Rebekah Vardy was stared down by Coleen Rooney as she took to the witness stand at at present’s Wagatha Christie trial to disclaim leaking tales about her rival and say she ‘deeply regrets’ evaluating Peter Andre’s manhood to a chipolata.
Along with her hair tied right into a bun, the spouse of Leicester Metropolis striker Jamie Vardy walked throughout the courtroom and handed inside inches of her rival Coleen, 36, who glanced in her path for the primary time all day.
The 40-year-old then took to the stand and swore on the Bible earlier than being quizzed by Coleen’s barrister David Sherborne.
The WAGs have been at conflict since October 2019 after Coleen accused her fellow footballer’s spouse of leaking ‘false tales’ about her personal life, earlier than claiming she had uncovered the perpetrator after finishing up a social media ‘sting operation’.
Coleen publicly claimed Rebekah shared three pretend tales she had posted on her private Instagram with The Solar, a declare Rebekah vehemently denied – main her to launch the expensive libel motion which lastly reached trial at present.
In the present day, Rebekah repeatedly denied leaking info to newspapers within the first couple of minutes of her cross-examination by Mrs Rooney’s barrister.
Mr Sherborne mentioned: ‘You would not wish to be referred to as a leaker, would you?’
Rebekah replied: ‘I’ve been referred to as a leaker and it isn’t good.’
The barrister later requested if Rebekah revered folks’s privateness, to which she replied: ‘Sure, I do.’
He then requested her questions on an interview she gave to the Information Of The World about Mrs Vardy’s claimed sexual encounter with singer Peter Andre.
Mr Sherborne confirmed what appeared to an A3 print out of the article to Rebekah within the witness field earlier than studying the headline: ‘Peter’s hung like a small chipolata, shaved, slobbery, lasts 5 minutes’.
The barrister learn excerpts from the article, during which it was claimed Mr Andre had managed ‘simply 5 minutes of intercourse with Rebekah’ and during which she mentioned he had ‘the smallest trouser gear I’ve ever seen’ that was like a ‘miniature chipolata’.
Mr Sherborne recommended to Rebekah that the Information Of The World was the ‘highest circulating newspaper on the time’, learn by some 4 million folks, and requested her whether or not it was ‘respectful’ of Peter Andre’s ‘proper to not share this info’.
She replied: ‘I used to be compelled right into a state of affairs by my ex-husband to do that. It’s one thing that I deeply remorse… It’s not good to learn and I perceive why that is getting used and to me that is mudslinging and I used to be additionally threatened with mudslinging by Mrs Rooney’s workforce.’
Requested the query once more by Coleen Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne, Mrs Vardy mentioned: ‘The circumstances round it had been fully totally different.’
She later mentioned she didn’t ask Mr Andre for his permission or inform him it was going to occur prematurely.
Mr Sherborne requested: ‘Did you are feeling notably strongly in regards to the dimension of his manhood that it needs to be made public?’
Rebekah Vardy (left) took to the stand and swore on the Bible earlier than being quizzed by Coleen’s barrister David Sherborne (within the whig). Wayne and Coleen Rooney are seen watching on on this artist’s impression
Rebekah advised how she was on vacation in Dubai on October 9, 2019 when she noticed Coleen’s publish accusing her of leaking tales from a non-public Instagram.
She mentioned: ‘I felt extremely paranoid and like everyone in the beach club was looking at me. I thought I was going to pass out and Jamie decided we needed to leave straight away.
‘I do not fully remember the journey back to the hotel because I was almost hyperventilating. I knew that I had not done anything wrong.
‘I had not leaked those stories and I did not even know what posts I was supposed to have leaked.’
Rebekah, who was seven months pregnant at the time, continued: ‘I started getting really bad pains in my stomach when we got back to the hotel.
‘They were contraction type pains and I panicked that the baby was in danger. I made myself calm down and tried to think clearly. The first thing I did was ring my eldest daughter’s faculty.’
‘She was 13 years old then and children that age can be really cruel to each other. I needed to make the school aware of the situation so that they could try to protect her from bullying by the other children.’
Rebekah’s appearance on the witness stand followed a string of astonishing developments in today’s Wagatha Christie showdown. Among the evidence heard today-
- Rebekah’s barrister says she ‘had no choice’ but to bring the libel claim against Coleen to ‘establish her innocence and vindicate her reputation’;
- He tells court she has been ‘jeered and heckled at football matches’ and ‘made the butt of endless jokes’ since the allegations emerged;
- Called ‘an evil rat face b****’ on social media, with posts going on to say she ‘should die’ and ‘her baby should be put in an incinerator’;
- Coleen’s famous Instagram sting was not a ‘careful investigation’ that produced ‘irrefutable’ evidence as she suggested, Rebekah’s barrister adds;
- Rebekah ‘has no knowledge’ of incident that saw agent Caroline Watt’s phone fall into the North Sea and ‘doesn’t know’ if she was a leaker;
- ‘Claim Rebekah was involved in ‘conspiracy’ and ‘campaign of deletion’ of evidence is ‘completely baseless”;
- Coleen’s barrister, David Sherborne, tells court the case hinges on ‘betrayal’ – whether it was by Rebekah who betrayed Coleen by leaking information to The Sun or Coleen’s agent, Caroline Watt, who was responsible;
- Suggests that if Ms Watt was responsible for leaking the stories ‘she was doing Rebekah’s dirty work like a hitman’ – and accuses Rebekah of ‘lying’ for suggesting otherwise;
- Rebekah’s claim she sat behind Coleen at the 2016 Euros because they were the ‘nearest seats available’ was ‘untrue’, according to new witness statement;
- ‘Harry Maguire’s fiancée Fern Hawkins was ‘upset and embarrassed’ by Rebekah’s WAGs paparazzi photo at 2018 World Cup’;
- Rebekah ‘had the means, motive and opportunity to leak stories about Coleen’;
Derby County manager Wayne Rooney and his wife Coleen Rooney leave the Royal Courts of Justice in London following today’s hearing
Rebekah arriving at the High Court today accompanied by two security guards. Her husband, Jamie, was not among the entourage
Coleen Rooney, wife of Derby County manager Wayne Rooney, arrives with her husband at the Royal Courts of Justice in London this morning
Happier times: Rebekah and Coleen celebrating England’s win against Wales at Stade Bollaert-Delelis in France in 2016 (left) and singer Peter Andre (right)
Today saw the toxic feud between Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy spill out into the High Court after months of painstaking pre-trial hearings.
Below is a summary of the evidence as it was heard in court:
Rebekah ‘had to vindicate her reputation’ following Coleen’s ‘flawed’ investigation
Today, Hugh Tomlinson QC, representing Rebekah, began setting out her case to the court.
At the heart of the dispute are three ‘fake’ stories which Coleen maintains that she posted on her personal Instagram stories as she attempted to discover who was leaking information about her and her family.
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)
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.
These were about Coleen claiming that she was travelling to Mexico to find out about gender selection, making a return to TV and flooding taking place at her new home. All three stories later appeared in The Sun.
Mr Tomlinson said that, on October 9, 2019, Coleen published a post to more than two million followers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook which ‘accused Mrs Vardy of being the person who, over a period of years, had consistently and regularly leaked information about her, her friends and her family, to The Sun newspaper’.
He told the court ‘it was expressed in a dramatic style’, referring to the way Mrs Rooney posted ‘It’s ………. Rebekah Vardy’s account’.
Addressing the Instagram post, Rebekah’s barrister, Mr Tomlinson, told the High Court today: ‘The allegation in the post was and remains false: Mrs Vardy had not leaked information about Mrs Rooney or her friends and family to the Sun newspaper from her private Instagram account.
‘Mrs Rooney did not have the ‘irrefutable’ evidence that she claimed to have had: her so-called ‘careful investigation’ was nothing of the sort.
‘If anyone had been leaking information from Mrs Rooney’s private Instagram this was not done with Mrs Vardy’s knowledge or approval.’
He continued: ‘Mrs Vardy made strenuous but unsuccessful attempts to settle the case but the post was not taken down.
‘As result, Mrs Vardy had no choice but to bring this libel action to establish her innocence and vindicate her reputation.’
Mr Tomlinson said Coleen said in the post that she had saved and screenshotted the original newspaper stories which showed that, as she claimed, Rebekah’s account had saved and shared her Instagram posts.
He told the court: ‘We say that this careful investigation was flawed from the start because it is obvious … anybody who knows anything about the operation of social media knows the fact somebody has an account does not necessarily mean that they are the only person who accessed it.’
He said the meaning of the post was that Mrs Rooney had made the accusation against Mrs Vardy.
Coleen ”revelled in’ being dubbed ‘Wagatha Christie” and wrongly assumed Rebekah was like Bridgerton’s Lady Whistledown’
Mr Tomlinson said Coleen had ‘revelled in’ being dubbed ‘Wagatha Christie’, and had shared posts which mocked her up as the renowned crime writer Agatha Christie.
Coleen also took screenshots of herself and Miss Marple in the wake of her ‘revelations’ which also were compared with a Scooby-Doo episode where a villain is unmasked by the gang of adventure-loving ‘meddling kids’, the court heard.
Mr Tomlinson accused Coleen of ‘revelling’ in the social media response, and keeping copies of some of the jokes on her phone.
He said: ‘She screenshot Agatha Christie, herself as Miss Marple, and someone had done a sequence from Scooby Doo when they unmasked the masked villain, and she had screenshotted that.
He said she was not acting he public interest but was ‘revelling in the attention of the Agatha Christie story.’
Mr Tomlinson added that Coleen had wrongly assumed that Rebekah was like Bridgerton’s Lady Whistledown.
The character is a mysterious writer of gossip is the pseudonym of Penelope Featherington in the popular Netflix drama.
Rebekah’s barrister Mr Tomlinson said Coleen was convinced Rebekah was the source of the short lived Secret Wag columnist on The Sun who gave behind the scenes gossip about the Premier League’s biggest stars.
Mr Tomlinson said: ‘In the unlikely event that there is a real secret Wag, it isn’t Mrs Vardy.’
‘There has been ‘deliberate deletion of evidence’ in Wagatha case’
Mr Sherborne said there had been a ‘deliberate deletion of evidence in this case.
Speaking of the destruction of all media files and WhatsApp messages on Rebekah’s phone, he said: ‘Mrs Vardy’s own expert describes this turn of event as ‘somewhat surprising’
‘Our expert says there can only be one explanation.
”Mrs Vardy was responsible for deliberately deleting them.
‘One would only delete them if you are guilty or trying to conceal incriminating evidence.’
Coleen’s barrister: ‘Case is essentially about betrayal’
Putting forward Coleen’s argument, David Sherborne QC suggested the libel case was ‘essentially about betrayal’
‘The central question that the court needs to decide now seems to be whether: it is Coleen Rooney that was betrayed by Rebekah Vardy because she knew Caroline Watt, her PR and close confidante, was leaking Mrs Rooney’s private information to The Sun and condoned this, as well as directly leaking information herself, or whether, instead, it is Mrs Vardy that was betrayed by Caroline Watt because she had leaked this information without Mrs Vardy knowing it and had lied to her by denying all along that she had leaked anything.’
Mr Sherborne added Mrs Rooney is defending the claim on truth and public interest grounds.
‘Rebekah lied after her PR agent dropped out because of ill health’
Mr Sherborne accused Rebekah of lying after her agent Caroline Watt dropped out of the case because of ill health.
After this happened, she changed her position and began pointing the finger towards her former confidante suggesting she may be the source of the leaks, he said.
The barrister told the court: ‘As is always the case with Mrs Vardy, she denies, denies and denies but then when it becomes deniably obvious she lies and she distances herself and she said the stories were leaked without her approval.
‘She said she felt lied to and betrayed.’
Coleen was seen wearing a plastic boot on her left leg today after she suffered a fracture following a fall at her home in March
Emerging from a black London cab, Rebekah arriving outside the steps of the High Court this morning for the start of the Wagatha Christie trial
Coleen’s Instagram post led to Rebekah being ‘abused, heckled at football matches and called an ”evil rat-faced b****”’
Mr Tomlinson said that, as a result of the post, Rebekah – who was seven months pregnant at the time – and her family were subjected to horrible abuse, including one post calling her an ‘evil rat-faced b****’ and others saying she should die and her baby should be ‘put in an incinerator’.
WAGs’ fashion battle begins as Coleen wears £1,565 Mugler blazer while Rebekah dons £890 dress by Kate Middleton-approved designer
By Bridie Pearson-Jones for MailOnline
They’re usually spotted in glamourous attire on foreign holidays and in swanky nightclubs.
But Coleen and Rebekah swapped cocktail dresses and bikinis for a smart business style today as they arrived at London High Court to battle out the ‘Wagatha Christie’ case.
Coleen, 36, opted for a stylish black suit with a £1,565 Mugler blazer and navy T-shirt, which she paired with a £615 Gucci loafer.
Rebekah, 40 paired opted for full Duchess style in a trendy midi shirt dress from British-Canadian designer Edeline Lee, who marks Kate Middleton among her fans.
Turning up for the first day of proceedings, Coleen wore her brown hair down while tying part of it back and opting for a natural make-up look with a light layer of foundation and lick of mascara.
She added small golden hoops to the look which otherwise had minimal jewellery.
The mother-of-four, who was wearing a medical boot on her left leg for an injury paired the look with one velvet Gucci loafer from the Italian fashion houses SS22 collection which costs £615.
Coleen clutched two leather handbags as she walked into court and rolled up her blazer sleeves exposing a diamond bracelet.
He one troll even accused her of abducting Madeleine McCann, Mr Tomlinson said, while her husband Jamie Vardy was also subjected to chants about her during football matches.
Mr Tomlinson said: ‘The allegation was false, Mrs Vardy had not leaked information about Mrs Rooney, her friends and family to The Sun newspaper.’
He added that, if information was leaked ‘this was not something that was done with Mrs Vardy’s knowledge or authority’.
Mr Tomlinson said the affair and subsequent libel case had become the subject of intense press coverage and a source of ‘entertainment’ in the media, being referred to as ‘Wag Wars’ and ‘Wagatha Christie’.
He added: ‘This is far from being an entertaining case, it has been profoundly distressing and disturbing.’
He said Coleen’s post on Instagram was liked about 93,000 times while the Twitter post received more than 300,000 likes.
Mr Tomlinson added: ‘(Rebekah) needs to be able to clear her name through this case, so she can move on from this terrible episode.’
The court heard Rebekah had suffered ‘enormous distress and upset’ over the allegations.
Mr Tomlinson continued: ‘The fact that the parties are each married to well-known footballers has led to this action being trivialised in some media coverage as ‘WAG wars’.
‘The information alleged to have been leaked was, as Mrs Rooney admitted at the hearing on April 29, 2022, low value gossip.
‘Nevertheless, the impact of the post on Mrs Vardy was far from trivial. It has – as was inevitable given Mrs Rooney’s public profile and the sensational nature of the allegation made – been republished in the national media, and on social media on many thousands of occasions, to many millions of readers.
‘Although the media, as they are entitled to do, have turned this case into an entertainment it is not, from Mrs Vardy’s point of view, entertaining.
‘It has been, and continues to be, deeply upsetting in circumstances where she was not the person who leaked information about Mrs Rooney. Mrs Vardy needs to clear her name in order to ever be given a chance to move on from this horrendous episode.’
He added that it was ‘obvious that Mrs Vardy has suffered, and continues to suffer, enormous distress and upset as a result of its publication’.
‘As a result of the post, Mrs Vardy and her family were subjected to abuse and threats. She was jeered and heckled at football matches and was the butt of endless jokes and further accusations,’ he said.
Rebekah walks through a crowd of photographers towards the entrance of the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand
So who REALLY coined the term ‘Wagatha Christie’?
By Danyal Hussain for MailOnline
A comedian has described dubbing Coleen Rooney ‘Wagatha Christie’ as is his ‘finest moment’ – despite others claiming to have coined the phrase after he misspelled it.
On October 9, 2019, shortly after Coleen accused Rebekah Vardy‘s account of leaking information about her, Dan Atkinson, 39, and a father-of-two from Folkestone, Kent, tweeted: ‘Coleen Rooney: WAGagtha Christie’.
However, his misspelling saw many overlook him as the creator of the phrase, which quickly dominated social media.
It led to others being credited with coining the term, including film curator Phoebe Roberts, who was living in London at the time.
Ms Roberts, who was dubbed the creator of the phrase by the BBC, said it was the ‘one good joke I’ve ever made’.
However, it seems she tweeted Wagatha Christie at 11.35am – 19 minutes after Mr Atkinson.
Also, at least three other accounts used the phrase before Ms Roberts, with one posting it at 11.29 and two others at 11.33.
Comedian Dan Atkinson appears to have been the first person to coin the phrase ‘Wagatha Christie’
Discussing his joke shortly after it went viral, Mr Atkinson previously told the Mirror: ‘I knew the tweet was a neat pun, but anyone who says they can guess what will go crazy is lying, aren’t they?
‘My first thought when I saw it trending was that I wish I had spelt it correctly.
‘As far as I know I was the first person on this one.
‘Pretty funny really for a four-word tweet, I have had a marriage proposal and suggestions that I become prime minister and also be knighted.’
Ms Roberts, who appears to have been wrongly identified as the first person to use the phrase, was previously interviewed by the BBC.
She said: ‘It was this amazing story with the dot dot dot ending. It had a lot of drama in it. So, I was just like, this is a detective novel or something, and that’s when I came up with Wagatha Christie.
‘It is probably my one good joke I’ve ever made, so I’m glad I got to share it around.’
Rebekah ‘knew Coleen was ”posting fake stories” to see if they would be leaked’
Mr Tomlinson claimed Rebekah knew Coleen was ‘posting fake stories’ to see if they would be leaked to the media.
‘She did not directly leak any information from Mrs Rooney’s private Instagram account to The Sun, nor did she do so indirectly by ‘approving or condoning’ anyone else to do so on her behalf,’ he said.
He said that the ‘candid’ WhatsApp messages previously heard in court between Mrs Vardy and her agent Caroline Watt show that while ‘from time to time they did discuss ‘leaking’ information to the press’ only one post is mentioned, in circumstances where journalists already knew the information.
Mr Tomlinson continued: ‘Furthermore, it is plain from the WhatsApp exchanges that Mrs Vardy was aware that Mrs Rooney was posting fake stories in order to see whether anyone would leak them, as well as the fact that she had previously been a suspect.
‘She, like Mrs Rooney, believed that someone was leaking information from Mrs Rooney’s private Instagram but didn’t know who it was and thought it must be her PR as she couldn’t see why anyone would be ‘arsed with selling stories on her’.’
Mr Tomlinson continued addressing Mrs Justice Steyn by saying there is ‘no information’ in any of the evidence that demonstrates Rebekah even viewed Coleen’s Instagram posts during the ‘sting operation’.
He told the court: ‘Mrs Vardy does not actually know what happened, she doesn’t know how this information got into the press, all she knows is what she did and she knows it wasn’t her.’
The barrister said Coleen’s case is ‘entirely inferential’ and that another line of her argument is to say Rebekah has been ‘destroying evidence, she has deleted it and she has conspired to conceal all evidence of her wrongdoing’.
He added: ‘This is untrue, there is no such campaign of deletion. The reason there is no such evidence against Mrs Vardy is because she didn’t do it.’
Meanwhile, Mr Tomlinson told the court that Whatsapp exchanges between Rebekah and her agent do not demonstrate that she was responsible for leaking stories as alleged by Mrs Rooney.
Commenting on a message in which Rebekah said she would ‘love to leak those stories’, he said: ‘They are not stories about Mrs Rooney.’
‘It’s accepted that on some occasions the leaking of stories was discussed between Mrs Vardy and Ms Watt,’ Mr Tomlinson said.
He added that ‘none of those discussions’, with one exception, related to any of the stories at the centre of the libel action.
Rebekah’s claim she sat behind Coleen at the 2016 Euros because they were the ‘nearest seats available’ was ‘untrue’
In an 11th-hour application, Coleen’s barrister David Sherborne asked Mrs Justice Steyn for permission to introduce a witness statement from Harpreet Robertson, who was a family liaison officer for the Football Association during the Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018 international football tournaments.
Mr Sherborne said the statement was ‘responsive’ to evidence in Rebekah’s statement that at the Euros in 2016, where she first got to know Coleen, her friends sat behind Coleen because they were the ‘nearest seats available’.
The barrister said in court documents: ‘In fact, Ms Robertson explains that this is untrue.’
Mr Sherborne told the court Rebekah had introduced this evidence into her witness statement to ‘suggest that from the outset she was friendly and respectful to Coleen’.
He added: ‘That goes to her motive for leaking information – she, of course, denies that. We say this is a constant theme of her witness statement that she was friendly and kind to Coleen, and was therefore unlikely to leak anything.’
In response, the judge said: ‘Although I accept that there was no order allowing for responsive evidence, nevertheless, it is an important consideration in assessing why the default occurred, that the reason was in circumstances where the defendant had provided all other statements on time.
‘This statement had not been provided because it was not, at that stage, intended to give it and only thought necessary to give it on receipt of the claimant’s statement.’
Allowing the statement to be used in the case, Mrs Justice Steyn concluded: ‘It does not seem to me that it causes any prejudice to admit this statement.’
Rebekah – the wife of Leicester City strike Jamie Vardy – is photographed as she arrived in court today
From gender selection to a flooded basement: The ‘false’ stories Coleen claims to have planted on her Instagram during ‘sting’ operation
Three ‘false’ stories Coleen Rooney claims to have planted on her private Instagram account as part of a months-long ‘sting operation’ are at the heart of her libel battle with Rebekah Vardy.
Coleen accused her fellow footballer’s wife of leaking the information to the Sun newspaper in a now infamous social media post – something Rebekah denies.
Here, we look at what has been claimed about the stories:
The gender selection article
Coleen claims to have posted the first of her ‘sting operation’ posts about a so-called gender-selection treatment on April 8 2019.
The post featured a photograph of the back seat of an airplane overlaid with the text ‘Let’s go and see what this gender selection is all about’, Coleen claims.
She alleges that the invented post was marked on Instagram as ‘seen’ only by Rebekah’s account, her lawyers have told the High Court.
In August that year, the Sun published an article claiming Coleen travelled to Mexico to look into the treatment.
The story, carrying journalist Andy Halls’s byline, is headlined ‘COL’S BABY GIRL BID Coleen Rooney travelled to Mexico to look into £8k ‘gender selection’ treatment in desperate bid to have baby girl’.
The article, referring to ‘a source’ and ‘pals’, alleged Coleen is ‘so desperate for her fifth baby to be a girl’ that she wants to hear more about a process ‘in which doctors examine embryos in a lab before implanting only those of the desired gender back into the womb’.
TV decisions article
A private ‘false’ post about planning a return to TV is made on September 25 2019, Coleen claims.
She says it featured a ‘selfie’ and the text ‘Up and out!! Easing my way back into work!! TV decisions today…. maybe it’s time for Australia’.
Coleen’s lawyers claimed in her High Court defence that the post was only accessible by Rebekah’s account.
Three days later, a Sun article under Michael Hamilton’s byline was published under the headline ‘ROO-MBA Coleen Rooney in talks to join Strictly next year as she looks to revive TV career when Wayne returns to UK’.
It quoted an anonymous source and claimed to exclusively reveal Coleen was ‘locked in talks with producers’, planned to ‘front a fashion programme’ and ‘could well do’ the Strictly Come Dancing TV show.
The flooded basement article
Coleen says she shared false information about her basement being flooded on October 2 2019, the third ‘sting operation’ post.
Her lawyers have again alleged to the High Court that the post was only accessible to Rebekah’s account.
On October 8, The Sun published a story, with Simon Boyle’s byline, headlined: ‘IN ROO-INS Wayne and Coleen Rooney’s £20million ‘Morrisons mansion’ flooded during Storm Lorenzo’.
The article, quoting a ‘source close to the couple’, claimed to reveal that bad weather had ‘wreaked havoc’ at a Cheshire property, with Coleen being ‘called in to find the cellar had been flooded’.
Rebekah ‘couldn’t have authored The Sun’s Secret Wag column because it was supportive of Coleen’
Mr Tomlinson quoted to the court from a Sun Secret Wag column from October 2019, which was supportive of Coleen, to dismiss the idea that Rebekah could have been the author of the column.
There were chuckles in court and a smile from Rebekah when the lawyer behind her read the first line: ‘OMG!’ and turned to the judge to explain ‘which stands for Oh My God, my lady’.
He continued reading from the article: ‘HOW could she!!?? Coleen Rooney has created the biggest WAG fallout since Nicola McLean whipped off her 32FF superbra.
‘Becky’s had a load of flack but most of us think Coleen played a blinder… as long as it actually WAS Becky, otherwise it’s a huge own goal. And if Becky’s had people she doesn’t know about accessing her account she needs to stop them ASAP.’
He added: ‘This is supposedly in a column written by Rebekah Vardy, according to Mrs Rooney.’
Harry Maguire’s fiancée Fern Hawkins ‘was ”upset and embarrassed” at Rebekah’s staged 2018 Russia World Cup photo’
The case has already heard evidence about the 2018 paparazzi photo, with bombshell texts between Rebekah and her former agent Caroline Watt said to reveal Rebekah’s key role in setting it up behind her fellow WAGs’ backs.
She had previously denied any part in the posed-up photo, which showed the women gathered outside a restaurant.
Today, the court heard an 11th-hour witness statement from FA liaison officer Harpreet Robertson which claimed Harry Maguire’s wife-to-be Fern Hawkins had been annoyed by the snap.
In testimony read to the court by Mr Sherborne, Ms Robertson said: ‘Fern did express her upset to me, that she had taken part and she was embarrassed, was prepared and had not expected to be put in that position by Mrs Vardy.’
Messages between Rebekah and Ms Watt on the day in question were handed over to Coleen’s legal team as part of their High Court battle.
The flurry of messages were exchanged between the two women during a day-out in St Petersburg on June 26, in 2018.
Rebkah was out in the Russian city with Millie Savage, Gemma Acton, Megan Davison, Annabel Peyton, Fern Hawkins, Shannon Horlock, Annie Kilner and Lucia Loi
They were the partners of John Stones, Gary Cahill, Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland, Harry Maguire, Nick Pope, Kyle Walker and Marcus Rashford.
The restaurant trip was two days prior to England’s first-round game against Belgium.
At 14:37pm, Rebekah messaged her agent: ‘We may have to walk to restaurant from hotel now… so might be a good pic of us walking down it’s about 10/15 mins away’
Ms Watt replied: ‘Ok will let them know thanks’
At 16.12pm, Rebekah messaged: ‘On the way down in the restaurant car… He’s doing two runs’.
Five minutes later, Ms Watt replied: ‘Ok. Hopefully he catches you all! Don’t forget to take a group shot.’
Rebekah then said: ‘If he’s here he is hiding in bushes or behind trees lol’
Half an hour later, however, Rebekah messaged that she is worried the other women will think she has tipped off the photographer after they spot him outside the restaurant.
‘F*** I made everyone go outside for a pic and the pap was there… Looks like I tipped him off now,’ Vardy says.
She said her fellow WAGS wanted her to put her own picture of them on her own Instagram.
‘Girls have asked me to put it on insta so quick get them out… they want me to put it up before the pap puts his in! I’ve bought about 10 mins,’ she wrote.
Wayne Rooney will tell trial ‘Coleen doesn’t have proactive PR, unlike Rebekah who is keen on self-promotion’
David Sherborne told the court that the trial would hear evidence from Coleen Rooney as well as husband Wayne.
Rooney’s cousin and Mrs Rooney’s brother will also provide evidence, he added.
Mr Sherborne explained that the witnesses would say that ‘Mrs Rooney doesn’t have a proactive PR… unlike Mrs Vardy’.
‘And unlike Mrs Vardy again, she is not so keen to get lots of self-promotion or favourable coverage,’ he added. ‘That was the motive, why Mrs Vardy leaked information to The Sun.’
Mr Sherborne said witnesses will also explain that Mrs Rooney ‘didn’t tell any of them she was making this sting operation’.
He said it was a ‘surprise’ to them when her post accusing Mrs Vardy was made, he added.
Rebekah ‘has no knowledge’ of incident that saw agent Caroline Watt’s phone fall into the North Sea and ‘doesn’t know’ if she was a leaker
The court previously heard that Rebekah’s agent and friend Caroline Watt’s phone fell into the sea after a boat she was on hit a wave before further information could be extracted from it in August 2021.
Today, Mr Tomlinson said Rebekah ‘has no personal knowledge’ of the incident and ‘all she knows is what has been said by Ms Watt’.
‘It has not been suggested that Mrs Vardy had any involvement with this and it cannot possibly be relied on as evidence of wrongdoing by Mrs Vardy,’ he said.
The court heard from Mr Tomlinson that Ms Watt had recently withdrawn a witness statement from the trial in which she said she had not leaked stories.
Ms Watt also withdrew a waiver that might have allowed Sun journalists to say whether or not she was the source.
Mr Tomlinson said until these developments ‘Mrs Vardy believed that Ms Watt wasn’t the source of the leaks’.
‘She trusted her friend, that was Ms Watt’s own evidence,’ he said.
‘The result of all these developments is that Mrs Vardy doesn’t know what to think. She accepts that it’s possible that it may be that Ms Watt was the source of some or all of the stories.’
Mr Tomlinson added: ‘As Mrs Vardy’s PR, Ms Watt had access to her Instagram account.’
Mr Tomlinson said that if Ms Watt was the source of leaked stories ‘that’s not something that Mrs Vardy knew anything about and it’s certainly something that she did not approve of or authorise Ms Watt to do’.
He added that the developments around the agent ‘makes no change at all’ in Mrs Vardy’s pleaded case.
‘Her case is and always has been that she did not leak Mrs Rooney’s information from her private Instagram to the Sun, whether directly or using the agency of a third party’.
Mr Tomlinson added of Rebekah: ‘She’s not able to say of her friend, she was the leaker. She doesn’t know.’
Messages uncovered by Ms Rooney’s lawyers seemingly pin the blame on Ms Vardy for this controversial picture of fellow England team WAGs (pictured) outside a restaurant in St Petersburg, Russia during the 2018 World Cup
Coleen bore a purposeful expression as she walked in to court this morning alongside her former England star husband
Coleen glances to one side as she walks into the entrance of the High Court carrying two handbags and wearing a plastic boot
Coleen barrister: ‘If Rebekah’s agent leaked stories she was doing WAG’s ‘dirty work”
Mr Sherborne said while there wasn’t a person ‘standing over a body with a smoking gun’ all the evidence in the case pointed towards Rebekah Vardy as being the alleged leaker.
Mr Sherborne said the two suspects in the case were Vardy and her PR and close confidante Caroline Watt – and ‘of course we say they were in it together’.
If Caroline Watt had personally leaked the information he said: ‘It’s like hiring a hitman or woman. ‘ It doesn’t mean in legal terms she had to pull the trigger herself. Just because you are not the person who gets your hands dirty, it doesn’t mean you are the one responsible or equally as responsible.
Mr Sherborne added: ‘Mrs Rooney sits here in front of the court not because she wants to but because she has to.
‘She didn’t want to have to write the post any more than she wanted to be here.’
Mr Sherborne said it was ‘the sad truth’ that someone ‘she thought she could trust’ who she had allowed access to her personal Instagram posts had secretly been passing on information to a newspaper.
He said: ‘If you are a person like Mrs Rooney with a public profile you accept that some things are going to be made public but you might think it makes it all the more important if you close your doors to the outside world that this is a private space where you can share things that are not for the whole world to know.’
Mr Sherborne continued: ‘If (Rebekah Vardy) gave Ms Watt the gun and the bullets, told her where to target them, told her what was happening and when, that makes her just as responsible as the person who pulled the trigger. To use an analogy, it is like hiring a hitman or woman.’
He said there were, in text message exchanges between Mrs Vardy and Ms Watt, examples of the pair discussing leaking other people’s private information.
This included one exchange, he told the court, in which Mrs Vardy said ‘I just don’t want it coming back on me’. He said Ms Watt replied ‘I can tell someone’ and Mrs Vardy answered by saying ‘yeah, do it’.
The barrister said it was notable Mrs Vardy did not say ‘no’, nor that she would not do that, nor that she had never done so.
He added: ‘Mrs Vardy is just as responsible for leaking information which someone else doesn’t want shared with the press, even if she doesn’t pull the trigger and send it across herself. Of course, we say the same is true of leaks from Mrs (Coleen) Rooney’s private Instagram account.’
Mr Sherborne said there were ‘only two real suspects’ and that any suggestion someone may have hacked into Mrs Rooney’s account to access her private information was ‘wild speculation, wild theory, because there is no evidence whatsoever to support it’. He added: ‘There is plenty of evidence, inference and circumstance we say, that Mrs Vardy knew and approved of Ms Watt (leaking private information).’
JANUARY 2019: Ms Vardy texts Miss Watt and is claimed to have described Coleen as a ‘nasty b****… I’ve taken an enormous dislike to her! She thinks she’s wonderful…Would like to leak these tales’
FEBRUARY 2019: Ms Watt and Ms Vardy realise Rooney has unfollowed them on Instagram. In a sequence of messages, Rebekah, who’s married to Leicester Metropolis striker Jamie, 35, is claimed to have described Coleen as a ‘nasty b****’ and a ‘c***’, whereas Ms Watt manufacturers the spouse of former Manchester United star Wayne Rooney as ‘trash’ and ‘up her personal ar**’
OCTOBER 2019: The pair focus on their response to Coleen’s now notorious Wagatha Christie claims. The textual content messages are mentioned to indicate Rebekah describing Mrs Rooney as a ‘b***’ and a ‘c***’
Rebekah branded Wayne a ‘c***’ and mentioned Coleen ought to ‘recover from herself’ in texts
Court docket paperwork present that Rebekah branded Wayne Rooney a ‘c***’ and mentioned Coleen ought to ‘recover from herself’ in a string of foul-mouthed texts.
The messages present Rebekah and her agent, Caroline Watt, discussing Coleen’s bombshell declare that she had leaked tales from her personal Instagram.
Rebekah writes: ‘She thinks it is me that is been doing tales on her! Of all of the folks on her Instagram ffs!
‘That c*** must recover from herself’ and added: ‘What a joke! All I’ve ever been is good to her although! Even when Wayne was being a c***.’
Hugh Tomlinson, appearing for Rebekah, mentioned these had been personal conversations between two mates and ‘present that in personal Mrs Vardy usually makes use of sturdy language’, including: ‘What these exchanges present was that Mrs Vardy was typically irritated by Mrs Rooney, rightly or wrongly.’
Who’s who within the case? Former mates who had a bitter falling out, the previous Virgin Atlantic air hostess, and the superstar attorneys going face to face
Rebekah Vardy together with her agent, Caroline Watt, who had been because of give proof within the trial however was just lately discovered to be ‘not match’ to participate, additionally withdrawing her written proof
The footballer’s spouse bringing the declare, Rebekah’s household was thrust into the limelight after her husband Jamie helped Leicester Metropolis on their option to an unlikely Premier League win in 2016.
The mannequin and TV character, 40, appeared on I am A Celeb in 2017 earlier than later showing on Dancing On Ice in 2021, in addition to making appearances on Unfastened Girls.
The mother-of-five just lately wrote a youngsters’s ebook together with her husband Jamie, entitled Cedric The Little Sloth With A Large Dream, which follows a bit of sloth who hopes to develop into a footballer.
Coleen, the footballer’s spouse defending the declare, is maybe now higher generally known as ‘Wagatha Christie’ after her social media posts on the coronary heart of the libel trial went viral.
The 36-year-old has had a diversified profession together with TV presenting, writing, in addition to fronting an train DVD.
Coleen met her husband when she was 12, because the couple went to the identical faculty in Liverpool.
They started courting after they each turned 16 and have 4 sons collectively – Kai Wayne, Klay Anthony, Equipment Joseph and Cass Mac.
Mrs Vardy’s pal and agent, Ms Watt has featured in among the preliminary hearings, regardless of not being a celebration to the declare or giving proof on the trial.
She is a former Virgin Atlantic air hostess who has been Rebekah’s agent for the previous seven years, serving to to construct her profile within the nationwide media.
Studies that she not represents her following the present controversy engulfing the 2 have been dismissed as inaccurate with Ms Watt remaining near Ms Vardy each professionally and personally.
Ms Watt, 39, is married to former footballer Steve Watt, who performed briefly for Chelsea, making one Premier League look for 2 minutes in 2005 and Swansea Metropolis. He’s presently supervisor of Kent non-league aspect Hythe City they usually have two youngsters.
After leaving the airline business, Ms Watt started working as an agent on this planet of leisure, rapidly growing a popularity for her communication abilities and talent to community.
She was previously employed by expertise company The Frontrow Partnership however left in 2019 to go it alone and took her principal shopper and shut pal, Ms Vardy together with her.
Ms Watt has been credited with constructing Ms Vardy’s public profile by making certain that she recurrently featured within the nationwide media and likewise brokered the deal for her to look on the hit actuality TV present I am A Celeb… Get Me Out Of Right here! in 2018.
Ms Watt began representing the high-profile WAG in 2015, when her husband, Leicester Metropolis striker Jamie Vardy shot to fame.
She is a daily customer to the Vardy’s Lincolnshire residence and likewise socialises with Ms Vardy, attending glitzy events and bars.
Her different purchasers embody the previous Web page 3 lady Nicola McLean however it’s Ms Vardy that has been the largest asset in her profession as an agent.
Hugh Tomlinson QC (left), who’s representing Ms Vardy, is a top-flight privateness silk who has launched a variety of battles with the Press in a wide-spanning profession. David Sherborne (proper), 53, is appearing for Mrs Rooney
Hugh Tomlinson QC
An skilled media barrister, Mr Tomlinson is on the entrance of Mrs Vardy’s authorized workforce within the libel case.
Known as to the bar in 1983, his earlier purchasers embody the Prince of Wales in his authorized battle towards the Mail on Sunday over his diaries, easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and oligarch Roman Abramovich.
Mr Tomlinson, who turned a QC in 2002, is a board member of marketing campaign group Hacked Off.
Mr Sherborne additionally has a popularity because the barrister the wealthy and well-known flip to for authorized help – his earlier shopper record consists of Diana, Princess of Wales, Hollywood actor Michael Douglas and former prime minister Tony Blair and his spouse Cherie.
Mrs Rooney’s barrister is not any stranger to high-profile libel trials on the Royal Courts of Justice, notably representing Johnny Depp within the actor’s 2020 libel declare towards the writer of the Solar, Information Group Newspapers (NGN).
The barrister, referred to as to the bar in 1992, has additionally represented dozens of claimants, together with celebrities, suing NGN over telephone hacking on the Information Of The World.
Mrs Justice Steyn
The Excessive Court docket decide overseeing the case, Mrs Justice Steyn (pictured proper) was appointed in 2019 and sits within the Queen’s Bench Division – the a part of the Excessive Court docket which offers with defamation, private damage and breach of contract claims.
In addition to overseeing the ‘Wagatha Christie’ declare, different outstanding circumstances she has heard embody Arron Banks’ libel declare towards journalist Carole Cadwalladr and the FDA union’s unsuccessful authorized problem over Boris Johnson’s resolution to help Priti Patel following bullying accusations.
The daughter of former Legislation Lord Lord Steyn, Mrs Justice Steyn lined a wide range of circumstances as a barrister, together with a case over the growth of Heathrow airport.