Verdict in football WAGs trial between Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy

Coleen Rooney, the wife of British soccer star Wayne Rooney, has won the high-profile libel case brought against her by fellow WAG Rebekah Vardy – ending the dramatic lawsuit dubbed “Wagatha Christie” by British media.

After three years of costly legal back-and-forth, Judge Karen Steyn delivered her decision on Friday morning.

In her decision, posted online, Steyn determined it was “likely” Vardy’s agent Caroline Watt “undertook the direct act” of leaking stories from Coleen’s private Instagram account to British tabloid The Sun.

The explosive row began in 2019 when Rooney sensationally accused Vardy, the wife of Leicester City player Jamie Vardy, of leaking stories to the newspaper.

Rebecca, who vehemently denied the allegationsresponded by slapping Coleen with a libel suit.

Vardy slapped Rooney with a libel suit after she was accused of leaking information to The Sun newspaper.
Rebekah Vardy is the wife of English footballer Jamie Vardy.
Reuters
Rebekah Vardy, wife of Leicester City soccer player Jamie Vardy, arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice, in London, Britain May 16, 2022.
Rebekah Vardy, wife of Leicester City star Jamie Vardy, is accused of leaking information to The Sun.
REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File

The evidence “clearly shows, in my view, that Ms Vardy was aware of this behavior and condoned it, actively engaging in it by directing Ms Watt to the private Instagram account, sending her screenshots of the messages of Ms. Rooney, drawing attention to items of potential press interest and responding to additional questions raised by the press via Ms. Watt,” Steyn wrote.

The legal battle was dubbed the “Wagatha Christie” case, a reference to the famed mystery novelist, in honor of Coleen’s amateur detectives.

“It’s… Rebekah Vardy’s account.”

Coleen Rooney

In October 2019, Coleen shared a long post about herself Twitter and Instagram, suggesting that “for the past few years, someone I trusted to follow me on my personal Instagram account has been constantly updating The SUN newspaper on my private posts and stories.”

The TV personality said ‘after trying to figure out who it could be for a long time, for various reasons’, she had a hunch and formulated a plan on how to oust this mysterious person.

Coleen Rooney is seen leaving the High Court with her husband, Wayne, during the
Coleen Rooney is seen leaving the High Court with her husband, Wayne, during the ‘Wagatha Christie’ trial in London on May 17, 2022.
BACKGROUND GRID
The court found that Vardy knew and tolerated the details leaked by his agent Caroline Watt.
The court found that Vardy knew and tolerated the details leaked by his agent Caroline Watt.
Reuters

“I blocked everyone from seeing my Instagram Stories except ONE account,” Rooney said at the time. “Over the past five months, I’ve published a series of fake stories to see if they ended up in the Sun newspaper. And you know what, they did!

Rooney noted that she “recorded and captured all of the original stories that clearly show only one person saw them”, claiming it was “Rebekah Vardy’s account”.

Rebekah addressed the allegations on Twitter the same day, tagging Coleen in her post.

“As I just told you on the phone, I wish you had called me if you thought that,” she tweeted in October 2019.

“I never talk about you to anyone, as various journalists who have asked me to do over the years can testify. If you thought this was happening you could have told me and I could have changed my passwords to see if it stopped.

Rebekah continued that “various people have gained access” to her Instagram account over the years, adding, “Just this week I found out I was following people I didn’t know and never followed myself. “

“I’m not funny but I don’t need the money, what would I get selling stories about you?” she wrote. “I loved you very much Coleen and I’m so overwhelmed that you chose to do this, especially when I’m heavily pregnant.”

The judge said Rooney managed to prove his allegation was
The judge said Rooney had succeeded in proving his allegation to be “essentially true”.
LTD/MEGA raw image

Rebekah then filed a defamation lawsuit against Coleen in June 2020, setting the stage for a legal battle that reportedly totaled more than $3.7 million in legal costs.

The case first appeared in court in November 2020, after a judge said Coleen’s post ‘clearly identified’ Rebekah as ‘guilty of the serious and ongoing breach of trust’.

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