Jamie Vardy may be forced to hand over phone in Wagatha Christie court battle

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Coleen Rooney (left) and Rebekah Vardy (right) - /AP/Invision
Coleen Rooney (left) and Rebekah Vardy (right) - /AP/Invision

Jamie Vardy may be forced to hand over his phone for analysis as part of the so-called Wagatha Christie court battle between his wife, Rebekah, and Coleen Rooney.

Mrs Vardy, 39, is suing Mrs Rooney, 35, for libel after she was accused by her – in an infamous Instagram post – of leaking stories to the tabloid press in 2019.

The High Court case is expected to rack up hundreds of thousands of pounds in legal fees, with Mrs Rooney previously describing Mrs Vardy’s planned cost budget as “grotesque”.

On Wednesday, lawyers for Mrs Rooney, who is the wife of the former England star Wayne Rooney, demanded that phones and other devices belonging to Mrs Vardy’s agent, PR representatives and even her husband, the Leicester City striker, were made available to experts for analysis.

Mrs Rooney claimed in October 2019 that she had worked out who was responsible for leaking stories from her private Instagram page by limiting who among her followers could see different posts.

Outlining her conclusions in an Instagram post, she wrote: “It’s ........... Rebekah Vardy’s account.”

But Mrs Vardy said it could have been one of many people who had access to her account – with an “Instagram expert” now expected to analyse data to evaluate her claim.

On Wednesday, John Samson, for Mrs Rooney, told a virtual hearing that it would be “unduly and severely restrictive” for the expert to only analyse Instagram data from Mrs Vardy’s electronic devices.

He said in written arguments that Mrs Vardy “has already confirmed that various people other than herself had access to, for instance, her Instagram account and therefore relevant data has been generated elsewhere”.

Judge Roger Eastman concluded that the Instagram experts should be allowed to access data from other devices that had used Mrs Vardy’s account, which could include her husband’s phone or computer, as well as those belonging to Caroline Watt, her assistant.

He told the hearing: “Their devices are up for grabs for inspection and analysis by the experts.”

A full trial in the case is expected to take place next year.

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