Rebekah Vardy ‘admits agent may have leaked stories about Coleen Rooney’

·3-min read
Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy (PA) (PA Archive)
Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy (PA) (PA Archive)

Rebekah Vardy “appears to accept” that her agent may have used her social media account to leak stories about Coleen Rooney to the press, the High Court has heard.

Mrs Rooney, 36, was dubbed “Wagatha Christie“ after she publicly accused Mrs Vardy of betraying her and revealed that she had planted fake stories on a private Instagram account to catch her out.

Mrs Vardy, 40, denied the claim and launched legal action to sue Mrs Rooney for libel.

The multi-million-pound case is set to go to trial at the High Court in London next month.

Mrs Rooney’s lawyers previously claimed that Mrs Vardy had leaked information to The Sun either directly or through her friend and agent Caroline Watt “acting on her instruction or with her knowing approval”.

On Friday, in written submissions, David Sherborne, for Mrs Rooney, said that Vardy’s new statement suggests Ms Watt “was the source of the leak but claims that (Vardy) ‘did not authorise or condone her”‘.

“It now appears…that she too ‘believes’ that Ms Watt is the source,” Mr Sherborne added.

The barrister continued: “The collapse of Mrs Vardy’s case over the last day has been remarkable.

“As of the evening of April 27 2022, in an abrupt change of position to her pleaded case since the outset, Mrs Vardy appears now to accept Mrs Rooney’s case: that Caroline Watt, Mrs Vardy’s close friend and PR, was the conduit by which stories from the defendant’s private Instagram account were leaked to The Sun through her access via Rebekah Vardy’s account.”

Mr Sherborne said: “It has become undeniably obvious that Ms Watt is the source and Mrs Vardy, true to form says ‘it wasn’t me, I didn’t realise and I didn’t know anything about what was going on’.”

He added that Mrs Vardy “says ‘how awful it is to be betrayed’… That is exactly what Mrs Rooney would say, that she has been betrayed by someone”.

However, Hugh Tomlinson QC, who is representing Mrs Vardy, told the court that his client’s new witness statement did not signal “any change whatever in the pleaded case”.

In his written arguments, Mr Tomlinson said there had “been important developments that have occurred” since Mrs Vardy gave her first written statement, but did not explain what they were.

He continued: “These are all matters that are relevant to the proceedings and the issues that the court will need to determine.

“It is appropriate for the court and the defendant to have the claimant’s evidence on these new developments in a further witness statement so that the claimant’s position is made clear.

“These developments are very recent.

“They were completely unexpected and outside the claimant’s control…it has taken her time to process and consider the new information.”

Ms Watt had been expected to give evidence at the upcoming trial. However, the High Court was told she was “not fit” to give oral evidence at a hearing earlier this month.

Friday’s hearing will include bids from Mrs Rooney’s lawyers for information from News Group Newspapers, the publisher of The Sun newspaper.

Mr Tomlinson said that Mrs Vardy supported this request “in part”, adding: “We have nothing to hide.”

Lawyers for Mrs Rooney have previously claimed that Mrs Vardy and Ms Watt leaked information to journalists at The Sun newspaper about the Rooneys and other Premiership footballers.

The blockbuster trial is set to start on Monday, May 9.

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