: ‘It’s totally at the judge’s discretion but allows those involved to consider their legal position, especially in a high-profile case like this. On this occasion that has been totally denied — and they won’t know the result until the morning.’

The two women have been locked in a bitter legal dispute since 2019 after Mrs Rooney, wife of former England captain Wayne, took to social media to accuse her fellow WAG Mrs Vardy of leaking stories to the press.

In a now infamous ‘reveal’ post that went viral on social media, Mrs Rooney wrote: ‘It’s……….. Rebekah Vardy’s account.’

Mrs Vardy, wife of Leicester City and England player Jamie, hit back at the accusation. The mother of five strenuously denied having anything to do with stories being leaked to The Sun newspaper and took her former friend to court, suing her for libel.

In May, the pair faced each other over seven days in the High Court where Mrs Justice Steyn heard details of Mrs Rooney’s ‘sting’ operation, phones going missing in the North Sea, and Mrs Vardy comparing Peter Andre’s private parts to a chipolata.

The eventful and highly publicised trial cost up to £3million in lawyers’ fees, meaning today’s loser will pick up an eye-watering legal bill.

Accompanied to court every day by husband Wayne, Mrs Rooney told the trial that she planted a series of fake stories on her Instagram account after becoming suspicious that someone was leaking details of her private life to the tabloids.

The mother of four told the court that her WAG rival ‘monitored and stalked’ her private Instagram profile along with her former agent Caroline Watt.

The court was read a string of text messages between the pair, including Mrs Vardy telling Mrs Watt she would ‘love’ to leak stories about Mrs Rooney to the press.

Mrs Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne argued that Mrs Vardy had a ‘habitual and established practice’ of leaking information through Mrs Watt, who had to pull out of being a witness as she was deemed too unwell to give evidence.

On the final day of the trial, Mr Sherbourne said Mrs Vardy’s evidence in court was ‘highly unreliable’ and her accuracy ‘simply cannot be trusted’ as she had repeatedly changed her version of events.

A lighter moment came when Mr Sherborne quipped that the phone belonging to Mrs Watt, from which messages were lost after she claimed it fell into the North Sea, lay ‘in Davy Jones’ Locker’.

The court erupted with laughter when Mrs Vardy responded: ‘I’m sorry, I don’t know who Davy Jones is.’

Mrs Vardy, decked out in designer suits and six-inch stilettos, remained defiant on the stand and denied having anything to do with the leaks.

Her lawyers argued that she suffered ‘very serious harm to her reputation’ as a result of Mrs Rooney’s post and that the incident was ‘extremely upsetting’ for her and her family.

Mrs Vardy told of how she feared losing her unborn baby at the time of the social media storm as it was causing her such stress and anxiety.

Mrs Vardy, who was seven months’ pregnant at the time, said she was admitted to hospital three times in the final two months of her pregnancy and was left feeling suicidal.

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

Discussing Mrs 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 Mrs Vardy, said Mrs Rooney had ‘failed to produce any evidence’ that Mrs 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.

Mr 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.’

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

These are the sensational posts and images at the heart of the £3 million Wagatha Christie libel trial between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney – many published here for the first time. Top of the bill is the famous but never published photo from Coleen's private Instagram account showing Wayne in bed with three of his sons in spotted pyjamas (pictured)

These are the sensational posts and images at the heart of the £3 million Wagatha Christie libel trial between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney – many published here for the first time. Top of the bill is the famous but never published photo from Coleen’s private Instagram account showing Wayne in bed with three of his sons in spotted pyjamas (pictured)

Coleen told the court that she only posted the image (pictured) on her private account because she did not want to fuel stories about her and Wayne reuniting after the couple's marriage faltered when he was caught drink driving in another woman's car

On her public Instagram account Coleen only posted a photo of herself with her then three sons Kai, Klay and Kit, (pictured) wearing matching pyjamas. But she was angered a few days later, when a story appeared in The Sun clearly based on the private image

Coleen told the court that she only posted the image (pictured left) on her private account because she did not want to fuel stories about her and Wayne reuniting after the couple’s marriage faltered when he was caught drink driving in another woman’s car. On her public Instagram account Coleen only posted a photo of herself with her then three sons Kai, Klay and Kit, (pictured right) wearing matching pyjamas. But she was angered a few days later, when a story appeared in The Sun clearly based on the private image

On 12th of September 2019, Coleen shows a picture of herself with her youngest son Cass, looking at their new mansion-in-progress in Cheshire, with the caption: ‘Site visit. I think he likes his new house’ (pictured)

Many of the photographs give an insight into the Rooney's private family life, such as one of the couple with all four of their children at the seaside (pictured) with the caption: ‘And back to US tomorrow for dad!’ when Wayne was playing in Washington but his family were still in the UK.

The lawyers for both sides agreed to release this fascinating bundle of hundreds of documents which have formed the evidence throughout the seven-day case at the High Court. On 12th of September 2019, Coleen shows a picture of herself with her youngest son Cass, looking at their new mansion-in-progress in Cheshire, with the caption: ‘Site visit. I think he likes his new house’ (pictured left). Many of the photographs give an insight into the Rooney’s private family life, such as one of the couple with all four of their children at the seaside (pictured right) with the caption: ‘And back to US tomorrow for dad!’ when Wayne was playing in Washington but his family were still in the UK

Then there are many posted which Coleen added onto her private Instagram account, some of which were fake, and some of those she blocked from all over her followers except Rebekah’s account (pictured: A post from Coleen Rooney's private instagram story which has only been viewed by one account)

In one post she showed a photograph of her passport with the caption ‘Escaping the measle outbreak in Washington’. In another she accused someone on her Instagram of leaking stories to the Sun (pictured)

Then there are many posted which Coleen added onto her private Instagram account, some of which were fake, and some of those she blocked from all over her followers except Rebekah’s account. In one post she showed a photograph of her passport with the caption ‘Escaping the measle outbreak in Washington’. In another she accused someone on her Instagram of leaking stories to the Sun

Screen grab dated issued by Kingsley Napley of text messages between Rebekah and Jamie Vardy after reports Wayne Rooney was asked to tell Jamie Vardy his wife needed to reduce her media presence

Screen grab dated issued by Kingsley Napley of text messages between Rebekah and Jamie Vardy after reports Wayne Rooney was asked to tell Jamie Vardy his wife needed to reduce her media presence

Screen grab dated issued by Kingsley Napley of text messages between Rebekah and Jamie Vardy after reports Wayne Rooney was asked to tell Jamie Vardy his wife needed to reduce her media presence

Screen grab dated issued by Kingsley Napley of text messages between Rebekah and Jamie Vardy after reports Wayne Rooney was asked to tell Jamie Vardy his wife needed to reduce her media presence

Screen grab dated issued by Kingsley Napley of text messages between Rebekah and Jamie Vardy after reports Wayne Rooney was asked to tell Jamie Vardy his wife needed to reduce her media presence

Pictured: A screen grab of Coleen Rooney's private instagram story of the so-called 'TV decisions' post, one of the three fake posts she said she posted in her sting operation.

As the judge, Mrs. Justice Steyn, considers the evidence for both sides and weighs up whether or not Rebekah was libelled and should receive damages from Coleen for her bombshell social media accusation, we can now reveal for the first time many of the Instagram posts and WhatsApp messages which the lawyers have been poring over for the last two and a half years

Pictured left: A screen grab of Coleen Rooney’s private instagram story of the so-called ‘TV decisions’ post, one of the three fake posts she said she posted in her sting operation. Pictured right: A post from Coleen Rooney’s private instagram story which has only been viewed by one account

In one image, Coleen was seen riding on a bike around holding a bottle of wine, while Claire posted a picture of the women in a hot tub together, and some of them riding ponies. A story subsequently appeared in The Sun, clearly based on the private image of Coleen on the bicycle, which mentioned she was seen ‘swigging a bottle of plonk while cycling at speed’

Pictured: A screen grab issued by Kingsley Napley of a post from Coleen Rooney's private instagram story which has only been viewed by one account

In one image, Coleen was seen riding on a bike around holding a bottle of wine (pictured left), while Claire posted a picture of the women in a hot tub together, and some of them riding ponies. A story subsequently appeared in The Sun, clearly based on the private image of Coleen on the bicycle, which mentioned she was seen ‘swigging a bottle of plonk while cycling at speed’. Pictured right: A screen grab issued by Kingsley Napley of a post from Coleen Rooney’s private instagram story which has only been viewed by one account

Who are the REAL winners? How £3m Wagatha Christie trial has become one of Britain’s most expensive libel cases – as barristers are paid ‘£800-an-HOUR’ 

With estimated costs expected to approach £3m, the Wagatha Christie case will be one of Britain’s most expensive libel cases.

Both Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney employed ‘superstar’ barristers to plead their case, and it is believed both men will walk away with a hefty paycheck of up to £500,000 each.

Coleen’s brief David Sherborne and Rebekah’s QC Hugh Tomlinson are believed to charge at least £800 an hour – and that includes preparing their case, not just for the time they spend in court.

Each senior lawyer had an experienced junior barrister backed up by a team of solicitors.

Coleen’s brief David Sherborne

Rebekah’s QC Hugh Tomlinson

Coleen’s brief David Sherborne (left) and Rebekah’s QC Hugh Tomlinson are believed to charge at least £800 an hour – and that includes preparing their case, not just for the time they spend in court

Even a year ago at a costs hearing in August 2021, the total pre-trial bill for the case was reckoned to be between £1.5m and £2m.

At that point, documents showed a £300,000 difference in legal budgets by the warring WAGs and Coleen’s lawyers objected to the ‘disproportionate costs’ racked up by Rebekah’s side, describing it as ‘Too many lawyers working far too many hours.’

Rebekah’s side had budgeted £836,735, compared to Coleen’s £537,029, making it 55 per cent higher.

While that amount did include a projected fee for the trial costs, the case also took many unexpected turns after that stage with several hearings taking longer than expected.

When Coleen’s side made an unsuccessful application to have Rebekah’s former agent Caroline Watt to the action in February 2022, Coleen was ordered to pay £65,000 of Caroline Watt’s £70,000 costs just for that hearing and associated work.

Rebekah and Jamie Vardy arrive at the Royal Courts Of Justice during the trial in May

Rebekah and Jamie Vardy arrive at the Royal Courts Of Justice during the trial in May 

Rebekah’s side had budgeted £836,735, compared to Coleen's £537,029, making it 55 per cent higher. Coleen is seen out and about in Alderley Edge, Cheshire in July

Rebekah’s side had budgeted £836,735, compared to Coleen’s £537,029, making it 55 per cent higher. Coleen is seen out and about in Alderley Edge, Cheshire in July 

Coleen’s own estimated legal costs for the two-day hearing were £163,926, while Rebekah’s were between £100,000 and £143,000.

Whatever the final bill, it won’t match the stratospheric costs incurred in Britain’s longest defamation case, the David and Goliath McLibel trial, which cost McDonalds an estimated £10m (at 1997 prices).

The multinational sued two penniless London Greenpeace supporters for a leaflet they were distributing and involved no fewer than 313 days of hearings at the High Court over 2½ years.

Although McDonalds won the case, it was regarded as a pyrrhic victory as the judgement did find some of the points in the campaigners’ literature proven, and the lawsuit had merely served to publicise the criticisms.

From Peter Andre’s ‘chipolata’ to Rebekah Vardy branding Coleen Rooney a ‘pigeon’: As the Wagatha Christie trial is finally set to conclude, MailOnline takes a look back at the 10 most shocking moments

After three years in the making, the long-awaited verdict in the sensational £3 million Wagatha Christie trial is set to be released within hours, with Mrs Justice Steyn expected to hand down her bombshell verdict around midday in a remote hearing.

The drama stemmed from a viral social media post in October 2019, in which Coleen Rooney, 36, said she had carried out a ‘sting operation’ that she claimed proved Rebekah Vardy, 40, had been leaking stories about her private life to the press. 

Rebekah immediately refuted the allegations and implied that her Instagram had been hacked, resulting in her beginning libel action in June 2020.

Following an earlier ‘meanings’ ruling, it fell to Coleen to prove Rebekah was personally responsible for leaking stories to The Sun, or convince the judge that publication of the allegation was in the public interest 

The trial commenced in May this year, with a packed two-week hearing at the High Court that saw both Rebekah and Coleen give dramatic testimony from the witness box in the case.

The trial lifted the lid on the WAGs glamorous lifestyles, but also heard allegations levelled at Rebekah from Coleen that she had colluded with the media in secret deals.

If Rebekah wins, she will likely be awarded damages, but the judge could decide to award as little as £1 in a token victory. But the much larger expense would be legal costs, which are estimated at around £3 million.

Such as been the public interest in this case that the court battle is set to be dramatised in a two-part TV special. 

Now, as the long-awaited verdict is finally set to be announced, MailOnline takes a look back at the 10 most shocking moments in the Wagatha Christie trial that has gripped the nation.  

From Peter Andre's 'chipolata' to Rebekah Vardy branding Coleen Rooney a 'pigeon': As the Wagatha Christie trial is finally set to conclude, MailOnline takes a look back at the 10 most shocking moments

Who will win? Coleen is seen at court

From Peter Andre’s ‘chipolata’ to Rebekah Vardy branding Coleen Rooney a ‘pigeon’: As the Wagatha Christie trial is finally set to conclude, MailOnline takes a look back at the 10 most shocking moments

Rebekah gets ‘honest’ in the witness box  

There were several tense exchanges between Rebekah and Coleen’s lawyer David Sherborne, who had accused the WAG of having ‘selective amnesia’.

He also accused the WAG of being dishonest under oath, announcing: ‘You’re making this up, aren’t you Mrs Vardy?’ The reason you can’t get your story straight is because you’re lying.’

Yet amid the tense atmosphere there was one moment that elicited several chuckles as Rebekah started an answer during cross-examination by saying: ‘If I’m honest…’

Sherborne was quick to jump in and say, ‘Well I’d much rather you’re honest because you’re standing in the witness box,’ prompting several giggles from the crowds. 

Peter Andre’s ‘chipolata’

Undoubtedly one of the most talked about moments in the case was the unexpected courtroom chatter about the size of Peter Andre’s genitalia – which had been compared to a ‘chipolata’. 

Peter, 49, was dragged into the case when Coleen’s lawyer Sherborne, read out excerpts of Rebekah’s 2004 News of the World article about him to demonstrate that she has form for giving stories to the media.

Following an alleged one night stand in 2001, Rebekah sold her story to the tabloid, in which she was quoted saying: ‘When he pulled down his ­trousers I couldn’t believe it. It was like a ­miniature chipolata.’

When confronted about her crass comments in court, Rebekah claimed that she had been ‘misrepresented’ in the story and said she had been coerced to do the interview by an abusive ex-partner when she was just 22.

Peter – who is married to Emily MacDonagh, a doctor 17 years his junior, with whom he has daughter Amelia, eight, and son Theo, five – has since insisted that he feels no ‘bitterness’ towards Rebekah but had to apologise to his family after the unflattering comments were repeated in court. Peter also has son Junior, 17, and daughter Princess, 15, with ex-wife Katie Price.

Gossip: Undoubtedly one of the most talked about moments in the case was the unexpected courtroom chatter about the size of Peter Andre's genitalia - which had been compared to a 'chipolata'

Gossip: Undoubtedly one of the most talked about moments in the case was the unexpected courtroom chatter about the size of Peter Andre’s genitalia – which had been compared to a ‘chipolata’

Coleen is compared to a pigeon 

One of the most notable quotes from the trial were Rebekah’s comments that arguing with Coleen was ‘as pointless as arguing with a pigeon’.

Coleen was seen in the courtroom looking on intently as the court heard a quote that Rebekah gave to the Daily Mail, shortly after the original leaking accusation was made. 

In the interview she exclaimed: Arguing with Coleen is like arguing with a pigeon. You can tell it that you are right and it is wrong but it’s still going to s**t in your hair.’

Reflecting on her remarks, Rebekah showed remorse on her choice of words, declaring: ‘Rightly or wrongly, maybe that interview shouldn’t have been done. I don’t know… I wasn’t thinking straight the day after this had happened.’

Rebekah’s 2018 bust-up with the late Sarah Harding 

Many were shocked to learn that Rebekah had once got into a heated argument with singer Sarah Harding at the 2018 National Television Awards after the Girls Aloud singer spotted her rifling through her handbag.

In her written statement, Coleen said that she was ‘aware’ that Rebekah had ‘provided various pieces of ‘behind the scenes’ footage for The Sun’.

Coleen claimed: ‘She also got in a spat with former Girls Aloud group member Sarah Harding during the 2018 event because Sarah apparently caught Becky taking photographs of the contents of Sarah’s handbag when Sarah had dropped it on the floor. Their dispute subsequently appeared in The Sun.’

According to an article published at the time in The Mirror, Sarah accused Rebekah of taking ‘sneaky pictures’ of her, sparking a ‘heated’ row between the pair that caused a ‘huge scene’.

Sources claimed that Sarah had dropped her bag inside the bash, and as she proceeded to pick up her belongings from the floor, she saw a camera flash and I’m A Celebrity star Rebekah standing nearby with her phone in her hand.

It is said the singer saw red and accused mother-of-five Rebekah of taking sly pictures of her, with Rebekah insisting that hadn’t been the case, offering to show Sarah her phone, before demanding an apology from the Celebrity Big Brother star.

Sarah did not discuss the incident publicly at the time, and tragically passed away in September 2021 at the age of 39 after battling breast cancer.  

Shocking: Sarah Harding is said to have got into an argument with Rebekah at the 2018 National Television Awards (red carpet pictured) after spotting her taking photos inside her handbag

Flash: Sources claimed that Sarah had dropped her bag inside the bash, and as she proceeded to pick up her belongings from the floor, she saw a camera flash and I'm A Celebrity star Rebekah standing nearby with her phone in her hand

Shocking: Sarah Harding (left) is said to have got into an argument with Rebekah (right) at the 2018 National Television Awards (red carpet pictured) after spotting her taking photos inside her handbag

Crucial evidence ends up ‘in the sea’  

A preliminary court hearing in February revealed a series of explosive messages between Rebekah and her agent Caroline Watt – which Coleen’s lawyers alleged were about her.

The court was told Rebekah was not referring to Coleen when she called someone a ‘nasty b***h’ in one exchange with Caroline.

However, when Coleen’s lawyers sought further information from the WhatsApp messages, the court was told that Caroline’s phone fell into the North Sea after a boat she was on hit a wave, before further information could be extracted from it.

Rebekah’s lawyer Hugh Tomlinson QC said ‘we have no way of knowing’ if this was done to destroy evidence or an accident, adding ‘Mrs Vardy doesn’t know… and this can’t be used against her.’ 

He later went on to state Rebekah ‘has no knowledge’ of an incident that saw her agent’s phone fall into the North Sea and ‘doesn’t know’ if she was a leaker.

The mystery surrounding Davy Jones  

As Rebekah was grilled about the phone in question, the WAG asked the High Court ‘who’s Davy Jones?’ following a nautical reference by Coleen’s barrister.

The High Court burst into laughter after the exchange – which concerned the claim that Rebekah’s agent lost her phone containing WhatsApp messages when it fell off a boat into the North Sea.

‘We know that Ms Watt’s phone is now in Davy Jones’ Locker, don’t we, Mrs Vardy?’ Coleen’s barrister said. Rebekah then replied: ‘I’m sorry, I don’t know who Davy Jones is’.

The judge then had to describe the idiom, which refers to the legendary resting place of sailors who have drowned at sea.

The idiom inspired a fictional character in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series who served as the tyrannical captain of ghost ship the Flying Dutchman. 

The fictional Davy Jones should not be considered with Monkees singer David Thomas Jones, who also adopted the name. 

Looks familiar: Rebekah asked the High Court 'who's Davy Jones?' following a nautical reference by Coleen's barrister as the £3million Wagatha Christie libel trial continued for a third rollercoaster day

Looks familiar: Rebekah asked the High Court ‘who’s Davy Jones?’ following a nautical reference by Coleen’s barrister as the £3million Wagatha Christie libel trial continued for a third rollercoaster day

The silence of the lads 

Rebekah was accused of trying to ‘do the dirty’ and spill the beans on unrest in the Leicester City dressing room when star player Riyad Mahrez went ‘on strike’, the High Court heard.

The court heard Rebekah contacted her publicist after Mahrez failed to turn up for training for the second day running. At the time of the exchange in February 2018, Mahrez was seeking a move to Manchester City.

In the WhatsApp message, Rebekah wrote: ‘Mahrez not turned up for training again. The lads are fuming.’

As her agent suggested she contact TV reporter Rob Dorsett who was one of the journalists covering the story for Sky Sports News, Rebekah replied that she didn’t want the story to ‘come back on me.’

Under cross examination from Coleen’s barrister, Rebekah said she did not know whether or not her husband’s then teammates were ‘fuming’ about Mahrez not turning up for training.

‘It was probably something I was plucking from thin air. It was just a gossip that was all… Jamie and I never discussed whether ‘the lads were fuming’.’ 

Gemma Collins’ unexpected cameo 

As the trial continued the High Court heard how Rebekah received a text from her agent, announcing ‘it was me’ after Coleen first publicly claimed that someone had been leaking stories from her private Instagram. 

Rebekah agreed her agent ‘appeared to be the source’ of a news story on Coleen’s 2019 car crash that ended up in The Sun but was questioned by Coleen’s lawyer on why she did not challenge her. 

She said it was because she had been ‘watching Dancing on Ice’ and was distracted by Gemma Collins’s infamous ‘faceplant’.

Rebekah was referring to the moment the celebrity tripped and fell face-first on the ice during one of the routines in the ITV show. 

Gemma’s face plant has cemented itself as one of pop culture’s most iconic moments in recent years, with Gemma later admitting she thought her ‘life was over’ when she tripped onto the rink. 

Down she goes: Rebekah agreed her agent 'appeared to be the source' of a news story on Coleen's 2019 car crash but said she hadn't challenged her because she was 'watching Dancing on Ice' and was distracted by Gemma Collins's 'faceplant'

Down she goes: Rebekah agreed her agent ‘appeared to be the source’ of a news story on Coleen’s 2019 car crash but said she hadn’t challenged her because she was ‘watching Dancing on Ice’ and was distracted by Gemma Collins’s ‘faceplant’

It all ends in tears  

During a gruelling cross-examination on the third day of the trial, Rebekah broke down twice – resulting in the trial being temporarily halted so she could compose herself. 

The first time, Rebekah had corrected Coleen’s Sherborne lawyer after he confused her for Coleen, prompting him to reply, ‘Is that your best point Mrs Vardy?’.

After she began crying, her barrister Tomlinson QC rose to his feet to intervene, saying Sherborne was ‘constantly commenting and making remarks to the witness’.

It led to the judge saying: ‘It is unnecessary and there’s not really enough time for those comments in any event.’

Moments later the judge asked if Rebekah would like to take a break as she appeared distressed. She adjourned the hearing for 10 minutes to allow Rebekah to compose herself.

In the second incident – less than half an hour later – Rebekah became emotional after she was questioned over a fake story posted by Coleen about a flood at her £20million Cheshire home, which has been likened to a Morrisons supermarket.

Rebekah had told the court she had not seen Coleen’s Instagram post, only for Sherborne to remind her of a statement made two years ago when she admitted she had seen it.

Becoming visibly upset, Rebekah’s voice broke up as she said: ‘There was a lot of abuse at the time.’

It’s Jamie vs Wayne 

Rebekah and Coleen’s husbands found themselves dragged into the Wagatha Christie trial, with ex-England captain Wayne testifying that team manager Roy Hodgson asked him to have an ‘awkward’ chat with Jamie to tell his wife Rebekah to ‘calm down’ during Euro 2016.

Wayne told the court during his evidence that Rebekah’s behaviour was a distraction for the England team and there were concerns that she was writing a diary column during the tournament.

But his ex-England teammate Jamie hit back after Wayne’s evidence by releasing a press release accusing Wayne of being confused and insisting that the players’ chat never happened.

Rebekah said in court that the conversation never took place, but her husband, Leicester City striker Jamie, 35, did not give evidence in the case. Instead, he sat at his wife’s side yesterday and stared daggers at Wayne.

After the mid-afternoon break, the Vardys left the court building early, shortly after Rebekah’s publicist issued a sensational statement from Jamie accusing Wayne of ‘talking nonsense’ and being ‘confused’

 

 

Who’s who in the case? Former friends who had a bitter falling out, the former Virgin Atlantic air hostess, and the celebrity lawyers going head to head  

Rebekah Vardy with her agent, Caroline Watt, who had been due to give evidence in the trial but was recently found to be 'not fit' to take part, also withdrawing her written evidence

 Rebekah Vardy with her agent, Caroline Watt, who had been due to give evidence in the trial but was recently found to be ‘not fit’ to take part, also withdrawing her written evidence

Rebekah Vardy

The footballer’s wife bringing the claim, Rebekah’s family was thrust into the limelight after her husband Jamie helped Leicester City on their way to an unlikely Premier League win in 2016.

The model and TV personality, 40, appeared on I’m A Celebrity in 2017 before later appearing on Dancing On Ice in 2021, as well as making appearances on Loose Women.

The mother-of-five recently wrote a children’s book with her husband Jamie, entitled Cedric The Little Sloth With A Big Dream, which follows a little sloth who hopes to become a footballer. 

Coleen Rooney

Coleen, the footballer’s wife defending the claim, is perhaps now better known as ‘Wagatha Christie’ after her social media posts at the heart of the libel trial went viral.

The 36-year-old has had a varied career including TV presenting, writing, as well as fronting an exercise DVD.

Coleen met her husband when she was 12, as the couple went to the same school in Liverpool.

They began dating when they both turned 16 and have four sons together – Kai Wayne, Klay Anthony, Kit Joseph and Cass Mac.

Caroline Watt

Mrs Vardy’s friend and agent, Ms Watt has featured in some of the preliminary hearings, despite not being a party to the claim or giving evidence at the trial.

She is a former Virgin Atlantic air hostess who has been Rebekah’s agent for the past seven years, helping to build her profile in the national media.

Reports that she no longer represents her following the current controversy engulfing the two have been dismissed as inaccurate with Ms Watt remaining close to Ms Vardy both professionally and personally.

Ms Watt, 39, is married to former footballer Steve Watt, who played briefly for Chelsea, making one Premier League appearance for two minutes in 2005 and Swansea City. He is currently manager of Kent non-league side Hythe Town and they have two children.

After leaving the airline industry, Ms Watt began working as an agent in the world of entertainment, quickly developing a reputation for her communication skills and ability to network.

She was formerly employed by talent agency The Frontrow Partnership but left in 2019 to go it alone and took her main client and close friend, Ms Vardy with her.

Ms Watt has been credited with building Ms Vardy’s public profile by ensuring that she regularly featured in the national media and also brokered the deal for her to appear on the hit reality TV show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2018.

Ms Watt started representing the high-profile WAG in 2015, when her husband, Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy shot to fame.

She is a regular visitor to the Vardy’s Lincolnshire home and also socialises with Ms Vardy, attending glitzy parties and bars.

Her other clients include the former Page 3 girl Nicola McLean but it is Ms Vardy that has been the biggest asset in her career as an agent. 

… And the celebrity lawyers earning a fortune from the £3m Wagatha Christie case – and the judge who will make the final ruling in the libel action of the year

Meanwhile, David Sherborne (pictured), 53, who has been dubbed one of Hollywood’s favourite lawyers, is acting for Mrs Rooney

Hugh Tomlinson QC (pictured), who is representing Ms Vardy, is a top-flight privacy silk who has launched a number of battles with the Press in a wide-spanning career

David Sherborne (left), 53, is acting for Mrs Rooney. He has represented an array of stars including Johnny Depp in the London case. Hugh Tomlinson QC (right), who is representing Ms Vardy, is a top-flight privacy silk who has launched a number of battles with the Press in a wide-spanning career. He is a board member of campaign group Hacked Off.

Karen Margaret Steyn QC is sworn in as a Justice of the High Court in 2019

Karen Margaret Steyn QC is sworn in as a Justice of the High Court in 2019

David Sherborne

Mr Sherborne also has a reputation as the barrister the rich and famous turn to for legal assistance – his previous client list includes Diana, Princess of Wales, Hollywood actor Michael Douglas and former prime minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie.

Mrs Rooney’s barrister is no stranger to high-profile libel trials at the Royal Courts of Justice, notably representing Johnny Depp in the actor’s 2020 libel claim against the publisher of the Sun, News Group Newspapers (NGN).

The barrister, called to the bar in 1992, has also represented dozens of claimants, including celebrities, suing NGN over phone hacking at the News Of The World.

Hugh Tomlinson QC

An experienced media barrister, Mr Tomlinson is at the front of Mrs Vardy’s legal team in the libel case.

Called to the bar in 1983, his previous clients include the Prince of Wales in his legal battle against the Mail on Sunday over his diaries, easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and oligarch Roman Abramovich.

Mr Tomlinson, who became a QC in 2002, is a board member of campaign group Hacked Off.

Mrs Justice Steyn

The High Court judge overseeing the case, Mrs Justice Steyn (pictured right) was appointed in 2019 and sits in the Queen’s Bench Division – the part of the High Court which deals with defamation, personal injury and breach of contract claims.

As well as overseeing the ‘Wagatha Christie’ claim, other prominent cases she has heard include Arron Banks’ libel claim against journalist Carole Cadwalladr and the FDA union’s unsuccessful legal challenge over Boris Johnson’s decision to support Priti Patel following bullying accusations.

The daughter of former Law Lord Lord Steyn, Mrs Justice Steyn covered a variety of cases as a barrister, including a case over the expansion of Heathrow airport.  

 

How the Wagatha Christie case unfolded 

Famous footballers at each other’s throats, former friends turned warring WAGs and salacious celebrity revelations – the Wagatha Christie libel captivated millions.

With the nation preparing for Lady Justice Steyn to deliver a verdict in the £3million libel case today, the final whistle is set to finally be blown on one of the most thrilling match-ups in recent memory.

There were explosive Whatsapp messages, references to Peter Andre’s ‘chipolata’ and confusion over the fictional character Davy Jones. 

Outside of the courtroom, social media saw an explosion of memes and mockery as the peculiar sketches of the trial’s participants from inside the High Court were shared far and wide.

Below, MailOnline recalls the juiciest details from those seven unforgettable days that gripped the nation:

Day 1: From Peter Andre’s ‘chipolata’ penis to fears she would lose her baby after being branded a ‘grass’: Rebekah Vardy’s first day of evidence

Peter Andre’s ‘chipolata’ manhood

Peter Andre's privates were among the unlikely highlights of the first day of the Wagatha Christie trial

Peter Andre’s privates were among the unlikely highlights of the first day of the Wagatha Christie trial

Peter Andre’s privates were among the unlikely highlights of the first day of the Wagatha Christie trial.   

Rebekah Vardy was asked an interview she gave to the News Of The World about her claimed sexual encounter with singer Peter Andre.

Coleen Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne showed a print out of the article to Rebekah in the witness box before reading the headline: ‘Peter’s hung like a small chipolata, shaved, slobbery, lasts five minutes’.

The barrister read excerpts from the article, in which it was claimed Mr Andre had managed ‘just five minutes of sex with Rebekah’ and in which she said he had ‘the smallest trouser equipment I’ve ever seen’ that was like a ‘miniature chipolata’. 

Mr Sherborne suggested to Rebekah that the News Of The World was the ‘highest circulating newspaper at the time’, read by some four million people, and asked her whether it was ‘respectful’ of Peter Andre’s ‘right not to share this information’. 

She replied: ‘I was forced into a situation by my ex-husband to do this.

‘It is something that I deeply regret… It is not nice to read and I understand why this is being used and to me this is mudslinging and I was also threatened with mudslinging by Mrs Rooney’s team.’

Asked the question again by Coleen Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne, Mrs Vardy said: ‘The circumstances around it were completely different.’

‘I feared losing my baby after Coleen said I was a grass’, says Rebekah

Coleen Rooney glared across a courtroom at Rebekah Vardy told how she feared she would lose her unborn baby after her rival Wag accused her of leaking stories.

Meanwhile, Mrs Rooney’s lawyer confronted Mrs Vardy with a newspaper interview in which she gave intimate details of a sexual encounter with pop star Peter Andre and mocked the size of his manhood.

She said she was labelled a ‘grass’ and was subjected to vile abuse and death threats from trolls who said her baby should be ‘put in an incinerator’.

Rebecaa Vardy is aided by a security guard as she leaves the opening day of her libel case against Coleen Rooney

Rebecaa Vardy is aided by a security guard as she leaves the opening day of her libel case against Coleen Rooney

Artist impression of Rebekah Vardy giving evidence (L) with Wayne  and Coleen Rooney looking on (R) at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. May 10, 2022

Artist impression of Rebekah Vardy giving evidence (L) with Wayne  and Coleen Rooney looking on (R) at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. May 10, 2022

She likened Mrs Rooney, the wife of former Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney, to a ‘school bully’ and said she had effectively turned the other footballers’ wives and girlfriends against her.

Mrs Rooney, 36, glowered at her rival as she denied she was responsible for the leaked stories, saying it was ‘not nice’ to betray other people’s confidences.  

She described Mrs Rooney as ‘cold and calculated’ and said she had gloated to her close circle of other footballers’ wives about her detective work, and had created a ‘mob mentality’ against her. 

Mrs Vardy said: ‘I was not the source of the three articles Coleen accused me of leaking. I believe that Coleen posted her claims so as to cause me maximum damage.

‘I will never forgive the way in which Coleen ruined my last weeks of pregnancy and the suffering she has caused to my children and my family but I hope that this claim will mean that the whole world will know that I did not betray Coleen’s trust.’

Day 2: Rebekah’s evidence continues about life as a WAG and anger at Coleen unfollowing her on Instagram 

A mock-up of Wayne Rooney walking to court with a court sketch overlaid on his face

A mock-up of Wayne Rooney walking to court with a court sketch overlaid on his face 

WAGs washing their smalls in the sink at the World Cup 

Rebekah Vardy claimed she and her fellow WAGs had to wash their own clothes in the sink at their hotel during the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

As the Wagatha Christie trial entered a third day, Rebekah was quizzed by Coleen Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne about the extent of her contacts with journalists during the tournament.

In response, the WAG claimed she did not have any contact with the media because she was too busy washing her clothes in the sink.

‘I was busy with the kids and under so much stress,’ she said. ‘We even had to wash our own clothes in the sink at the hotel.’

Calling Coleen a ‘c***’ for unfollowing her on Insta

Rebekah Vardy messaged her agent ‘OMG what a c***’ when Coleen Rooney unfollowed her on Instagram after ‘fake’ story about car crash was published, libel trial told

Rebekah Vardy has been quizzed once again at the Wagatha Christie libel trial about a WhatsApp exchange which saw her brand Coleen Rooney a ‘c***’ after she unfollowed her on Instagram.

Coleen, 36, accused Rebekah, 40, of leaking ‘false stories’ about her private life to the media in October 2019, after carrying out what she described as a months-long ‘sting operation’.

She publicly outed Rebekah in an Instagram post, claiming her fellow WAG had shared three ‘fake’ stories she had shared as bait on her personal account. Rebekah furiously denied this and launched her costly libel action which is now into its second trial day.

Before the scandal broke, Coleen stopped following Rebekah on Instagram. ‘OMG what a c***,’ Rebekah texted her agent Caroline Watt after realising what had happened, according to texts read out to the High Court earlier in the trial.

Vardy accused of trying to ‘do the dirty’ on Riyad Mahrez

FEBRUARY 2019: Ms Watt and Rebekah realise Coleen has unfollowed them on Instagram. In a series of messages, Rebekah, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie, 35, is said to have described Coleen as a 'nasty b****' and a 'c***', while Ms Watt brands the wife of former Manchester United star Wayne Rooney as 'trash' and 'up her own ar**'

FEBRUARY 2019: Ms Watt and Rebekah realise Coleen has unfollowed them on Instagram. In a series of messages, Rebekah, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie, 35, is said to have described Coleen as a ‘nasty b****’ and a ‘c***’, while Ms Watt brands the wife of former Manchester United star Wayne Rooney as ‘trash’ and ‘up her own ar**’

Jamie Vardy training with his fellow Leicester player Riyad Mahrez. Rebekah was accused of leaking a story about Mahrez missing training

Jamie Vardy training with his fellow Leicester player Riyad Mahrez. Rebekah was accused of leaking a story about Mahrez missing training 

Rebekah admitted to sharing a tip about Danny Drinkwater - who, like Mahrez, was her husband Jamie's colleague at Leicester

Rebekah admitted to sharing a tip about Danny Drinkwater – who, like Mahrez, was her husband Jamie’s colleague at Leicester

Rebekah Vardy denied that photos of her and Coleen Rooney together at an international football match (pictured) were a 'set up' following information from a photography agency

Rebekah Vardy denied that photos of her and Coleen Rooney together at an international football match (pictured) were a ‘set up’ following information from a photography agency

The court also heard claims Rebekah tried to ‘do the dirty’ and spill the beans on unrest in the Leicester City dressing room when star player Riyad Mahrez went ‘on strike’.

The court heard Rebekah contacted her agent Caroline Watt after Mahrez failed to turn up for training for the second day running.

At the time of the exchange in February 2018, Mahrez was seeking a move to Manchester City. In the WhatsApp message, Rebekah wrote: ‘Mahrez not turned up for training again. The lads are fuming.’

Mrs Vardy later discussed with her agent Caroline Watt leaking a story about a woman allegedly cheating on her husband, the High Court also heard.

The WAG insisted she was ‘just joking’ when Mr Sherborne questioned her about what she said in reference to a story about a woman named only as Mrs F – a ‘well-known celebrity’ – her estranged husband Mr H and Mr G, a ‘well-known footballer’.

Rebekah told Ms Watt that she should ‘leak the story about her s******g G behind H’s back’,’ Mr Sherborne said.

Jamie Vardy’s wife said she was ‘a bit shocked and a bit disgusted about what I’d seen in the paper’. She denied the suggestion it was ‘standard practice’ for her to leak private information to The Sun via her agent.

And Rebekah fell out with another high-profile WAG which led to a legal dispute, the High Court heard.

The court heard Vardy had a ‘spat on Instagram’ with Danielle Lloyd, the former wife of ex-Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jamie O’Hara. A dispute led to ‘legal correspondence’ between the pair the court heard.

Coleen’s barrister claimed messages between Rebekah and her agent showed she was trying to leak information about a pregnant woman who went on honeymoon to the Maldives but went on to suffer a miscarriage.

Vardy revealed the woman was Lloyd but denied leaking stories.

Day 3 – An emotional Mrs Vardy needs breaks after tears on the dock and then LAUGHTER after admitting: ‘I don’t know who Davy Jones is’

Rebekah Vardy on Davy Jones’ Locker

Rebekah (seen in a court sketch giving evidence) asked the High Court 'who's Davy Jones?' following a nautical reference by Coleen Rooney's barrister as the £3million Wagatha Christie libel trial continued for a third day

Rebekah (seen in a court sketch giving evidence) asked the High Court ‘who’s Davy Jones?’ following a nautical reference by Coleen Rooney’s barrister as the £3million Wagatha Christie libel trial continued for a third day

The judge explained to a confused Vardy that the idiom 'Davy Jones' locker' refers to the legendary resting place of sailors who have drowned at sea (as illustrated)

The judge explained to a confused Vardy that the idiom ‘Davy Jones’ locker’ refers to the legendary resting place of sailors who have drowned at sea (as illustrated)

London’s High Court burst into laughter after Rebekah Vardy admitted she didn’t know who Davy Jones was while being questioned over a missing mobile.

Her agent Caroline Watt’s phone was dropped in the North Sea after the court asked for it to be handed over for examination. 

Coleen’s team have accused Rebekah of deleting key evidence that, it is said, would prove that Rebekah had been leaking stories to the media.

Coleen’s lawyer Mr Sherborne said: ‘We know that Ms Watt’s phone is now in Davy Jones’ Locker, don’t we, Mrs Vardy?’

Rebekah then replied: ‘I’m sorry, I don’t know who Davy Jones is’, saying didn’t watch much TV. The judge then had to describe Mr Sherborne’s nautical reference to the sea bed.

Arguing with Coleen Rooney is as pointless as arguing with a pigeon: ‘It’s still going to s**t in your hair 

One of the highlights so far was Rebekah Vardy’s comments about arguing with Coleen Rooney was ‘as pointless as arguing with a pigeon’.

Mrs Vardy gave to a newspaper after Mrs Rooney’s ‘Wagatha Christie’ post, in which she denied being behind the leaks and said she was devastated by the abuse she received.

Mrs Vardy told the Daily Mail, when asked if the pair had argued: ‘That would be like arguing with a pigeon.

‘You can tell it that you are right and it is wrong, but it’s still going to s*** in your hair.’

Gemma Collins’ faceplant distracted me from WhatsApping my agent, says Mrs Vardy

Rebekah Vardy has claimed that she was too distracted by Gemma Collins’ Dancing On Ice ‘faceplant’ to respond when her PR agent admitted she was the source of the Coleen Rooney car crash leak.

The court heard that Caroline Watt admitted she had been the source of the Honda car crash story. It came at the end of the pair’s discussion when Ms Watt simply wrote: ‘It was me.’

Rebekah agreed that the message ‘appeared to confirm Caroline Watt was the source of the story’.

She said she did not respond to the message as it was the children’s bath time then she was further distracted by ‘Gemma Collins’ faceplant’ in Dancing on Ice.

She was referring to the moment the celebrity tripped and fell face-first on the ice during one of the routines in the ITV show.

Tears in the witness box

Rebekah Vardy was accused of betraying her friends and her husband’s teammates as she was grilled over WhatsApp messages in the ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel trial.

She broke down repeatedly, leading to two emergency breaks in court. 

In five hours of gruelling cross-examination, which at one point left her in tears, Rebekah denied she encouraged her agent to ‘stalk’ Coleen Rooney’s private Instagram and leak stories about her and other Wags.

Rebekah, 40, was confronted with messages in which she discussed leaking and selling stories, and faced repeated accusations that she was lying to the court to protect the ‘last shred’ of her case against Coleen.

She rejected accusations she had revealed ‘juicy information’ to settle scores with rival Wags, while courting positive publicity by arranging staged photographs and interviews to promote her image.

‘If I’m honest, I’d been drinking’: Rebekah blames booze for memory lapses

Rebekah Vardy was dramatically accused of lying after she blamed heavy drinking for failing to remember the details of a 2018 World Cup paparazzi photo she allegedly helped to set up – as the Wagatha Christie libel trial entered its third day.

She denied the allegation this morning. But when asked for details by barrister David Sherborne – acting for her rival Coleen Rooney – she said: ‘If I’m completely honest I had been drinking quite a bit.’

Mr Sherborne cuttingly replied: ‘I would hope you’re honest because you’re sitting in a witness box.’

He then added: ‘Mrs Vardy, this is the first time that you have suggested that your recollection of events has been affected by drinking – that’s a lie, isn’t it?’   

The High Court heard how Rebekah received a text from her agent, Ms Watt, announcing ‘it was me’ after Coleen first publicly claimed that someone had been leaking stories from her private Instagram.

Asked by Mr Sherborne why did not challenge her, Rebekah said it was because she had been ‘watching Dancing on Ice’ and was distracted by Gemma Collins’s infamous ‘face-plant’.

In another bizarre exchange, the barrister referred to Ms Watt’s claim that she had lost her phone after it had fallen off a boat into the North Sea.

He said it was now ‘lying at the bottom of sea in Davy Jones’ locker’,’ only for Rebekah to ask the court: ‘Who is Davy Jones?’

Earlier, Mr Sherborne quizzed Rebekah about a series of messages she exchanged with her agent which allegedly show them working together to organise the 2018 World Cup paparazzi photo.

The group of WAGs in the snap included Marcus Rashford’s girlfriend Lucia Loi, Kyle Walker’s partner Annie Kilner and Harry Maguire’s fiancée Fern Hawkins – who was left ‘upset and embarrassed’ when it emerged in the media.

Rebekah said Ms Watt had arranged for a photographer to take pictures of her as she left her hotel but denied giving the photographer the location of either the hotel or the restaurant where the WAGs were having dinner.

The court heard Rebekah texted Ms Watt about travel arrangements from the hotel to the restaurant. There were exchanges about last minute changes in travel arrangements on the night.

Mr Sherborne suggested that a message to Ms Watt which said, ‘I have bought about 10 minutes’ referred to the fact Rebekah was delaying some of the women from posting a group photograph on social media because a photographer hiding in the bushes by the hotel had taken a picture of them all and they ‘didn’t want to lose their exclusive’.

In response, Rebekah said, ‘Well, it reads like that’ but said she ‘couldn’t recall’ the details due to the amount of alcohol she had consumed. ‘The plans changed,’ she added. ‘I recall it may have been raining. No one wants to walk when they’re dressed up in the rain.’

Mr Sherborne accused Rebekah of changing her story about what happened and reminded her that she had signed a statement of truth when she made legal declarations, risking a contempt of court action if she lied.

‘You can’t get your story straight,’ he said to her, adding that this was ‘because you’re lying’.

Mr Sherborne asked Rebekah why she was ‘pulling a face’ when he said he was going to refer to a witness statement made by the FA’s family liaison officer, Harpreet Robertson.

Rebekah – who has claimed the representative took an instant dislike to her – said: ‘Because it was Ms Robertson again.’

Quoting from the statement, Mr Sherborne Ms Robertson said other members of the group and a member of the England squad were upset that they had been ‘set up’ as they were not looking to court publicity.

Rebekah replied: ‘This is the first that I’ve heard of it.’ 

Rebekah denies making ’embarrassing’ claims there was ‘no sex ban’ imposed on the 2018 England World Cup squad in newspaper article that branded her the ‘unofficial leader of the WAGs’ 

Mr Sherborne referred to a story in which Rebekah was alleged to have confirmed that there was no sex ban within the England squad during the 2018 World Cup.

The article in The Sun had the headline: ‘Becky Vardy reveals the secret to England’s World Cup success is down to the lads getting to spend time with their WAGs.

It said England’s successful run in the tournament was down to Gareth Southgate ‘giving the lads the freedom to score – with their wives and girlfriends.’

Rebekah is said to have hinted that sex hadn’t been explicitly forbidden as ‘there is no proof it hinders performance’

The article featured an apparently naked Rebekah draped inna flag of St George.

The article described Rebekah as the ‘unofficial leader of the WAGs.

Asked if those were her words Rebekah denied the saying of the journalist who wrote the story: ‘No it was his and it’s quite an embarrassing statement.’

During his cross-examination Mr Sherborne accused Rebekah of ‘having selective amnesia’. 

WAGs ‘had to wash their own clothes in the SINK at the hotel during the 2018 World Cup in Russia’, Rebekah claims

Rebekah has claimed that she and her fellow WAGs had to wash their own clothes in the sink at their hotel during the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The High Court heard that Rebekah gave an interview with The Sun during the football tournament as Coleen’s lawyer accused her of trying to distance herself from the notion she had ‘strong links’ with journalists.

Referring to this interview, Jamie Vardy’s wife told the court: ‘I was busy with the kids and under so much stress and we even had to wash our own clothes in the sink at the hotel.’ 

The High Court heard messages Ms Watt sent Rebekah as she was setting up the interview.  

Ms Watt told her it was ‘easy s**t’ and that she should talk about how she is having a good time and ‘backing the boys’ but ‘don’t want any attention’.

Rebekah ‘used the anniversary of Coleen’s sister’s death as a peg to contact her after the WAG unfollowed her on Instagram’ 

Rebekah allegedly ‘used the anniversary of Coleen’s sister’s death as a peg to contact the WAG’ after she unfollowed Jamie Vardy’s wife on Instagram, the court heard.

Coleen unfollowed Rebekah in January 2019 after the car crash story, suspecting she was the ‘grass’ who had leaked her information.

In text messages between Rebekah and her agent Caroline Watt, Rebekah said she would like to contact Coleen and suggested ‘saying something about’ her sister Rosie, who died in 2013 aged 14.

Mr Sherborne put it to Rebekah that she was going to ‘use the anniversary’ of Rooney’s sister dying as ‘the peg’ to message her.

Rebekah said: ‘That’s interpreted wrong’.

In the event, Ms Watts suggested she use a different tack by saying she had recently been on Loose Women and the programme’s booker asked if Coleen might want to appear on the show. 

Rebekah - pictured - continued to give evidence after her gruelling five-hour cross-examination was cut short by a fire alarm on May 12

Rebekah – pictured – continued to give evidence after her gruelling five-hour cross-examination was cut short by a fire alarm on May 12 

A court drawing of Rebekah as she gave evidence on the third day of the Wagatha Christie trial

A court drawing of Rebekah as she gave evidence on the third day of the Wagatha Christie trial

‘She defo CRASHED’: Rebekah denies leaking story about Coleen’s ‘bad car smash’ in US 

Rebekah denied leaking information about Coleen’s 2019 car crash in Washington DC to the media.

Mr Sherborne quizzed Jamie Vardy’s wife over an article in The Sun about how Coleen had narrowly escaped injury in a horror crash while husband Wayne was playing in the US.

Coleen had posted a picture of her badly damaged Honda on her private Instagram account, the court heard.

The story quoted a source who said: ‘Coleen ended up having a bad smash when she was driving the family car. One side of the car was completely caved in. She couldn’t drive it away and it looked like a total write off.’

The day after the message was posted, Ms Watt sent a message to Rebekah saying: ‘Am I imagining it or did you say yesterday that Coleen had crashed her Honda?’

Rebekah replied: ‘She defo has’ – and instructed Ms Watt to go into Coleen’s account. Ms Watt then sent another message saying: ‘She must have taken whatever it is down as it’s not there now.’

Under cross-examination, Rebekah denied leaking the story.  

An Instagram post from Coleen showed a photo of the damaged vehicle, which the court has been told about previously. ‘RIP’ and ‘half a Honda’, the post says.

Mr Sherborne referred Rebekah to an article written in The Sun about the car crash.

‘Coleen Rooney narrowly avoids injury in car crash and wrecks 4×4 just weeks after Wayne’s arrest for ‘public intoxication’ in Washington,’ the article, which was published on 25 January 2019, is headlined.

Mr Sherborne brought up the text messages between Rebekah and Ms Watt about the crash, which took place on the 23 January.

Ms Watt asked her about Coleen crashing the Honda and told her she could no longer see the Instagram post.

‘I would have tried to have done a story on Coleen but the evidence has been deleted,’ Ms Watt said in a message to Vardy, the court hears.

The previous evening, Rebekah had been at the National Television Awards. She and Ms Watts were in a box hosted by The Sun, the court heard, and the journalist who wrote the car crash article a few days later, Andy Halls, was also there.

Mr Sherborne accused Rebekah of changing her story on whether or not she knew Halls was there. In her witness statement submitted to the court, she said: ‘Andy Halls may also have been there but I don’t remember seeing him.’

Referring to the texts between her and Ms Watts about the car crash, Rebekah said at one point: ‘I wasn’t paying that much attention, not at half past eight at night.’

Mr Sherborne said: ‘But you don’t say to her it’s half past eight and I want to watch my favourite show on TV, do you?’

‘I don’t really watch television,’ said Rebekah. 

Rebekah agrees Ms Watt ‘appeared to be source’ of story on Coleen’s car crash after her agent admitted ‘it was me’ in text… but tells trial she didn’t reply because she was distracted by ‘Gemma Collins’ faceplant on Dancing on Ice’

Gemma Collins falling over on ITV's Dancing On Ice in January 2019

Gemma Collins falling over on ITV's Dancing On Ice in January 2019

Gemma Collins falling over on ITV’s Dancing On Ice in January 2019 was the key moment that meant Vardy didn’t reply to her agent after she admitted on ‘It was me’ in a conversation about being a story source

Rebekah agreed her agent ‘appeared to be the source’ of a news story on Coleen’s 2019 car crash after the agent admitted ‘it was me’ in a text message.

But the WAG told the High Court that she did not reply to Ms Watt’s message because she was distracted by Gemma Collins’ ‘faceplant’ on Dancing on Ice.

Rebekah was referring to the moment the celebrity tripped and fell face-first on the ice during one of the routines in the ITV show. 

Coleen’s lawyer David Sherborne read out two Instagram posts by his client in London’s High Court about The Sun’s article in the months before she embarked on her ‘Wagatha Christie’ investigation.

In a public post, Coleen wrote: ‘Someone on my private Instagram seen the picture and is telling or selling stories to a certain newspaper. It’s happened several times now over the past couple of years. It’s sad to think someone who I have accepted to follow me is betraying for either money or to keep a relationship with the press.’

Mr Sherborne then took Rebekah to further texts sent between herself and her agent Ms Watt.

‘Such a victim. Poor Coleen,’ Ms Watt said to Rebekah at about 6.28pm on January 27, 2019. Just under 20 minutes later, she sent another message. ‘And it wasn’t someone she trusted. It was me’.

Rebekah told the court: ‘That seems to be what she’s saying.’ She said she didn’t replying, adding ‘at 6.35 I would have been bathing my children’ at the time the message was sent.

The court then heard that Rebekah allegedly tried to throw Coleen ‘off the scent’ with ‘disingenuous messages’ to her suggesting her account might have been hacked by journalists.

Rebekah told Coleen in a private message: ‘Oh my God. What the f*** is wrong with people. Why have they taken that one of you and the kids and not of Wayne in bed? That would have been an even better one in their eyes. D***heads. Hope you are OK.’

Mr Sherborne suggested Rebekah sent the message as she ‘knew the finger of suspicion’ was going to be pointed at her.

Her message continued: ‘That is so bad! And The Sun of all people as well! Have you been through all your followers? No one with any celeb mag links? What about being hacked? I would be chomping if that was me! Not on at all.’

‘This was totally disingenuous, Mrs Vardy,’ Mr Sherborne said. ‘You knew perfectly well that you had been the source of this story through Caroline Watt but you presented yourself to her as someone who hates the Sun. You’re trying to throw Mrs Rooney off the scent, aren’t you?’

‘I don’t hate the Sun’, Rebekah interjected.

‘But you knew Mrs Rooney did,’ Mr Sherborne said, and Rebekah agreed.

Rebekah ‘tried to throw Coleen off the scent with ‘disingenuous messages’ to her suggesting her Instagram account might have been hacked by journalists’ 

Coleen leaving her London hotel earlier - still wearing an orthopaedic boot on her left leg following an accident at home

Coleen leaving her London hotel earlier – still wearing an orthopaedic boot on her left leg following an accident at home 

Coleen left the hotel holding a coffee and an iPhone in a pink case

Wayne carried a leather handbag with a file inside

Coleen left the hotel holding a coffee and an iPhone in a pink case, while her husband Wayne carried a leather handbag with a file inside. Both smiled for the photographers 

Rebekah allegedly tried to throw Coleen Rooney ‘off the scent’ with ‘disingenuous messages’ to her suggesting her account might have been hacked by journalists, the High Court heard.

The WAG told Coleen in a private message: ‘Oh my God. What the f*** is wrong with people. Why have they taken that one of you and the kids and not of Wayne in bed? That would have been an even better one in their eyes. D***heads. Hope you are OK.’

Coleen’s lawyer Mr Sherborne suggested Rebekah sent the message as she ‘knew the finger of suspicion’ was going to be pointed at her.

Her message continued: ‘That is so bad! And The Sun of all people as well! Have you been through all your followers? No one with any celeb mag links? What about being hacked? I would be chomping if that was me! Not on at all.’

‘This was totally disingenuous, Mrs Vardy,’ Mr Sherborne said. ‘You knew perfectly well that you had been the source of this story through Caroline Watt but you presented yourself to her as someone who hates the Sun. You’re trying to throw Mrs Rooney off the scent, aren’t you?’

‘I don’t hate the Sun’, Rebekah interjected.

‘But you knew Mrs Rooney did,’ Mr Sherborne said, and Rebekah agreed. 

 

Day 4 – Coleen reveals her marriage was on the rocks due to Wayne’s naughtiness as Mrs Vardy breaks down in the dock over online hate

My marriage almost fell apart after Wayne’s drink-driving, Coleen Rooney tells court

The Rooneys walking through a crowd of photographers as they left the Royal Courts of Justice on day four of the Wagatha Christie trial: Coleen made her first appearance in the witness box after Rebekah Vardy's tearful evidence

The Rooneys walking through a crowd of photographers as they left the Royal Courts of Justice on day four of the Wagatha Christie trial: Coleen made her first appearance in the witness box after Rebekah Vardy’s tearful evidence

One day four of the trial Mrs Rooney, pictured here with her husband Wayne in a court sketch, battled wits with Rebekah Vardy's lawyer Hugh Tomlinson, QC

One day four of the trial Mrs Rooney, pictured here with her husband Wayne in a court sketch, battled wits with Rebekah Vardy’s lawyer Hugh Tomlinson, QC

Coleen told the ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel trial how her marriage almost fell apart after her husband Wayne was caught drink-driving with a party girl.

Taking to the witness stand for the first time on day four of the £3million trial at the High Court, Mrs Rooney recalled the aftermath of the incident involving former office worker Laura Simpson in 2017, when she and their children stayed with her parents.

Mrs Rooney, who claims fellow Wag Rebekah Vardy leaked stories about her private life to the Press, said: ‘I was in a vulnerable situation… I didn’t know how my marriage was going to work out.

‘Me and Wayne were trying to figure out our relationship and where we were going. But I didn’t want the public to know that… I hadn’t settled on: ‘This is it, we are getting back together.’

She said she nearly split from former England striker Mr Rooney as she described the upset caused by a newspaper story stemming from a private Instagram post at the time, featuring her husband and their children in pyjamas.

Coleen: Sarah Harding caught Vardy taking pictures inside her handbag

Sarah Harding

Sarah Harding is said to have got into an argument with Rebekah after spotting her taking photos inside her handbag 

Rebekah got into a heated argument with Sarah Harding at the 2018 National Television Awards after the Girls Aloud singer spotted her rifling through her handbag, the High Court heard.

The story – which was published in several tabloid newspapers at the time – was mentioned by Coleen Rooney in written documents she submitted to the High Court as part of the £3million Wagatha Christie libel trial.

Coleen claimed: ‘She got in a spat with former Girls Aloud group member Sarah Harding during the 2018 event because Sarah apparently caught Becky taking photographs of the contents of Sarah’s handbag when Sarah had dropped it on the floor.

‘Their dispute subsequently appeared in The Sun.’ 

Message about my late sister made me ‘sick’, says Mrs Rooney

On another day of bombshell revelations in the trial, Mrs Rooney, 36, said in written evidence that a message between Mrs Vardy, 40, wife of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, and her agent Caroline Watt referencing her deceased sister ‘knocked me sick’ when it was disclosed.

Mrs Rooney wrote in her statement: ‘While they were discussing her messaging me in order to cover her tracks, Becky says to Caroline Watt, ‘Maybe I should say something about Rosie’.

‘Rosie is a reference to my sister who suffered with Rett syndrome and passed away in 2013 at the age of just 14.

‘The mere fact that Becky would suggest seeking to use Rosie’s name in conversation with me in order to put me off the scent of suspecting Becky as the person responsible for leaking my private information to The Sun is really low and sad. It actually knocked me sick when I read that message from Becky to Caroline.’

Rebekah: I was bullied and manipulated and need to clear my name

Rebekah Vardy told London’s High Court that she feels she has been ‘bullied and manipulated’ during the Wagatha Christie libel trial, and denied throwing her PR agent Caroline Watt ‘under a bus’.

Jamie Vardy’s wife said she pressed on with legal action despite a letter from Coleen’s solicitors which she perceived as a ‘threat’ because she ‘didn’t do anything wrong’.

Asked how she has found giving evidence this week, Rebekah said: ‘Exhausting, intimidating, I feel like I’ve been bullied and manipulated’.

Explaining her motivation for suing Coleen for libel, she sobbed: ‘I didn’t do anything wrong – I wanted to clear my name, and not just for me, for my family and my children.’

She also denied personally leaking information to The Sun, denied speaking to or messaging any journalists about any of Coleen’s posts, denied asking her agent Ms Watt to pass on information and denied deleting messages from her WhatsApp.

Rebekah also said said the suggestion that she had thrown under agent ‘under a bus’ in the case was ‘not right’.

I was scared I was going to lose the baby, emotional Rebekah tells High Court

An emotional Rebekah Vardy said that she feared she was going to lose her fourth baby after Coleen Rooney accused the WAG of leaking stories to the Press in October 2019.

London’s High Court has heard how Rebekah was subjected to abuse and threats after Coleen’s Wagatha Christie post to Instagram while Jamie Vardy’s wife was heavily pregnant.

Asked to describe her state of mind at the time the allegations were made, she told her laywer: ‘Constant anxiety, panic attacks, and I was scared I was going to lose the baby’.

She began sobbing again when asked about her state of mind when she had her fourth baby, barely two months after Coleen’s Wagatha post. 

‘I wasn’t in a good place,’ she said.

Asked when her daughter was born, she said, crying, 28th December, 2019 and repeated the date. She was offered the chance to compose herself, but continued giving evidence.

Rebekah Vardy DENIED telling her PR agent to leak Coleen Rooney’s car crash to the press

Rebekah Vardy has denied instructing her agent Caroline Watt to view Coleen Rooney’s private Instagram account to leak information about the WAG’s 2019 car crash to the Press.

London’s High Court has heard how Ms Watt texted Rebekah admitting that she had given information about Coleen’s crash in Washington DC to The Sun newspaper.

Rebekah said it ‘appeared’ that Ms Watt was the source of the story, but said she didn’t reply to her text because she was too engrossed watching Gemma Collins’ Dancing On Ice ‘faceplant’.

Mr Tomlinson asked: ‘Were you instructing Caroline Watt to go into the Instagram to obtain information to leak to The Sun?’

Rebekah replied: ‘No, I wasn’t’.

Day 5 – Coleen lays bare her ‘Scousetrap’ plot that saw her accuse rival WAG Rebekah of leaking ‘fake stories’

Euro 2016 seating row behind Coleen that led to a FA official being told to ‘f**k off’

Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy at the 2016 Group B match between England v Wales at Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens

Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy at the 2016 Group B match between England v Wales at Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens

Rebekah Vardy’s evidence about why she sat behind Coleen Rooney at a football match is ‘simply untrue’, a former Football Association (FA) employee has told the High Court.

Harpreet Robertson, a former ticketing manager and family liaison officer for the FA, was questioned over the seating arrangements at one of England’s matches at Euro 2016.

Ms Robertson told the court she believed Mrs Vardy made a ‘choice’ to sit in seats behind Mrs Rooney at the match, alleging in her witness statement that Mrs Vardy’s evidence over this was ‘simply untrue’.

In her own witness statement, Mrs Vardy said: ‘We went to a game one day and Coleen and her family were sitting in our seats. Rather than make a fuss we sat in the nearest seats available.’

Mrs Vardy denied she had intentionally swapped seats to be seen near Mrs Rooney and in the pictures.

However in her witness statement, Mrs Robertson said: ‘Becky never expressly refused to take the seats that she had been allocated, her guests did this instead, but it appeared that she wanted to be sat in the seats that were right in the eye line of anyone looking at, or photographing, Coleen’.

Ms Robertson added: ‘The following morning, the tabloid papers were full of photographs of her sat directly behind Coleen. This was precisely the kind of media attention that the FA, and I, had tried to avoid.’

In her witness statement, Ms Robertson also said that she would reserve seats at matches for her and FA security team members, but found a number of people already sat in those seats.

She continued: ‘I asked them to move but they refused and were incredibly rude and abusive to me, remarking words to the effect of ‘we can sit where we like, f*** off’.

‘Scousetrap’ sting operation revealed by Coleen

A sketch by court artist Priscilla Coleman of Coleen Rooney, watched by her husband Wayne, as she gives evidence at the Royal Courts Of Justice

A sketch by court artist Priscilla Coleman of Coleen Rooney, watched by her husband Wayne, as she gives evidence at the Royal Courts Of Justice

Coleen said despite never being friends with Rebekah, she became suspicious of the rival WAG when she began ‘fishing for information’. 

She said the ‘Scousetrap’ sting was not ‘plucked out of thin air’, saying she had thought long and hard before making the now-infamous social media post accusing Rebekah.  

Describing how her investigation began to gain momentum, Coleen said: ‘There were a number of things that added up with the others. I didn’t just pluck it out of thin air.

‘I suspected this person was having a relationship with The Sun so I googled it, looked at past articles and saw the connection between Rebekah Vardy and The Sun.

‘This thing was not just thought of overnight. I did think of it for a long time. As I’ve said I’m not one who just jumps on things.’

She said: ‘I was trying to get more information and put it together with the information I already had. I came up with Rebekah Vardy. There was no other person who my private Instagram who was in a position to give this information to The Sun.

She added she became suspicious of Rebekah as she would ‘regularly’ message Coleen when there was press coverage about Wayne Rooney’s wife.

Saying Rebekah was ‘not in my circle’, Coleen said: ‘I felt like when she contacted me it was to try and get information out of me.’

Coleen Rooney ramped up her Wagatha Christie ‘sting’ amid reports of husband Wayne’s ‘misbehaving’ with a barmaid  

Coleen admitted for the first time that she split from her husband Wayne and feared her marriage was over after he was caught drink-driving with 'party girl' Laura Simpson (pictured)

Coleen admitted for the first time that she split from her husband Wayne and feared her marriage was over after he was caught drink-driving with ‘party girl’ Laura Simpson (pictured) 

Coleen revealed how she personally doubled down in her secret ‘Wagatha Christie’ investigation when her husband Wayne was ‘misbehaving’ with a blonde barmaid during a ten-hour bender with teammates in Florida.

Coleen also admitted keeping her probe secret from the former England captain – as well as lying to Rebekah Vardy after being asked why she had unfollowed her on Instagram, as the women’s £3million libel trial continued.

London’s High Court heard the sting gathered momentum at a time when Rooney was ‘misbehaving.’ Asked if that was the case by Rebekah’s barrister Hugh Tomlinson QC, Coleen replied: ‘There’s been a few unfortunate things that have happened and they have been publicised. It’s happened quite a few times and I’ve dealt with it. We’ve dealt with it as a couple, as a family. There are a few things that have been publicised over a few years.’

Speaking of Rebekah’s response to her ‘troubles’, Coleen said: ‘I did feel that when there’s tough times going on, I felt Mrs Vardy would message more. I felt It’s when there are things in the news, she would message me and say How are you?’. I felt like it was fishing for information.’

The court heard one occasion when Rebekah went ‘fishing for information’ happened hours after her husband allegedly ‘spent time’ with the barmaid in Florida. Coleen told how Rebekah got in contact after The Sun told how she was threatening to quit the US and return to Britain after Rooney’s encounter with Vicki Rosiek when he was playing for DC United in Washington.

Making contact with Coleen at lunchtime on February 11 2019, the day after the article appeared, Rebekah wrote: ‘Hi my love! Hope you are ok! Just saw another s***ty story online! Can they not just leave you guys alone…I don’t know how you do it! It’s relentless…stay strong. Sending hugs.

Coleen replied: ‘Thanks, just a pain in a**e…it’s the kids half term so just gonna come home.’ Messaging Coleen back, Rebekah wrote: ‘It’s a joke! Annoys me someone close to you is clearly selling you out! And for what…I don’t blame you come home and be with your family’.

Rebekah’s ‘evil’ messages

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Texts between Caroline Watt and Rebekah Vardy in which they discuss Coleen unfollowing Rebekah and footballer Danny Drinkwater's arrest for drink-driving

Texts between Caroline Watt and Rebekah Vardy in which they discuss Coleen unfollowing Rebekah and footballer Danny Drinkwater’s arrest for drink-driving 

Talking about Rebekah’s frequent exchanges with her publicist Caroline Watt about her private life, which emerged during the libel case, Coleen said: ‘She’s got no need to talk about me. I just felt that the messages that went on between them are evil and uncalled for’. 

These included Rebekah apparently calling Coleen a ‘c***’ for unfollowing her on Instagram. 

Coleen told the judge: They’re totally the opposite of the truth. I’m not a bad person. It’s totally untrue. I didn’t think there was any need for it/’It’s nothing to do with them.’

She added of Rebekah: ‘I didn’t trust her – I didn’t believe her. I did not believe a word that was coming out of her mouth.’

She said she wasn’t trying to portray Rebekah as ‘a valiant’ and thought much of the response to her post was ‘ridiculous’.

Coleen said she ‘hated every minute’ of the furore which erupted.

She accepted she had images on her phone which made light of the matter including references to the Scooby Doo gang ‘unmasking a villain’ and comparisons with Agatha Christie.

But she insisted she was not ‘delighted’ with the reaction to the post.

Coleen said: ‘No I wasn’t. I have never craved press attention. I have had it and I have accepted it. I have never drawn attention to myself.’

Coleen also told how she kept tabs on whether stories had been published about her during her investigation by making online checks. She said: ‘Sometimes I do Google News and click my name in and articles come up.’

And Coleen told of her shock at receiving a legal letter of complaint about a month after the Wagatha Christie post. She said: ‘I was quite spooked by that, I’ve never been in a position to be sent a lawyer’s letter before. Any lawyer’s letter would be threatening to me, I’ve never had one before.’

Asked about trolling directed at Rebekah after the post, she said: ‘It was disgusting, I would never wish that on anyone.’

Coleen Rooney claims she ‘hated every minute’ of Wagatha Christie fallout

Coleen Rooney claimed that she ‘hated every minute’ of the Wagatha Christie fallout after accusing Rebekah Vardy of leaking ‘fake’ stories to the media, even though her £3million libel trial heard she saved a Scooby Doo meme about her ‘unmasking the villain’ saved on her phone.

The £3million libel trial heard Coleen saved a Scooby Doo meme about her 'unmasking the villain' saved on her phone

The £3million libel trial heard Coleen saved a Scooby Doo meme about her ‘unmasking the villain’ saved on her phone

Rebekah’s barrister last week claimed that fellow Wag Coleen had revelled’ in the national reaction to her bombshell October 2019 post.

But Wayne Rooney’s wife told London’s High Court that she thought much of the response to her post was ‘ridiculous’ and said she was ‘not delighted’ by the reaction. She insisted: ‘I have never craved press attention in my life, I have had it and I have accepted it and I have tried to cope with it, and I have lived my life as best as I can in the public eye.’

Rebekah’s lawyer Hugh Tomlinson QC said Coleen had used her fame for ‘commercial purposes’, to which she answered: ‘Yeah I have been fortunate that things have come my way and I have took the opportunities and used them.

She said she had appeared in a Netflix documentary that was about Wayne, then added: ‘I wanted to continue at school but the pressure became quite big at a young age.

‘I felt like that was something that I could then control in a way and I think I have done a lot and obviously I haven’t worked for a while because I have had children and I just wanted to be a mum. But I never wanted to be in the public eye, I was thrown into it and I have worked with it.’

Coleen didn’t confront Rebekah before Wagatha Christie post ‘because she didn’t believe a word that was coming out of her mouth’

Coleen said she did not believe Rebekah would ‘tell the truth anyway, even if I confronted her’. Asked whether the best thing to do would have been to warn her this was going on, she asserted that Rebekah had told a ‘lot of lies’.

Crucially, she added that not only did she think it was Rebekah’s account that was leaking stories to The Sun, but also Rebekah herself was aware. ‘I believe she knew all along’, she said.

In addition, Coleen told how she did not contact her rival after making her Wagatha Christie discovery as ‘did not believe a word that was coming out of her mouth’.

Explaining why she made her ‘It’s… Rebekah Vardy’s Account’ post instead of contacting Rebekah, she told the court ‘I thought maybe if I did approach her she might twist it and cover it up somehow and might not be truthful so I didn’t give her the opportunity.’

Asked about Rebekah’s response to the post she said: ‘She said she had zero interest in what was going on in my life which I didn’t think was true because she talks about me a lot. So that was a lie.’

Coleen used a photo of her niece to give Rebekah Vardy the false impression she was ‘broody’

Coleen Rooney used a photo of her niece as part of the sting operation, the High Court heard.

She posted a photo of herself with her brother’s daughter, captioned ‘Broody’, which she admitted under questioning from Rebekah’s barrister Hugh Tomlinson, was to give the false impression to Rebekah that she longed for a baby girl.

The photographs were of her niece, the court heard, but her family would ‘not know what I was doing with them’.

She said: ‘I have photographs with the little girl but it doesn’t say gender selection.’

Coleen explained that around that time she accepted a friend request, [from footballer Tom Cleverley] which is why some stories show they have been viewed by two people – including Rebekah.

Asked if she unblocked her other followers from her story shortly afterwards, Coleen said: ‘Yes.’

She said this was so she could carry on with her holiday, and post things that she would normally post.

Coleen: I lied to Vardy when I unfollowed her – and wouldn’t be bothered if she did the same to me

Coleen Rooney has admitted keeping her ‘Wagatha Christie’ probe secret from husband Wayne – as well as lying to Rebekah Vardy after being asked why she had unfollowed her on Instagram, as their libel trial continued.

Asked by Rebekah’s lawyer Hugh Tomlinson QC at the High Court in London this morning why she had not told the ex-England captain about it, Coleen replied: ‘One thing I don’t do is put any troubles or worries on anyone else.

‘I don’t like to put pressure on anyone until I need to. That’s what I’ve always done. I wanted to do it for myself without telling anyone. There’s trust and there’s trust. It was quite hard keeping it to myself but I had to do it if I wanted to find out who was doing it to me.’

During cross-examination about her actions, 36-year-old Coleen also told Mr Tomlinson at the £3million trial: ‘Yes I did lie, it was a cover-up for what I was investigating, I had my suspicions.’

The court heard that Coleen unfollowed Rebekah in early 2019 and received a message a month later asking her if Rebekah had ‘done something to offend you.’ The court heard that on March 3 that year, Rebekah sent Coleen a note saying: ‘I saw you had unfollowed me and I wasn’t following you anymore on Instagram…just wanted to ask if I had done something or offended you in anyway? Literally only noticed the other day’.

Coleen admitted she ‘told her a fib’ in her reply, saying she ‘didn’t even know’ – adding that her children used her phone often and she would check to see what happened. In fact, the court was told that she had deliberately unfollowed her because of concerns that stories were being leaked from her account.

Day 6 – Jamie Vardy accuses Wayne Rooney of talking ‘nonsense’ about his wife before leaving early after Rebekah falls ill

The Vardys leave early

Rebekah Vardy (R) and her husband, Leicester City striker, Jamie Vardy (L) leave the Royal Courts of Justice early on Wednesday

Rebekah Vardy (R) and her husband, Leicester City striker, Jamie Vardy (L) leave the Royal Courts of Justice early on Wednesday

Rebekah Vardy dramatically left the Wagatha Christie libel trial early on Tuesday after her husband accused Wayne Rooney of ‘talking nonsense’ about them.

Jamie Vardy led his wife out of the High Court during a ten-minute interval.

Moments later, her legal team told the judge she had gone because she ‘was not feeling very well’.

The Rooneys appeared in good spirits and were smiling as they left court at the end of the day’s proceedings, as legal experts predicted the case was going their way.

Wayne Rooney: Roy Hodgson asked me to speak to Jamie about his wife

Wayne Rooney was the star witness on Day 6 of the Wagatha Christie trial

Wayne Rooney was the star witness on Day 6 of the Wagatha Christie trial

England manager Roy Hodgson (left) talks to Jamie Vardy (second left) as Wayne Rooney (second right) watches on during a training session at Stade de Bourgognes in Chantilly during the Euro 2016 tournament in France

England manager Roy Hodgson (left) talks to Jamie Vardy (second left) as Wayne Rooney (second right) watches on during a training session at Stade de Bourgognes in Chantilly during the Euro 2016 tournament in France

Wayne Rooney told the High Court there was ‘a lot of negativity’ surrounding Mrs Vardy’s column for The Sun and so he agreed to ask Vardy ‘to ask his wife to calm down’.

Rooney recalled sitting down with his teammate over a can of Red Bull and a coffee in the England squad’s games room during the competition in France.

He said: ‘I remember the conversation I had with Jamie. It was awkward for me to speak to a teammate about his wife. It wasn’t my place to speak to Mrs Vardy. I was asked to speak to Mr Vardy and I followed those instructions.’

Rooney said he did not know whether Vardy had raised the issue with his wife, saying: ‘If Jamie gives that information to his wife or not is not down to me.’ He was asked whether he was certain the conversation took place and replied: ‘I’m sat here under oath. I 100 per cent spoke to Mr Vardy on the situation. Again, if he wants to relay that back to his wife that’s entirely his business.’

…but Jamie brands his evidence ‘nonsense’ 

After Wayne's evidence Jamie Vardy put out a statement denying it was true - but stopped short of accusing his former England teammate of perjury

After Wayne’s evidence Jamie Vardy put out a statement denying it was true – but stopped short of accusing his former England teammate of perjury

Around two hours later, Vardy issued the statement through his wife’s PR agent. He said: ‘Wayne is talking nonsense. He must be confused because he never spoke to me about issues concerning Becky’s media work at Euro 2016.

‘There was nothing to speak about, I know this because I discuss everything with Becky.’

The Vardys arrived at court hand in hand, and continued to hold hands throughout most of the morning’s hearing. Mrs Vardy, who wore a £1,100 navy trouser suit by US designer Veronica Beard, briefly rested her head on her husband’s shoulder when they arrived back in the court after the lunch break.

They failed to reappear in court after the ten-minute mid-afternoon break, when Mrs Vardy’s legal team announced she had left because she was feeling unwell. It was the second day in a row that the 40-year-old left early.

Wayne Rooney says Coleen became ‘a different mother and a different wife’ as she ‘struggled’ with fallout from her 2019 Wagatha Christie post

Wayne Rooney arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice on Tuesday morning before he gave evidence

Wayne Rooney arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice on Tuesday morning before he gave evidence

Wayne Rooney claimed his wife Coleen Rooney had become a ‘different mother and a different wife’, adding that she had ‘really struggled’ with the fallout from her notorious ‘Wagatha Christie’ post three years ago.

Rooney also revealed he was asked by England manager Roy Hodgson to request that Jamie Vardy asked his wife Rebekah to ‘calm down’ during Euro 2016 in France, as the £3million trial continued at the High Court in London. Court observers said there was ‘lots of whispering’ between Rebekah and Vardy during Rooney’s evidence.

Rooney, the side’s captain, said he was pulled aside by Hodgson and his assistant Gary Neville and asked to raise the ‘awkward’ issue with Vardy over concerns that Rebekah was ‘causing problems and distractions’ for the team. He told the court about the conversation with Vardy, saying: ‘We were in the games room, there was table tennis. I spoke to him, he had a can of Red Bull and I had a coffee, I remember those details because it was so awkward.’

Speaking about Hodgson’s request, Rooney said: ‘They asked me to, as captain, would I be able to speak to Mr Vardy on issues regarding his wife and I think we all knew we spoke about it, it was an awkward subject.’ Among the issues was the idea Rebekah had ‘some kind of column in The Sun’, the court heard. Rooney said the boss wanted him ‘to ask his wife to calm down and not bring any issues off the field that were unnecessary’.

Rebekah’s lawyer Hugh Tomlinson QC asked him: ‘Ask his wife to calm down… she wasn’t dancing on tables?’ Rooney – who had earlier sworn to tell the truth while holding a Bible in his hand – said: ‘No, I wasn’t aware of that. It was a lot of negativity amongst a lot of media coverage which as a group of players and as the manager of England he didn’t want that to happen, so he asked would I be able to speak to Jamie and I went and done so.’

Rooney added: ‘I think there was a few things at the time with Rebekah which the leaders of the team asked me to speak to Jamie about. I was at the understanding Rebekah had a column in The Sun newspaper and as I state… I obviously had better things on my mind. It was obviously awkward for me.’

Coleen’s ‘fake’ Instagram posts about gender selection in Mexico and a flooded basement

As part of the 'sting operation' Coleen Rooney planted three false stories on her private Instagram account, with the viewers restricted to only Rebekah Vardy's account, to see whether they would be leaked to The Sun newspaper. One of these stories was posted on April 8, 2019, with Coleen claiming she was travelling to Mexico to look into a procedure to determine a baby's sex. 'Let's go and see what this gender selection is all about,' Mrs Rooney posted, accompanied with a number of heart emojis

As part of the ‘sting operation’ Coleen Rooney planted three false stories on her private Instagram account, with the viewers restricted to only Rebekah Vardy’s account, to see whether they would be leaked to The Sun newspaper. One of these stories was posted on April 8, 2019, with Coleen claiming she was travelling to Mexico to look into a procedure to determine a baby’s sex. ‘Let’s go and see what this gender selection is all about,’ Mrs Rooney posted, accompanied with a number of heart emojis

The post that resulted in a newspaper article headlined 'Wayne and Coleen Rooney's £20million 'Morrisons mansion' flooded during Storm Lorenzo'. The court heard that the post, only visible to Rebekah's Instagram account, showed a bottle of wine and was captioned: 'Needed after today… flood in the basement of our new house… when it all seemed to be going so well'

The post that resulted in a newspaper article headlined ‘Wayne and Coleen Rooney’s £20million ‘Morrisons mansion’ flooded during Storm Lorenzo’. The court heard that the post, only visible to Rebekah’s Instagram account, showed a bottle of wine and was captioned: ‘Needed after today… flood in the basement of our new house… when it all seemed to be going so well’

On January 22, 2019, Coleen Rooney posted a picture on her private Instagram, showing damage to her car after a collision. The next day Rebekah Vardy says in a WhatsApp message to Caroline Watt: 'She's a nasty b***h x' and 'I've taken a big dislike to her!... Would love to leak those stories x'. Rebekah claims her comments were not about Coleen

On January 22, 2019, Coleen Rooney posted a picture on her private Instagram, showing damage to her car after a collision. The next day Rebekah Vardy says in a WhatsApp message to Caroline Watt: ‘She’s a nasty b***h x’ and ‘I’ve taken a big dislike to her!… Would love to leak those stories x’. Rebekah claims her comments were not about Coleen

The three stories posted by Coleen Rooney on her private Instagram account as part of her ‘Wagatha Christie’ investigation were revealed in court documents as the bomshell £3million libel trial continued.

Coleen has said she planted the stories – two of which were fake – as part of a ‘sting operation’, with the viewers restricted to only Rebekah Vardy’s account, to see whether they would be leaked to The Sun newspaper.

The true one of these stories revealed in the High Court papers in London this morning was posted by Coleen on January 22, 2019 when she uploaded a picture on the private account, showing damage to her car after a collision.

The next day Rebekah said in a message to her agent Caroline Watt: ‘She’s a nasty b***h x’ and ‘I’ve taken a big dislike to her!… Would love to leak those stories x’. Rebekah claims her comments were not about Coleen.

Rebekah Vardy ‘gave a photographer access to her Instagram account so he could sell stories’

The court had previously heard Rebekah sat behind Coleen to 'maximise media attention'

The court had previously heard Rebekah sat behind Coleen to ‘maximise media attention’

Rebekah Vardy gave a photographer access to her Instagram account so he could sell stories, the court heard.

Public relations consultant Penelope Addarewa told how she was in a bistro with ‘a well known’ person who she overheard discussing the matter with photographer Danny Hayward.

She said she was ‘taken aback’ after hearing the ‘revelations.

Mrs Addarewa said the claim was made during a 10-15 minute conversation which took place in the aftermath of Coleen Rooney’s bombshell post and the ‘media storm that followed in October 2019.

She said: ‘They were talking about Coleen and Rebekah and how it’s all going off here’. Danny said Becky was keeping to her story or words to that effect. He was talking a lot about Becky. He was just so blaze. I was just taken aback. I was really surprised.’

The mystery man, known only as ‘Y’ in the court, was speaking to Mr Hayward had not arrived at the meeting but the conversation took place on a speakerphone.

She said in her statement: ‘The topic of Mrs Rooney and Mrs Vardy came up during their ‘chat’.

‘I cannot recall what exactly got them on to the topic but I specifically recall Danny mentioning that he had a means of access to Mrs Vardy’s Instagram account and how he had that means of access for a long time.

‘Their discussion of this topic was promoted by Mrs Rooney’s statement some days earlier. Danny seemed to be speaking as though he even had a means of access to Mrs Vardy’s Instagram account at the time of the meeting.

‘Danny also mentioned that he had been involved in the sale of stories using Mrs Vardy’s Instagram account as the source for the story.

‘Y and Danny did not discuss the specifics of any particular story but he spoke openly in general terms about the fact that stories were sold with Mrs Vardy’s Instagram account as the source.

‘I specifically recall Danny saying that Mrs Vardy was not only aware that Danny had a means of access to her account but also that she was well aware that access had been and was being used to take content and pass it to the press.

‘This much was abundantly clear to me from listening to the exchange, though there was no express discussion of Mrs Vardy personally benefitting from a financial perspective and it would therefore be speculative for me to suggest so.’

She said the ‘boasts’ were said in a ‘blaze’ way. Mrs Adaarewa added: ‘From the discussions between them it was clear to me that they all worked closely together regularly, including Caroline Watt, who had been scheduled to attend the meeting but who had not in fact attended, and that they had worked and collaborated together on what seemed like a number of matters in the past. ‘

She declined to give the name of the mystery man saying it was ‘unfair’ and she did not want to ‘upset his work’. She said the meeting was unrelated.

Day 7 – Rebekah Vardy tears up as libel hearing comes to an end, as her lawyer says Wagatha Christie post led to ‘horrific abuse’, while Rooney’s barrister accusers her of ‘lying under oath’

Rebekah Vardy cried in court again and embraced her solicitor as her jaw-dropping £3million Wagatha Christie libel battle with Coleen Rooney came to an emotional close.

The tearful WAG was seen throwing her hands around solicitor Charlotte Harris following the conclusion of the high-profile legal battle.

The emotional close came after barrister Hugh Tomlinson QC told the court how Mrs Vardy had suffered ‘public abuse and ridicule’ on a ‘massive scale’ as a result of the Coleen Rooney’s Wagatha Christie post.

Closing the Mrs Vardy’s case on the final day of the high-profile libel battle, Mr Tomlinson told the court how his client had received ‘the most horrific abuse’ – including death threats – following the now-famous ‘it’s Rebekah Vardy’s account…’ reveal.

Rebekah Vardy (pictured: Leaving court ) cried in court again and embraced her solicitor as her jaw-dropping £3million Wagatha Christie libel battle with Coleen Rooney came to an emotional close

Rebekah Vardy (pictured: Leaving court ) cried in court again and embraced her solicitor as her jaw-dropping £3million Wagatha Christie libel battle with Coleen Rooney came to an emotional close

He also highlighted a number of messages to the high court, including one in which internet trolls had said Ms Vardy’s baby deserved to be ‘put in a microwave and ‘put in an incinerator’. 

Describing the impact of the bombshell post by Mrs Rooney on Rebekah, Mr Tomlinson said: ‘There was no urgency whatsoever. 

‘Mrs Rooney could have blocked Mrs Vardy and made contact with Mrs Vardy to ask for her views, or she could have waited until after Mrs Vardy had given birth. 

‘She did neither and failed to give any proper or reasonable consideration to the possibility that the activity could be happening from Mrs Vardy’s account without Mrs Vardy’s knowledge.

‘The publication of the post to millions of readers was, in the circumstances, wholly unfair to Mrs Vardy who should have been given an opportunity to comment and explain her position in advance. ‘

Mr Tomlinson said as a result Rebekah suffered ‘the most horrific abuse’.  Mr Tomlinson said his client was entitled to ‘substantial damages in compensation for this defamatory publication.’

Rebekah blames her publicist for selling stories about Coleen  

Ms Vardy blamed her publicist for selling stories about Coleen Rooney and admitted she regretted calling Coleen a ‘c**t’ and her husband Wayne a ‘sh*tehouse’ in abusive messages – but insisted her rival’s Wagatha Christie Instagram reveal was ‘misconceived’.

Mr Tomlinson said ‘Mrs Vardy has obviously made mistakes. One of them, the most serious, was to trust someone she shouldn’t have’ [referring to her agent Caroline Watt]. Another is the way she talked in private conversations with Ms Watt. She accepts she said things which, had she known they would come out in public, she would not have said.’

He added: ‘This is a case about Mrs Vardy and the way she has been treated by thousands, maybe tens of thousands of people on social media… this goes on to this day. Even during this trial she’s continued to receive abuse on social media.’

Rebekah Vardy sketched in the High Court where she was accused of lying and giving 'implausible' evidence. She left court for an hour without explanation, returning with some Lucozade, her laptop and her lawyer

Rebekah Vardy sketched in the High Court where she was accused of lying and giving ‘implausible’ evidence. She left court for an hour without explanation, returning with some Lucozade, her laptop and her lawyer

The barrister continued: ‘Throughout this case, she (Mrs Vardy) has sought to find out the position. The very first thing she said to Mrs Rooney was ‘send me the evidence, send me the posts. The suggestion that she is trying to hide something is quite wrong’.

Mr Tomlinson said Rebekah’s libel dispute with Coleen was a ‘very simple case’ when ‘one clears away the conspiracy theories’, adding Mrs Vardy would have to be ‘very clever or very cynical’ to have deleted swathes of her WhatsApp back-ups. He also dismissed the suggestion that Rebekah had deleted a handful of ‘incriminating’ messages to save her own skin.

Her agent Caroline Watt’s phone was dropped in the North Sea after the court asked for it to be handed over for examination. When this was referred to as Davy Jones’ Locker last week, Ms Vardy admitted she didn’t know what that meant.

‘Has Mrs Rooney proved that Mrs Vardy leaked the information from her post that she’s accused of leaking?’ Mr Tomlinson said. 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,’ Mr Tomlinson said, adding: ‘She does not know where this information came from.’

Rebekah ‘lied under oath’ and ‘cannot be trusted’ in her evidence, Coleen’s lawyer claims 

Rebekah Vardy ‘lied under oath’, gave ‘implausible’ evidence that ‘cannot be trusted’ and deleted incriminating WhatsApp messages in a fatally flawed libel action she brought against her rival Coleen that should never have made it to the High Court, Mrs Rooney’s barrister declared.

Celebrity lawyer David Sherborne claimed Mrs Vardy’s case had ‘disintegrated’ during the week-long trial in an eviscerating attack on the wife of Premier League footballer Jamie Vardy at the Royal Courts of Justice.

Mr Vardy also came in for criticism, with Mr Sherborne accusing him of not being willing to be called as a witness so he could avoid giving evidence under oath. Instead he gave a statement outside accusing Wayne Rooney of talking ‘nonsense’ about his wife.

Mrs Rooney’s bronzed barrister, who has also represented Meghan Markle, Johnny Depp, Kate Moss, Sir Paul McCartney and Sienna Miller, said: ‘It’s not lost on the court, I’m sure, that Mr Vardy was perfectly willing to give a statement not under oath but apparently not willing to provide one for the process of these proceedings.’

Rebekah Vardy has said she was wrong to trust her friend and agent Caroline Watt (left), who has been too ill to attend the trial, accusing her of leaking stories about Coleen

Rebekah Vardy has said she was wrong to trust her friend and agent Caroline Watt (left), who has been too ill to attend the trial, accusing her of leaking stories about Coleen

Coleen Rooney's barrister David Sherborne is seen behind an empty bench where Coleen and Wayne Rooney had been seen on previous days

Coleen Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne is seen behind an empty bench where Coleen and Wayne Rooney had been seen on previous days

Jamie Vardy (sketched in court on Tuesday) accused Wayne Rooney of talking 'nonsense' about an alleged conversation about his wife's conduct at Euro 2016 on another day of high drama evidence

Jamie Vardy (sketched in court on Tuesday) accused Wayne Rooney of talking ‘nonsense’ about an alleged conversation about his wife’s conduct at Euro 2016 on another day of high drama evidence

Mr Sherborne said that Mrs Vardy’s case had ‘almost entirely disintegrated’ over the course of the trial, which entered its seventh and final day.

He added: ‘Anyone could be forgiven for wondering how on earth this case has been allowed to get this far. She [Coleen] finds herself at the end of a seven-day libel trial, and for what?’

Mr Sherborne said: ‘Mrs Vardy was a highly unreliable witness. Her evidence should be treated with the utmost caution. Its accuracy simply cannot be trusted. The contrast in the way Mrs Rooney gave evidence could not have been clearer.’

He said Coleen ‘had been honest’ while Rebekah’s ‘evidence was ‘ill-considered and lacking in candour’.’ He said Mrs Vardy’s memory had been ‘selective’ as she gave evidence.

Referring to the ‘disappearance’ of the WhatsApp messages between Rebekah and her agent and publicist Caroline Watt, central to the case, Mr Sherborne said her explanation that the loss happened during export to her solicitors was ‘impossible.’

The fact Ms Watt’s phone was ‘dropped in the North Sea’ during a trip to Scotland was ‘fishy enough’, Mr Sherborne said.

‘There is only one conclusion and that is that Mrs Vardy deleted the WhatsApp chat and it was a deliberate lie to cover up her wrongdoing. There is no other plausible explanation. The only conclusion the court can reach is that she deleted the WhatsApp chat and then lied under oath about it’, he told Mrs Justice Steyn.

David Sherborne claimed he had proved that Rebekah Vardy had ‘regularly and frequently’ leaked information to The Sun about his client and others in her sphere.  He said: ‘Just because she [Vardy] was not the one who pulled the trigger on occasion, it does not mean she was not responsible’.  

Mr Sherborne also said the court ‘can and should conclude’ that the loss of WhatsApp messages between Rebekah Vardy and her publicist Caroline Watt was ‘the result of deliberate deletion’. ‘The loss of documents is substantial in this case,’ he said. 

Mr Sherborne said these were deliberately deleted – despite claims from Vardy they were lost accidentally.

He described the case as a ‘deliberate trail of destruction’ and a ‘series of improbable events’.



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