Coleen Rooney declares Rebekah Vardy libel battle ruling ‘changes nothing’
Rebekah Vardy (left) and Coleen Rooney (right) (Image: Ken McKay/ITV/REX)
Coleen Rooney has released a defiant statement about the ruling in the first stage of the libel case brought against her by Rebekah Vardy.
Vardy is suing Coleen for libel over the Wagatha Christie row last year in which Rooney accused Vardy's Instagram account of leaking stories to the press.
In the first stage of the trial the judge ruled in Vardy's favour, saying Rooney must now prove it was Vardy, 38, herself who leaked the stories rather than someone else who had access to her Instagram account.
Now Coleen, 34, has said the ruling "changes nothing" and she was "keen to see progress made" in the case.
In a statement to MailOnline, Coleen's spokesperson said: "Today's ruling on the technical legal meaning of the post changes nothing. Coleen's defence to this misguided action was filed last month.
Coleen Rooney has released a defiant statement about the ruling in the first stage libel case brought against her by Rebekah Vardy
(Image: Getty Images)
Rebekah Vardy is suing Coleen Rooney for libel over the Wagatha Christie row last year in which Rooney accused Vardy's Instagram account of leaking stories to the paper
(Image: Getty Images)
"It sets out clearly the facts of her case, which remain the same irrespective of any decision on the meaning. The key issues of the case remain the three stories from Coleen's private Instagram account published by The Sun and Rebekah's relationship with the newspaper, including its 'Secret Wag' column.
"Coleen is pleased the judge has ordered that Rebekah must file her reply to the defence, on oath, by no later than December 8. After three years of stress and anxiety about the leaks from her private social media account, Coleen is keen to see progress made on the real issues, beginning with what Rebekah has to tell the court."
A preliminary hearing kicked off on Thursday which wasn't attended by either Rooney or Vardy.
Coleen's post that sparked the libel trial
During the hearing, Hugh Tomlinson, QC, for Vardy, asked for a stay until February 8 in a bid to "finally attempt to resolve" the case.
The delay would allow both sides more time for talks to potentially avoid a trial.
If mediation is unsuccessful, a trial would take place at the High Court next summer and go on for around five days.
Last year Rooney released a social media post of accusing the person behind Vardy's Instagram account of leaking stories from Rooney's private Instagram account to the press, earning her the nickname Wagatha Christie for her online sleuthing.
A court sketch from the first day of the hearing on Thursday
She said she had posted three fake stories – one about her getting gender selection surgery for her next child, another about a leak in her basement and the third about her reviving her TV career – and made them viewable only to Vardy's Instagram account to see if they would appear in the press.
When they did, she accused Vardy of leaking them to The Sun newspaper.
Vardy vehemently denied she was behind the leaks and sued for libel in a bid to clear her name.
In his ruling, Mr Justice Warby said Mrs Rooney's message was "a considered post, using wording composed with some care", adding: 'It would be clear to the ordinary reader from the outset that it was meant seriously and intended to convey a message of some importance."
Coleen and Rebekah at an England game in 2016
(Image: Getty Images)
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The judge disagreed with Mrs Rooney's claim that using multiple ellipses in the final line of the post – "It's…………….Rebekah Vardy's account" – diluted the meaning.
He also rejected Rooney's argument that she simply referred to Mrs Vardy's Instagram account rather than Mrs Vardy herself.
The judge added: "I certainly do not think that the ordinary reader would take that single word (account), albeit repeated, to indicate that Mrs Rooney remains in doubt about who the wrongdoer was."
Mr Justice Warby also ordered Rooney to pay Vardy just under £23,000 in costs for yesterday's hearing.
Mirror Online has contacted reps for Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney for comment.