Wagatha Christie case: Rebekah Vardy loses libel trial against Coleen Rooney
It’s………. Rebekah Vardy
Rebekah Vardy has just lost the “Wagatha Christie” libel case against Coleen Rooney.
In her ruling, the judge said it was “likely” Vardy’s then-agent, Caroline Watt, “undertook the direct act … of passing the information to a journalist at The Sun”. She said she believes the evidence shows “Mrs Vardy knew of and condoned this behaviour”.
In May this year, there was a high-profile two-week High Court libel case, two years after Rebekah Vardy sued fellow WAG Coleen Rooney for defamation.
In 2019, Coleen Rooney posted a statement on social media, where she said she’d been trying to figure out who had been leaking stories from her private Instagram account to the tabloid press.
She conducted a “sting” operation to try and find out who it was, posting a series of fake stories to her account and saying she’d blocked everyone except one account from viewing her stories.
“It’s………. Rebekah Vardy’s account,” she said.
Rebekah Vardy denied this, saying her reputation had been damaged, bringing the libel case forward and arguing she isn’t the one who leaked the fake stories. Coleen’s side was trying to prove it was in fact Vardy, based on circumstantial evidence, and arguing a public interest case.
Today, a judge has dismissed Vardy’s claim. In her ruling, the judge said it was “likely” Vardy’s then-agent, Caroline Watt, “undertook the direct act … of passing the information to a journalist at The Sun”.
“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,” she said.
In case you’d forgotten, Caroline Watt is Vardy’s old agent. During the trial it was said her phone had fallen into the North Sea, meaning potentially crucial WhatsApp messages could not be seen. Rooney’s lawyers called this “a series of unfortunate events”.
In the ruling summary, it says the court “determined that the loss of both the Claimant’s [Vardy’s] and Ms Watt’s copies of their original WhatsApp conversation was deliberate rather than accidental”.
The judge also said Rebekah Vardy had faced “vile abuse” from the public following Rooney’s “It’s………. Rebekah Vardy’s account” post, “including messages wishing her, her family, and even her then-unborn baby, ill in the most awful terms,” she said.
“Nothing of which Mrs Vardy has been accused, nor any of the findings in this judgment, provide any justification or excuse for subjecting her or her family, or any other person involved in this case, to such vitriol.”
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.