Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel case set for first High Court hearing
The much-publicised libel battle between footballers’ wives Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney which immediately earned the tagline ‘Wagatha Christie’ will play out in the High Court for the first time today.
Mrs Rooney, 34, accused Mrs Vardy of leaking information about her personal life to the press in a social media post in October 2019.
Mrs Rooney, wife of Derby County footballer and interim manager Wayne, alleges that Mrs Vardy – who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie – "consistently" told The Sun newspaper about the contents of her private posts on Instagram.
"For a few years now someone who I trusted to follow me on my personal Instagram account has been consistently informing The Sun newspaper of my private posts and stories," Mrs Rooney wrote at the time.
She said she devised an elaborate means of working out the mole, and proceeded to post "a series of false stories" to see if they also ended up in The Sun including a tall tale about a baby gender selection process in Mexico.
Coleen Rooney (left) accused Rebekah Vardy (right) of selling stories from her private Instagram account to tabloid newspapers.
Credit: Peter Byrne, Ian West/PA Wire
Mrs Rooney claimed that she had blocked everyone except one user from viewing the fabricated ‘leaks’.
"I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them," Mrs Rooney wrote, before finishing with the memorable conclusion: "It’s ……………. Rebekah Vardy’s account."
But the claims are strongly denied by Mrs Vardy, who has now sued her WAG counterpart for damages for libel.
The task of uncovering the truth around the episode falls to Mr Justice Warby, who will need to pass judgement on the "natural and ordinary" meaning of the accusatory posts made by Mrs Rooney on both Twitter and Instagram.
Mrs Vardy wrote a post in response claiming that “various people have had access” to her social media channels, and retorted: "I’m not being funny but I don’t need the money, what would I gain from selling stories on you?"
She was pregnant and on holiday at the time of the accusations, and described herself as "so upset" by the claims.
Her lawyers have since argued that the implication of Mrs Rooney’s posts was that their client "consistently and repeatedly betrayed the defendant’s trust over several years by leaking the defendant’s private and personal Instagram posts and stories for publication in The Sun".
Rebekah Vardy, who is suing Coleen Rooney for damages for libel.
Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Coleen Rooney, who has been accused of libel by Rebekah Vardy over a social media post in October 2019.
Credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage
Mrs Rooney’s post quickly found viral fame on Instagram and Twitter, with the statement having gained 53,000 retweets.
All of the stories that appeared in The Sun were promptly deleted after the post gained traction.
"Each of the stories provided to The Sun was put to Coleen’s representatives before publication, and on each occasion they declined to comment," the newspaper said at the time.