• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Rebekah Vardy – live: Coleen Rooney’s triumphant messages to friends after ‘Wagatha Christie’ reveal post

·65-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Coleen Rooney posted triumphant messages to her friends after she accused Rebekah Vardy’s account of being behind leaks of her personal information to The Sun, new photos show.

In previously unseen images, Coleen Rooney told her Instagram followers “Don’t play games with a girl who can play better” after she posted her infamous ‘Wagatha Christie’ message on 19 October 2019.

She added: “After years of my personal Instagram posts getting leaked to the SUN newspaper..... I’ve finally cracked it and know exactly who’s account it is !!!!.”

Ms Rooney, 36, is being sued for defamation by Ms Vardy, 40, over the offending post. The images of Coleen Rooney’s Instagram posts were submitted as evidence to the High Court during Ms Vardy’s libel trial.

On the last day of the trial yesterday, Ms Rooney’s lawyer accused Ms Vardy of carrying out a “cover up” to hide “incriminating evidence” ahead of the trial.

Ms Vardy’s lawyer accused Ms Rooney’s side of furthering “conspiracy theories” about the model allegedly deleting key message exchanges between herself and her agent Caroline Watt.

Mr Hugh Tomlinson said the footballer’s wife “accepts” her agent could have been the source of leaks to the press.

Ms Justice Steyn has now retired to consider her judgement in the case.

Key Points

  • ‘I will reply but just sky diving’: Coleen’s messages after Wagatha post

  • Wayne Rooney in his PJs - and other never before seen photos

  • How Rebekah Vardy reacted to ‘Wagatha’ reveal post

  • Revealed: Instagram stories Coleen Rooney used to ‘trap’ leaker in Wagatha sting

  • What happened in the ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel case?

Wayne in the box

16:31 , Holly Bancroft

Although this trial is between Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy, Wayne Rooney’s appearance in the witness box wrapped the pair’s husbands up in the battle too. Wayne Rooney told the High Court that he had an “awkward” conversation with Jamie Vardy to get his wife to “calm down” her media activities during Euro 2016 at the request of England manager Roy Hodgson.

“I think we all knew that it was an awkward subject,” Mr Rooney told the court. “So I agreed to speak to Mr Vardy... to ask him to ask his wife to calm down.”

Ms Vardy’s legal team has denied that this conversation ever took place and challenged Mr Rooney on this in court. He responded: “I’m sat here under oath. I 100 per cent spoke to Mr Vardy about this situation.”

Jamie Vardy’s explosive intervention

Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy issued an explosive statement outside of court, accusing Mr Rooney of “talking nonsense”. He said in a statement: “Wayne is talking nonsense. He must be confused because he never spoke to me about issues concerning Becky’s media work at Euro 2016.”

The footballer missed all of his wife’s testimony in court but arrived on day six to see his former England teammate Wayne Rooney take to the witness stand.

The Vardys walk out

Following the escalaton between the husbands, the Vardys left court early and missed most of the expert witnesses’ testimony. One of Ms Vardy’s legal team told the court that they left because “Mrs Vardy isn’t feeling very well”.

Coleen’s written draft

16:21 , Holly Bancroft

During Coleen Rooney’s time in the witness box, she revealed that before she had posted her infamous ‘Wagatha Christie’ reveal message she drafted it in her notebook.

She told the court that she did not know what had happened to the hand-written note, saying she had thrown the notebook away. During cross-examination, Ms Rooney said that she likes to write things out by hand and did so on this occasion, before sending the text to her brother in a Whatsapp message.

Throughout the trial Ms Rooney took notes in her leopard print Caroline Gardner notepad, while Rebekah Vardy doodled pictures of flowers and desert islands in hers.

 (Reuters)
(Reuters)

Revealed: Instagram stories Coleen Rooney used to ‘trap’ leaker in Wagatha sting

16:15 , Holly Bancroft

More stories posted by Coleen Rooney on her private Instagram to “trap” Rebekah Vardy have been revealed.

The stories are seen by only one or two people and show the different stages of Ms Rooney’s elaborate plan to find out who was leaking her information.

 (PA)
(PA)
 (PA)
(PA)
 (PA)
(PA)

Wayne Rooney in his PJs - and other never before seen photos

16:00 , Holly Bancroft

As part of the evidence bundle submitted to the High Court was a picture from Coleen Rooney’s private Instagram of Wayne and their boys in their pyjamas.

The image, which is being seen for the first time, shows the couples’ three sons Kai, Klay and Kit and father Wayne all wearing matching spotty pyjamas.

The image was key to the ‘Wagatha’ trial because Ms Rooney alleged that information from the post had been leaked to The Sun. On her public Instagram, Ms Rooney had posted a photo of herself and the boys on the bed, but information about the photo featuring Wayne made its way into the press.

After the story appeared Ms Rooney sent a warning to her followers, saying: “The GRASS strikes again!!!! I put that picture on wondering if it would appear in that horrible newspaper.”

 (PA)
(PA)
 (PA)
(PA)
 (PA)
(PA)
 (PA)
(PA)

‘I can’t let her getaway with this’: How Rebekah Vardy reacted to ‘Wagatha’ reveal post

15:45 , Holly Bancroft

Rebekah Vardy angrily messaged her agent the day of Coleen Rooney’s ‘Wagatha Christie’ reveal post to say “I can’t just sit back and let her get away with this.”

Ms Vardy, 40, is suing Ms Rooney, 36, for defamation over the offending post, in which she was accused of leaking Ms Rooney’s personal information to The Sun. The seven day trial ended at the High Court on Thursday and Ms Justice Steyn is now considering her judgement.

In messages to her agent, submitted as evidence to the court, Ms Vardy said: “I can’t just sit back and let her get away with this. I’m getting so much abuse, people who I thought were my friends are turning on me. Megs is getting sh** at school this is not just a ignore and move on for me x”.

 (PA)
(PA)

Peter Andre’s chipolata

15:30 , Holly Bancroft

On day one of the trial, barrister David Sherborne attempted to show Ms Vardy had little regard for people’s privacy by carefully reading out the words: “Peter’s hung like a small chipolata, shaved, slobbery, lasts five minutes.”

He was reading the headline of a 2004 News of The World interview with Ms Vardy. Holding out an A3 printout of the article to Ms Vardy in the witness box, he continued to read excepts from the piece, which claimed former pop star Mr Andre had “the smallest trouser equipment I’ve ever seen”.

Ms Vardy later told the court the interview was “one of my biggest regrets”. Mr Andre also dramatically hit back at the re-surfaced interview, telling his Instagram followers: “It’s been the butt of all jokes. I’ve take it for 15 years.”

‘If I’m honest...’

15:13 , Holly Bancroft

For three days Ms Vardy was put through her paces in the witness box at her trial against Coleen Rooney. Ms Rooney’s hotshot lawyer David Sherborne, famed for representing A-listers from Johnny Depp to Hugh Grant, had a particularly combative style and accused Ms Vardy on multiple occasions of “lying” under oath.

“You are making this up aren’t you Mrs Vardy?” and “That’s a lie isn’t it?” were regular refrains.

At one point he put to the fooballer’s wife: “The reason you can’t get your story straight is because you are lying”. She defiantly replied: “No I am absolutely not lying.”

In one unfortunate moment, which was pounced upon by Mr Sherborne, Ms Vardy - referring to a message exchange with her agent Caroline Watt - said: “If I’m honest I can’t remember.”

“I’d much rather you are honest because you are sitting in a witness box in a trial,” Mr Sherborne quipped.

Wagatha Christie: Top moments in the Rebekah Vardy vs Coleen Rooney trial

‘I will reply but just sky diving’: Coleen’s messages after Wagatha post

15:13 , Holly Bancroft

Coleen Rooney posted triumphant messages to her friends after she accused Rebekah Vardy’s account of being behind leaks of her private information to The Sun, new photos show.

In previously unseen images, Coleen Rooney told her Instagram followers “Don’t play games with a girl who can play better” after she posted her infamous ‘Wagatha Christie’ message on 9 October 2019.

She added: “After years of my personal Instagram posts getting leaked to the SUN newspaper..... I’ve finally cracked it and know exactly who’s account it is !!!!.”

Ms Rooney, 36, is being sued for defamation by Ms Vardy, 40, over the offending post. The images of Coleen Rooney’s Instagram posts were submitted as evidence to the High Court during Ms Vardy’s libel trial but were only issued to the media on Friday.

In a third image, also posted to her private Instagram on the 9 October 2019, Ms Rooney wrote: “Thanks for all the messages.... I will reply but just sky diving and at the driving range with kai... teaching training day at school. My work is done and the comeback was exactly what I expected.....other people in the public eye have had suspicions aswell of things happening to them.”

 (PA)
(PA)

Coleen Rooney’s messages to friends after Wagatha reveal post

14:51 , Holly Bancroft

New photos, submitted to the High Court and released on Friday, show Coleen Rooney’s messages to friends after she posted her infamous ‘Wagatha Christie’ reveal post.

 (PA)
(PA)
 (PA)
(PA)

Texts reveal how Rebekah Vardy responded to Coleen Rooney’s ‘Wagatha Christie’ post

14:50 , Holly Bancroft

A court has heard how Rebekah Vardy reacted to her account being named as the one Coleen Rooney believed was leaking information to the press.

A High Court was read messages last Thursday that showed Mrs Vardy responding to the allegations at the centre of the libel trial between the footballers’ wives.

In 2019, Mrs Rooney described a “sting” operation she had carried out to try to discover who was sharing information from her Instagram with The Sun.

“It’s..... Rebekah Vardy’s account,” her social media post - which saw the wife of former England captain Wayne Rooney dubbed “Wagatha Christie” - concluded.

The court heard Mrs Vardy text her agent afterwards to say: “Wow that’s war”.

Texts reveal how Rebekah Vardy responded to Coleen Rooney’s ‘Wagatha Christie’ post

Rebekah Vardy told court she felt ‘bullied and manipulated’ on witness stand in libel trial

14:20 , Holly Bancroft

Rebekah Vardy told the High Court she felt “bullied and intimidated” as a witness in the libel trial against fellow footballer’s wife Coleen Rooney.

The 40-year-old finished giving evidence last Friday, three days after she first took the stand in the case which centres around Ms Vardy being accused of leaking information about Ms Rooney’s private life to the press.

Speaking in a wobbling voice at the end of her witness testimony, Ms Vardy said: “I didn’t do anything wrong and I wanted to clear my name, and I wanted it not just for me but for my family and my children.”

Her lawyer, Hugh Tomlinson, asked Ms Vardy: “How have you find the process of answering questions in this court?”

The model, who is married to Premier League footballer Jamie Vardy, replied: “Exhausting, intimidating, I feel like I’ve been builled and manipulated.”

Rebekah Vardy tells court she felt ‘bullied and manipulated’ on stand in libel trial

Coleen has become ‘a different mother, a different wife’ because of trial, Wayne Rooney says

13:57 , Holly Bancroft

Wayne Rooney has said that his wife Coleen has “become a different mother, a different wife” because of the stress of the ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel trial.

Speaking from the witness stand at the High Court on Tuesday, the former England captain and Derby County manager said they he and his wife “don’t want to be in this court”.

“I’ve watched my wife over the last two and a half years really struggle with everything ... becoming a different mother, a different wife,” he said.

“It’s been been very traumatic for my wife.”

Read the full story from Tuesday here:

Coleen is ‘a different mother, a different wife’ because of trial, Wayne Rooney says

‘Belief is not evidence’

13:39 , Holly Bancroft

During cross-examination, Rebekah Vardy’s lawyer Mr Tomlinson QC suggested to Ms Rooney that she had no evidence to link Ms Vardy to alleged leaks of fake private Instagram posts to the press.

He said: “You have no evidence to establish that it was Mrs Vardy who did the leaking.”

“I believe it’s come from that account and that’s what I have said from the beginning and I believe Mrs Vardy knew that this was happening,” Ms Rooney replied.

She repeated: “I believe that Mrs Vardy knew that this was happening, whether it was Mrs Vardy herself or it was someone she’s given permission to.”

Mr Tomlinson replied that “you might believe that Derby County will win the premiership”, adding: “It’s not evidence that they are going to.”

“No it’s not,” she replied.

Discussing the ‘Honda crash’ story that appeared in The Sun, Ms Rooney agreed with Mr Tomlinson that anybody who saw the damaged Honda would have known about it and that the story could have made its way to The Sun without someone seeing her private Instagram account.

Mr Tomlinson said: “This information could at any time have come to The Sun without anybody looking at your posts at all.”

“They could, yes,” she replied.

 (EPA)
(EPA)

Ms Vardy admits knowing agent passed information to The Sun

12:55 , Holly Bancroft

Whilst on the witness stand, Ms Vardy admitted that she knew her agent was forwarding Ms Rooney’s private information to The Sun.

Ms Vardy said under cross-examination that she “didn’t think [her agent] was passing on any new information” to the tabloid about Ms Rooney’s supposedly crashing her Honda. Ms Rooney’s lawyer David Sherborne challenged Ms Vardy, saying: “You didn’t object at any stage to the fact that Mrs Watt was plainly passing on information from Mrs Rooney’s private Instagram account to Andy Hall?”

Ms Vardy responded: “I didn’t think she was passing on any new information.”

“Take the word ‘new’ out of it,” Mr Sherborne said, “Did you, or did you not, know that Mrs Watt was passing on information from Mrs Rooney’s private account?”

“She was talking to Mr Halls about information that was already being discussed,” Ms Vardy conceeded.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

‘Seen by 1’: Coleen Rooney’s Instagram sting

12:30 , Holly Bancroft

The fake stories posted by Ms Rooney on her private Instagram to “trap” Ms Vardy were revealed on the penultimate day of the trial.

One image showed the back of a plane seat, with the caption: “Let’s go and see what this gender selection is all about”.

That was a false story posted on 8 April 2019 about Ms Rooney travelling to Mexico to see about a procedure that could determine a baby’s sex. The story shows that only one Instagram user has seen the story - Ms Vardy’s account.

Around four months later, The Sun published a story online on 15 August 2019 with the headline “Col’s baby girl bid”. It detailed Ms Rooney’s alleged “desperate bid to have a baby girl”.

Another picture showed Ms Rooney “revealing” the basement of the Rooneys’ £20m Cheshire mansion had flooded.

The fake post showed a bottle of wine and was captioned: “Needed after today… flood in the basement of our new house… when it all seemed to be going so well.” The image, which was only seen by Ms Vardy’s account, led to an article in The Sun in October 2019.

 (PA)
(PA)

Wagatha Christie: The most important evidence in Rebekah Vardy vs Coleen Rooney trial

Case against Ms Vardy based on ‘conspiracy theories’, her lawyer argued

11:51 , Holly Bancroft

Rebekah Vardy’s lawyer argued yesterday that the case against her was based on “conspiracy theories”.

Mr Hugh Tomlinson QC said that his client had suffered “public abuse and ridicule on a massive scale” and was entitled to “substantial damages”.

Mr Tomlinson described the arguments that Ms Vardy had a “conspiracy to delete” messages or had deleted some in a selective way as an “incredible theory”.

“There was an export of a very large number of Whatsapp messages,” he told the court.

“Why would Mrs Vardy, if she was destroying evidence, do it in that selective and complex way?” Mr Tomlinson asked.

“If she was a wicked litigant who was trying to deceive the court by getting rid of damaging evidence, the idea she would do it by getting rid of images and not text .... simply beggars belief.”

‘It was me’

11:38 , Holly Bancroft

In January 2019, Coleen Rooney publicly said that someone was leaking information from her private Instagram account, following the publication of a story in The Sun about a supposed car crash.

In a warning message posted to Twitter, Ms Rooney said: “Thank you for the messages asking if I am ok... the car crash story was completely wrong... I wasn’t involved in a crash... the car was damaged by another car. Someone on my private Instagram seen the picture and is telling or selling stories to a certain newspaper.”

She continued: “It’s happened several times now over the past couple of years. It’s sad to think someone, who I have accepted to follow me is betraying for either money or to keep a relationship with the press.”

Reacting to the message, Caroline Watt told Ms Vardy: “It wasn’t someone she trusted. It was me :) .”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Wagatha Christie: The most important evidence in Rebekah Vardy vs Coleen Rooney trial

‘I want paying for this’

10:55 , Holly Bancroft

Rebekah Vardy tried to get paid by The Sun for a story tip about footballer Danny Drinkwater’s car crash in April 2019, the court heard.

Ms Vardy told her agent that she had a story about Mr Drinkwater getting arrested for drink-driving. “He’s only just been let out of the cells x. Last night! x. I want paying for this x,” she said in messages to Caroline Watt.

On finding out that The Sun already knew about it, Ms Vardy messaged: “F*** someone already tipped it... I’m fuming I didn’t give it to you earlier”.

Ms Watt replied that she felt the same, saying: “Me too that would have been a fortune :) :)”.

 (PA)
(PA)

Wagatha Christie: The most important evidence in Rebekah Vardy vs Coleen Rooney trial

‘Go in the Instagram’

10:26 , Holly Bancroft

A key part of the trial centres around whether or not Rebekah Vardy directed her agent Caroline Watt to leak Ms Rooney’s private information to the press.

In one exchange between the pair, they discussed whether or not Ms Rooney had crashed her Honda car in America - a report of which later appeared in The Sun.

“Am I imagining this or did you say yesterday that Coleen had crashed her Honda? x,” Ms Watt asked Ms Vardy on Whatsapp.

“She defo has :) :) x. Go in the Instagram,” came Ms Vardy’s reply.

Later Ms Watts told Ms Vardy that “Halls”, meaning Sun reporter Andy Halls, “is trying to do a story on Coleen crashing her car but her PR won’t even reply”.

She continued: “I’ve told him I’m 100% confident that it happened but don’t know how.”

“Haha she defo did x,” Ms Vardy responded.

 (PA)
(PA)

Wagatha Christie: The most important evidence in Rebekah Vardy vs Coleen Rooney trial

Ms Vardy hid ‘incriminating evidence’, Ms Rooney’s lawyer claimed

09:44 , Holly Bancroft

Here are the key moments from Day Seven:

- Ms Vardy carried out ‘cover up’ to hide ‘incriminating evidence’, Ms Rooney’s lawyer argued. “There is only one conclusion that the court should reach and that is that Mrs Vardy deleted the Whatsapp chat and that she has lied on oath and in her witness statement.”

“There is only one reason that she has taken such a step...it was done to cover up incriminating evidence, there is no other plausible explanation.”

- The Rooneys miss court on final day of Wagatha Christie trial. Their lawyer, highlighting the husband and wife had attended the trial throughout so far, said: “They had a long-standing travel arrangement with their four children which was booked in advance by their lawyers.”

- Ms Vardy’s lawyer argued Ms Rooney should pay out ‘substantial damages’. In Ms Vardy’s closing submissions, her legal team argued: “A substantial award of damages should be made in this case.

“The libel was very serious and was published to a huge number of people. Mrs Vardy has suffered very serious (and continuing) abuse as a result. The defence has concluded in an aggressive manner, including at the trial, greatly aggravating the damage caused.”

- Coleen Rooney stands by Wagatha Christie post ‘even more’ at end of trial. Discussing the viral social media post, Ms Rooney’s barrister said: “It is what she believed at the time... and it is what she believes even more so now that we have got to the end of the case.”

- Rebekah Vardy “accepts” her agent could have been the source of leaks to the press, her lawyer said. Speaking about Ms Vardy, Mr Tomlinson said: “She does not know to this day what happened, she does not know where this information came from... It is possible, as she now accepts, that the source of the leak could well be Caroline Watt.”

“Mrs Vardy has obviously made mistakes. One of the mistakes that she made.. is that she trusted someone she shouldn’t have trusted,” said Mr Tomlinson, referring to Ms Watt.

Wagatha Christie: The most important evidence in the Rebekah Vardy vs Coleen Rooney libel trial

07:30 , Emily Atkinson

Coleen Rooney is being sued for defamation by Rebekah Vardy after she publicly accused the latter of being behind the leaking her private information to the press.

Although Ms Rooney only accused “Rebekah Vardy’s account” of being the source of the stories in her infamous ‘Wagatha Christie’ reveal post, a judge has ruled that Ms Rooney has to prove that Ms Vardy had a direct hand in the leaking of information.

“I believe that Mrs Vardy knew that this was happening, whether it was Mrs Vardy herself or it was someone she’s given permission to,” Ms Rooney told the High Court this week.

Holly Bancroft reports:

Wagatha Christie: The most important evidence in Rebekah Vardy vs Coleen Rooney trial

Wagatha Christie timeline: How the Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy row unfolded

04:30 , Emily Atkinson

After months of legal wrangling, the much anticipated “Wagatha Christie” High Court libel trial is set to begin.

Tom Pilgrim looks back over the public row between footballers’ wives Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy over the past two and a half years:

How the Wagatha Christie row unfolded

Rebekah Vardy accepts agent could be source of leaks, lawyer says

01:30 , Emily Atkinson

Rebekah Vardy accepts it is possible that her friend and former agent may have been the source of leaks at the centre of the High Court libel case she has brought against fellow footballer’s wife Colleen Rooney, her barrister has revealed.

Hugh Tomlinson QC said Ms Vardy and her agent Caroline Watt occasionally “used the language of leaking”.

In a social media post that quickly went viral in October 2019, Coleen Rooney said she had set up a “sting operation” to catch whoever was passing on stories about her to The Sun, and concluded the leaks came from “Rebekah Vardy’s account”.

My colleague Jane Dalton has the details here:

Rebekah Vardy accepts agent could be source of leaks, lawyer says

Coleen Rooney-Rebekah Vardy timeline: What happened in the ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel case?

Thursday 19 May 2022 22:30 , Emily Atkinson

The libel case being fought between footballers’ wives Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy – married to Derby County manager Wayne Rooney and Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy respectively – has returned to the High Court in London and is continuing to excite interest.

Ms Rooney, 35, is being sued for defamation by Ms Vardy, 39, after she publicly accused the latter of being the source of stories about her that were leaked to The Sun newspaper.

The saga began on 19 October 201 when Ms Rooney took to Twitter to issue an astonishing attack on Ms Vardy, accusing her of betraying her confidence in pursuit of personal gain.

Joe Sommerlad has more:

What happened in the ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel case?

The final plot twist in Wagatha Christie? No one can possibly win

Thursday 19 May 2022 20:32 , Holly Bancroft

Tom Peck, political sketch writer has been at the Vardy vs Rooney trial every day. Here he delivers his final verdict:

“Turn down the sound in Court 13 and stare upon its cold stone walls; its towering leaded light windows; its ornate oak panelling and wrought iron chandeliers. Observe the grandiose men in their gowns and wigs and one sees a fully formed tableau of an entirely Dickensian world. At the end of cases that have borne every outward resemblance to this one, it would not have been uncommon to see an unfortunate man transported to Botany Bay for life for the theft of a loaf of bread.

The grand oak clock high up on its walls has turned through 150 years or more. If it contained a photographic camera, the roll of film within would scarcely have recorded the change of actual centuries of human life.

That the set of this mad drama has not been redressed since the days of the workhouse only makes the script more startling. The clipped tones of public school barristers have rung around this room forever. They have never before been called in to arbitrate over what amounts to very little more than a very high stakes Instagram bitchfest that’s somehow been allowed to run up a bill of three million quid or more.”

Read the full piece here:

Opinion: The final plot twist in Wagatha Christie? No one can possibly win

The most important evidence in the Rebekah Vardy vs Coleen Rooney libel trial

Thursday 19 May 2022 19:28 , Holly Bancroft

Coleen Rooney is being sued for defamation by Rebekah Vardy after she publicly accused the latter of being behind the leaking her private information to the press.

Although Ms Rooney only accused “Rebekah Vardy’s account” of being the source of the stories in her infamous ‘Wagatha Christie’ reveal post, a judge has ruled that Ms Rooney has to prove that Ms Vardy had a direct hand in the leaking of information.

“I believe that Mrs Vardy knew that this was happening, whether it was Mrs Vardy herself or it was someone she’s given permission to,” Ms Rooney told the High Court this week.

The case - and whether it is won or lost by Ms Rooney - boils down to whether Ms Rooney’s lawyers can prove Ms Vardy knew about the leaks and instructed her agent, Caroline Watt, to feed information to The Sun.

Here are the most crucial pieces of evidence from the trial:

Wagatha Christie: The most important evidence in Rebekah Vardy vs Coleen Rooney trial

Cast of characters in the Rebekah Vardy vs Coleen Rooney trial

Thursday 19 May 2022 18:28 , Holly Bancroft

Across seven days at Britain’s High Court, the personal lives of Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney have been picked apart with eviscerating care by the country’s top libel lawyers.

“The genie of confidentiality cannot be put back in the bottle once the defence has been filed,” Ms Rooney’s legal team warned ahead of trial, but Ms Vardy pressed ahead regardless - eager to prove that she did not leak Ms Rooney’s private information to The Sun.

Like a tornado sucking in debris, the libel trial has enveloped more and more people daily. Pop star Peter Andre had the size of his manhood discussed in court, model Danielle Lloyd was referred to as a “b****”, and yet others - who had never had a day’s publicity before - found themselves supporting acts in the unfolding drama.

Here are the bystanders in the ‘Wagatha Christie’ trial:

Wagatha Christie: Cast of characters in the Rebekah Vardy vs Coleen Rooney trial

Day Seven: What happened on the last day of Rooney vs Vardy at the High Court?

Thursday 19 May 2022 17:36 , Holly Bancroft

In the final day of Rebekah Vardy’s libel trial against Coleen Rooney, both sides lawyers did their best to fight their corner. Ms Rooney’s lawyer David Sherborne accused Ms Vardy of a “cover up” in which she hid “incriminating evidence”. Ms Vardy’s lawyer Hugh Tomlinson QC pointed the finger at Ms Vardy’s agent Caroline Watt, saying she was “the obvious suspect” for story leaks.

Here are the key moments from Day Seven:

- Ms Vardy carried out ‘cover up’ to hide ‘incriminating evidence’, Ms Rooney’s lawyer argued. “There is only one conclusion that the court should reach and that is that Mrs Vardy deleted the Whatsapp chat and that she has lied on oath and in her witness statement.”

“There is only one reason that she has taken such a step...it was done to cover up incriminating evidence, there is no other plausible explanation.”

- The Rooneys miss court on final day of Wagatha Christie trial. Their lawyer, highlighting the husband and wife had attended the trial throughout so far, said: “They had a long-standing travel arrangement with their four children which was booked in advance by their lawyers.”

- Ms Vardy’s lawyer argued Ms Rooney should pay out ‘substantial damages’. In Ms Vardy’s closing submissions, her legal team argued: “A substantial award of damages should be made in this case.

“The libel was very serious and was published to a huge number of people. Mrs Vardy has suffered very serious (and continuing) abuse as a result. The defence has concluded in an aggressive manner, including at the trial, greatly aggravating the damage caused.”

- Coleen Rooney stands by Wagatha Christie post ‘even more’ at end of trial. Discussing the viral social media post, Ms Rooney’s barrister said: “It is what she believed at the time... and it is what she believes even more so now that we have got to the end of the case.”

- Rebekah Vardy “accepts” her agent could have been the source of leaks to the press, her lawyer said. Speaking about Ms Vardy, Mr Tomlinson said: “She does not know to this day what happened, she does not know where this information came from... It is possible, as she now accepts, that the source of the leak could well be Caroline Watt.”

“Mrs Vardy has obviously made mistakes. One of the mistakes that she made.. is that she trusted someone she shouldn’t have trusted,” said Mr Tomlinson, referring to Ms Watt.

Top moments from the High Court trial

Thursday 19 May 2022 16:41 , Holly Bancroft

The lights are out in court 13 and it is now down to Ms Justice Steyn, veteran of cases on Guantanamo Bay and Saudi arms deals, to decide whether it was in fact.........Rebekah Vardy, who leaked Coleen Rooney’s private information to The Sun.

Ms Vardy, 39, sued Ms Rooney for defamation after Ms Rooney publicly accused her account of being the source of stories in the tabloid press. The seven-day trial wrapped up on Thursday with closing speeches from both sides. There is now a wait of possibly months before the judge, Ms Justice Steyn, releases her judgement.

Here are the top moments from the High Court trial:

Wagatha Christie: Top moments in the Rebekah Vardy vs Coleen Rooney trial

Justice Steyn will reserve judgement

Thursday 19 May 2022 16:18 , Holly Bancroft

That’s a wrap on the Rebekah Vardy vs Coleen Rooney libel trial. Both sides’ lawyers have finished giving their closing speeches and it is now down to Ms Justice Steyn to give her judgement.

She has reserved judgement, meaning it may be many months before we get her conclusion.

‘It’s not reasonable to just fire off a post'

Thursday 19 May 2022 16:16 , Holly Bancroft

Mr Tomlinson has said that “it’s not reasonable to just fire off a post” like Coleen Rooney did when she posted her ‘Wagatha Christie’ reveal.

“One sees from the way that she did it she was obviously very cross,” Mr Tomlinson said.

Referring to Ms Rooney’s reveal post, he said: “She decided that this was something that she was going to do, she had long suspected Mrs Vardy, she had gone through her long process of posting fake posts… she thought she got one hit, which actually turned out to be wrong, and then she got a second hit”.

He said “the tone was, as your ladyship knows, was one of ‘the whodunnit’.”

“She must have foreseen that this was going to have a big impact,” he argued.

“It had an enormous impact and we say that it is unreasonable that she did it in the manner that she did.”

Ms Vardy and her agent were ‘just gossiping’, says lawyer

Thursday 19 May 2022 16:08 , Holly Bancroft

Hugh Tomlinson QC said that Rebekah Vardy and her agent Caroline Watt occasionally “used the language of leaking”.

He told the court: “The position is clear, really. From time to time, Mrs Vardy and Ms Watt used the language of leaking.

“Your ladyship has to decide what they meant by that. We say in some cases it is just loose language that isn’t really about leaking at all.”

He added: “What actually is happening is that they are gossiping. They are talking about passing on pieces of gossip to the newspapers.”

Ms Vardy’s agent ‘may have leaked information from time to time’, says lawyer

Thursday 19 May 2022 15:54 , Holly Bancroft

Mr Tomlinson is again talking about Rebekah Vardy’s agent Ms Watt, saying: “Someone who was in the PR business, Ms Watt, may well have from time to time tried to leak bits of information that she had discovered from the private information.”

Talking about Ms Rooney’s case, Mr Tomlinson said: “The whole emphasis that it is Mrs Vardy who is close to the Sun, was a misdirection, we were looking in the wrong place.

He then moved on to suggest Ms Watt, saying: Of course Ms Watt had a close relationship with the Sun, that’s her job.

“Ms Watt, yes, was clearly interested in providing stories to the Sun,” Mr Tomlinson said.

“Did Ms Watt from time to time go beyond what she was authorised to do?” he asked the court.

Vardy wants to be ‘vindicated’ in trial and brought it to court to ‘move on with her life’

Thursday 19 May 2022 15:44 , Holly Bancroft

Hugh Tomlinson QC told the court that Ms Vardy wanted to be “vindicated” that she was not the person who leaked Ms Rooney’s private information.

He highlighted the “negative impact” the case had had on Ms Vardy, adding: “The media is full of jokes about this case.”

“This is a case about Mrs Vardy and the way that she has been treated by thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of people on social media. She has been subjected to abuse that goes on to this day,” Mr Tomlinson said.

He added that Ms Vardy had continued to receive abusive messages during the trial at the High Court.“This is about her trying to do something about that so she can move on with her life,” Mr Tomlinson said.

‘The obvious suspect is Caroline Watt,’ Ms Vardy’s lawyer said

Thursday 19 May 2022 15:36 , Holly Bancroft

Ms Vardy’s lawyer Hugh Tomlinson has told the court that “the obvious suspect is Caroline Watt”.

He argued that “the case against Mrs Vardy only works if it can be shown that” she either leaked the stories herself or knew about it.

Speaking about the leaking of Ms Rooney’s gender selection post in Mexico, Mr Tomlinson said: “I have to conceed that the obvious suspect in relation to this is Ms Watt. That’s not the issue - it’s whether Ms Vardy approved it... we say the evidence just doesn’t go there.”

‘We don’t know the truth of Ms Watt’s position’

Thursday 19 May 2022 15:23 , Holly Bancroft

Mr Tomlinson raised the issue of Ms Vardy’s agent Caroline Watt losing her phone in the North Sea, claiming that Ms Rooney’s lawyer David Sherborne had had “a lot of entertainment with this point”.

“It’s not alleged either that Mrs Vardy pushed the phone into the North Sea or indeed that she had anything to do with it at all,” Mr Tomlinson said.

“The suggestion that somehow this is an aspect of the conspiracy to delete evidence, we say, is misconceived.

“We don’t know the truth of Ms Watt’s position.

“We have no idea as to whether this is a genuine accidental loss of a device or whether it was something done cynically and deliberately to avoid inspection during the disclosure process. We just don’t know,” Mr Tomlinson said.

“From Mrs Vardy’s point of view, she does not know either,” he added.

Recap: Allegations of message deletion are an ‘incredible theory’, Ms Vardy’s lawyer says

Thursday 19 May 2022 14:55 , Holly Bancroft

Hugh Tomlinson QC described the arguments that Ms Vardy had a “conspiracy to delete” messages or had deleted some in a selective way as an “incredible theory”.

“There was an export of a very large number of Whatsapp messages,” he told the court.

“Why would Mrs Vardy, if she was destroying evidence, do it in that selective and complex way?” Mr Tomlinson asked.

“If she was a wicked litigant who was trying to deceive the court by getting rid of damaging evidence, the idea she would do it by getting rid of images and not text .... simply beggars belief.”

Earlier Hugh Tomlinson QC had said: “People have different views, people behave in different ways. Mrs Rooney thought Mrs Vardy was suspiciously friendly, but people behave in different ways.”

Later, discussing The Sun newspaper and Ms Rooney, the barrister said it was “a newspaper that she clearly loathes” and that Ms Rooney may disapprove of the way Ms Vardy had sometimes been featured in it.

“One can see why Mrs Rooney thinks that but it is not a basis for making an allegation of the kind that was made,” Mr Tomlinson said.

Mr Tomlinson added: “Mrs Vardy has made mistakes. Perhaps the most serious of these may have been to trust Ms Watt as her agent.”

‘The evidence of two people who don’t know who is leaking stories'

Thursday 19 May 2022 14:34 , Holly Bancroft

Mr Tomlinson is taking the court through messages between Ms Vardy and her agent, where the pair discuss how Ms Rooney’s private information is being leaked to the press and speculate about who is doing it.

Mr Tomlinson has argued that, because the pair are wondering who the leak might be, it cannot be them.

In one exchange on 16 August 2019 Ms Watt messaged: “So I asked Andy Halls a couple of days ago where they are getting so much coleen stuff from and he wouldn’t say who.” Andy Halls is a Sun journalist.

She added: “I think she has posted that to see if anyone sells it x,” to which Ms Vardy replied: “I wonder who it’s coming from then x”.

Ms Vardy also messaged: “Yeah 100% these posts are to see who gives them to the paper x.”

In another exchange, Ms Vardy messaged her agent about whether she was suspected by Ms Rooney as a leak.

“Do you think she still thinks it’s me x,” she wrote.

Ms Watt, referring to Sun reporters, replied: “That’s why I asked him who he got stuff from. And that’s when he said Ellie henman gets it all but sometimes they put it under his byline to make it less obvious.”

“Bet it’s their PR again has to be x”, Ms Vardy replied. “I really can’t see anyone being that arses with selling stories on her.”

“Unless it is someone who is skint like Danielle Lloyd,” Ms Watt responded.

“Ahhh is she on her private Instagram x,” Ms Vardy questioned.

“Yes! I saw her comment on something the other day. In fact it was under a story she had posted a screenshot of x.”

Thursday 19 May 2022 14:18 , Holly Bancroft

Mr Tomlinson has said that the Whatsapp exchanges between Ms Vardy and Ms Watt are “crucial” to the case, but accused Mr Sherborne of focusing on the ones which aid his case.

“One of the remarkable features of Mr Sherborne’s cross examination… was that he studiously avoided all the Whatsapp messages which suggest that neither Ms Vardy or Ms Watt are the source of the stories… where they discuss stories and say ‘i wonder who leaked that?’”, Mr Tomlinson said.

“He studiously avoided the messages that pointed in the opposite direction,” he added.

Mr Tomlinson is questioning why Ms Vardy would want to delete the media her Whatsapp exchange with Ms Watt, as Ms Rooney’s side has suggested. He says that the idea that she would selectively delete things was “remarkable”.

“If you want to get rid of Whatsapp messages, get rid of them all,” he said. He asked why, if Ms Vardy was deliberately deleting messages, she has disclosed “a whole series of outrageous comments” to the court.

“Ms Vardy certainly does not want to be court,” Mr Tomlinson added.

“All she wants is to be vindicated that she was not the person who leaked Ms Rooney’s private information to the Sun.”

He maintained: “This is a case about Mrs Vardy and the way that she has been treated by thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of people on social media... She has continued to receive abuse to this day, even through the trial.”

Court returns and Ms Vardy’s lawyer begins closing argument

Thursday 19 May 2022 14:01 , Holly Bancroft

Ms Vardy’s lawyer Hugh Tomlinson QC has said that “to this day” his client “does not know what happened.”

“What we say about this case is that really in essence it really it is a very simple case”, he said as he began his closing statement. He explained that he believes the case rests on whether Ms Rooney has proved that Ms Vardy leaked information from the Instagram stories as Ms Rooney had accused her of doing.

He accused Ms Rooney’s lawyers of furthering “conspiracy theories” about the alleged deletion of evidence.

Speaking about Ms Vardy, Mr Tomlinson said: “She does not know to this day what happened, she does not know where this information came from... It is possible, as she now accepts, that the source of the leak could well be Caroline Watt.”

“Mrs Vardy has obviously made mistakes. One of the mistakes that she made.. is that she trusted someone she shouldn’t have trusted,” said Mr Tomlinson, referring to Ms Watt.

Recap: Day six highlights as Wayne Rooney says he ‘asked Jamie to calm wife’ at Euros

Thursday 19 May 2022 13:56 , Holly Bancroft

Read the highlights from Day Six of the trial on Tuesday:

Wayne Rooney told the High Court that he had an “awkward” conversation with Jamie Vardy to get his wife to “calm down” her media activities during Euro 2016 at the request of the England manager.

The former England international said that then-England manager Roy Hogson and assistant manager Gary Neville asked him, as captain of the team, “to speak to my team mate Jamie Vardy about the fact that Becky’s media activities were causing problems and distractions” during the tournament.

Day six ‘Wagatha Christie’ trial highlights as Wayne Rooney testifies

Recap: Ms Rooney’s side closing speech

Thursday 19 May 2022 13:45 , Holly Bancroft

David Sherborne later argued it would be “nonsensical” for Rebekah Vardy to ask her agent to leak information about footballer Riyad Mahrez not going to training if it was publicly known as she claimed.

He said. “It would be nonsensical for Mrs Vardy to (indicate) to Caroline Watt to pass on information to journalists if it was already public knowledge.”

David Sherborne alleged there were “numerous examples” of Rebekah Vardy and Caroline Watt “conspiring to, and indeed, passing private and personal information to the press about other individuals”.He claimed this showed Ms Vardy’s “propensity” and “willingness” to “leak information”.

Mr Sherborne said the “clear inference” was Ms Vardy’s “willingness to leak information about other people in the same way that she was willing to leak information about Mrs Rooney”.“The fact that this is all understood and followed by Mrs Vardy demonstrated her knowledge and complicity in a way in which no one can explain away, however silver tongued,” Mr Sherborne said.

Coleen and Wayne Rooney miss court on final day of Wagatha Christie trial

Thursday 19 May 2022 13:34 , Holly Bancroft

In case you missed it...

Wayne and Coleey Rooney have missed the final day of the Wagatha Christie trial to go on a trip with their children, their lawyer has said.

The High Court met on Thursday to hear the closing statements in the libel battle between Ms Rooney and Rebekah Vardy.

But while Ms Vardy turned up for the trial, neither Ms Rooney nor her husband - who has watched every other day at the court and took the stand on Tuesday - were present.

Read the full story here:

Coleen and Wayne Rooney miss court on final day of Wagatha Christie trial

Caroline Watt’s withdrawal of witness evidence suggests she is leak source, says Rooney lawyer

Thursday 19 May 2022 13:10 , Holly Bancroft

Ms Vardy’s agent Caroline Watt’s withdrawal of her witness evidence suggests that she was the source of the leaks of Ms Rooney’s private information, Mr Sherborne has argued.

Ms Watt’s withdrawal of her waiver indicates she was the source of the leaks, Ms Rooney’s legal team also argued.

In a submission to the court, he wrote: “The only explanation for the withdrawal of her source waiver – after having initially waived it because she believed that the journalists would say that she was not the source of the stories - is that Ms Watt was the source, and realised that The Sun would not keep secret such documents showing such leaks. There was no other reason to withdraw the waiver, especially as she did not need to do this just because she was no longer giving evidence.

“Similarly, Ms Watt did not need to withdraw her witness evidence (unless it was to assist the Claimant in anticipation of her use as a scapegoat) as there had been no order she would be cross-examined”

Court rises for lunch

Thursday 19 May 2022 13:00 , Holly Bancroft

Ms Rooney’s lawyer David Sherborne has concluded his closing speech and the court has risen for lunch.

After the break, Ms Vardy’s lawyer Mr Hugh Tomlinson QC will give his submissions.

‘Wagatha Christie’ is ‘extraordinary’, Ms Rooney’s lawyer says

Thursday 19 May 2022 12:49 , Holly Bancroft

Coleen Rooney’s barrister has told the High Court the libel claim brought against her by Rebekah Vardy is “extraordinary”.

Outlining Ms Rooney’s case in a written closing statement, David Sherborne said: “In many respects this trial has been extraordinary.

“Extraordinary because of the tenacity of the claimant in backtracking on her admissions of leaks. Extraordinary because of the documentary evidence that flatly contradicts the claimant’s account, as well as the extent to which it plainly demonstrates her consistent practice of secretly leaking information to the press.

“Extraordinary because of the claimant’s failure to ever advance a positive case as to how else the information was leaked, if not via the route identified by the defendant.

“Extraordinary for the determination of the claimant to frustrate the defendant’s efforts to uncover the truth, through the destruction of critical evidence, with yet further destruction being uncovered (only through the defendant’s efforts) even in the weeks before this trial that can only have occurred from deliberate manual deletions.

“And extraordinary because of the absence of the central figure - Caroline Watt, the claimant’s close friend, agent, conduit. Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark.”

Vardy’s lawyer argues Rooney should pay out ‘substantial damages'

Thursday 19 May 2022 12:30 , Holly Bancroft

Rebekah Vardy is seeking “substantial damages” from Coleen Rooney in her libel trial at the High Court.

In her lawyer’s closing submissions, they argue: “A substantial award of damages should be made in this case.

“The libel was very serious and was published to a huge number of people. Mrs Vardy has suffered very serious (and continuing) abuse as a result. The defence has concluded in an aggressive manner, including at the trial, greatly aggravating the damage caused.”

Earlier in their submission, they argued: “As a result of the untrue defamatory allegation in the Post Mrs Vardy has suffered very serious harm to her reputation and huge distress and upset.

“She has been subjected to entirely foreseeable public abuse and ridicule on a massive scale. As a result, she is entitled to substantial damages for libel.”

Thursday 19 May 2022 12:17 , Holly Bancroft

Ms Vardy’s claim that she was unaware that Ms Watt was leaking Ms Rooney’s information to The Sun is “completely unsustainable”, Mr Sherborne said.

Referring to Ms Watt passing information to The Sun about Coleen’s Honda crash, Mr Sherborne said her claim was “completely unsustainable in the face of Ms Watt’s message ‘It was me’”.

“The car crash is one example where we do at least have some relevant documents,” Mr Sherborne added. He said that there was not as much documentation about the other posts and stories - such as the Mexico gender selection story on Coleen Rooney’s Instagram.

He suggested to the court that this was because key messages and media has been deleted off Ms Vardy’s phone.

Referring to a message Ms Vardy sent to Ms Watt allegedly telling her to “leak” stories about Danielle Lloyd, Mr Sherborne said: “The use of the word leak comes so easily from Ms Vardy’s mouth”.

Rebekah Vardy has returned to the court room

Thursday 19 May 2022 12:16 , Holly Bancroft

Rebekah Vardy has returned to the court room with her laywer. Ms Rooney’s lawyer David Sherborne is still making his closing remarks in the trial.

Recap: ‘Ms Vardy deleted messages between her and her agent,’ Rooney’s lawyer argues

Thursday 19 May 2022 11:58 , Holly Bancroft

David Sherborne also claimed there had been a “targeted deletion” of messages between Rebekah Vardy and Caroline Watt between 15 October 2019 and 25 July 2020.

He later alleged there had been a “clear and concerted effort on the part of Mrs Vardy to conceal relevant and incriminating evidence not just from us but from the court”.

Mr Sherborne said this could not be compared to the loss of some data by Mrs Rooney in the case.

Mr Sherborne claimed that Caroline Watt’s withdrawal of her writtenstatement before the start of the trial, in which she denied being involved inleaking, demonstrated that “she knew she was going to be found to have lied ifher evidence was tested”.

David Sherborne discussed the loss of Ms Watt’s phone, saying the “first we heard of the phone being dropped into the water was four months after”.

He continued: “This ill-fated trip took place only days after the court had requested her phone to be inspected.”

Mr Sherborne said this request may have been “unexpected” because Caroline Watt was not a party to the claim, adding “the story, we say, is fishy enough - no pun intended”, due to the date of the phone’s loss.

He continued: “The fact that Mrs Vardy...chose not to tell her solicitors for the lengthy period of fourth months... demonstrates that this was far from an accident.”

The barrister said that as there are two copies of any WhatsApp chat, Ms Watt’s phone would have contained a full copy of what had been lost from Rebekah Vardy’s phone.

“It was therefore, we say, necessary for both to be destroyed. RIP Ms Watt’s phone,” Mr Sherborne added.

‘Caroline Watt is like Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark'

Thursday 19 May 2022 11:45 , Holly Bancroft

David Sherborne said the trial had not heard evidence from the journalists who wrote the Sun articles in dispute in the case.

The barrister claimed the inference from this was that “they would be unable to say that Mrs Vardy was not the direct source or indirect source through (Rebekah Vardy’s agent) Ms Watt”.

Mr Sherborne added that the court had also not heard evidence from agent Caroline Watt who he alleged “clearly had repeated contact with these journalists”.

Ms Watt had a “hand-in-glove” relationship with Ms Vardy, Mr Sherborne claimed, adding: “No Caroline Watt is like Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark”.“Hamlet not just without the prince but all the rest of the royal court,” the barrister said.

He said this included Rebekah Vardy’s husband and Danny Hayward, who ran Front Row Partnership, Ms Vardy’s agency.“Both of them have remained silent,” he said

Thursday 19 May 2022 11:31 , Holly Bancroft

Ms Rooney’s lawyer Mr Sherborne has referred to Jamie Vardy’s statement outside court, in which the Leicester City footballer said Wayne’s testimony was “nonsense.”

Referring to Mr Vardy, Mr Sherborne said he “didn’t give evidence in court, not in this court, but he chose to make a press statement outside court while we were sitting here.”

“It’s not lost on the court I’m sure that while he was perfectly willing” to make a statement outside court, Mr Sherborne said, “Mr Vardy was apparently unwilling to provide one for the process of these proceedings... despite being aware from the 1 April that Mr Rooney was going to give that evidence.”

Coleen Rooney stands by Wagatha Christie post 'even more' at end of trial

Thursday 19 May 2022 11:21 , Holly Bancroft

Ms Rooney’s lawyer David Sherborne has said that Ms Rooney stands by the truth of her ‘Wagatha Christie’ reveal post and believes it “even more so now” that she has gone through this trial.

Mr Sherborne told the court that “the issue of truth” lies “at the centre of this case”.

He added: “The burden lies on us to establish on a balance of probabilities that the post is substantially true.”

The barrister claim that Mrs Rooney’s legal team had proved a “wider” meaning to Coleen Rooney’s so-called “reveal” post than that which Rebekah Vardy complained of.

He said this was that “Mrs Vardy has regularly and frequently leaked to The Sun information about a number of people she knows”

Discussing Coleen Rooney’s private Instagram account, Mr Sherborne said: “The suggestion that the information that was being posted on was not very private and this should affect the defence of truth is also misconceived.”

He added: “Whether a matter of common sense or law, Mrs (Rebekah) Vardy is still responsible for the act of her agent Caroline Watt.”

The barrister later said there were “a number of extraordinary features of this case”.“The first is the amount of documents that are not before the court,” he said.

Discussing the viral social media post, the barrister added: “It is what she believed at the time... and it is what she believes even more so now that we have got to the end of the case.”

Rebekah Vardy has temporarily left court while Ms Rooney’s lawyer gives speech

Thursday 19 May 2022 11:08 , Holly Bancroft

Ms Vardy has left court carrying a laptop, and followed by one of her solicitors, as Ms Rooney’s lawyer David Sherborne gives his closing speech.

Ms Vardy carried out ‘cover up’ to hide ‘incriminating evidence’, Ms Rooney’s lawyer argues

Thursday 19 May 2022 11:06 , Holly Bancroft

Ms Rooney’s lawyer David Sherborne argued that Ms Vardy carried out ‘cover up’ to hide ‘incriminating evidence’.

He explained that there is significant evidence missing from the trial.

“The first is the amount of documents which are not before the court,” Mr Sherborne said.

“A catalogue of coincidences and misfortunes, or as we have put, the most likely explanation... is deletion or destruction”

He added: “The witnesses who have not given evidence, we have not heard from any of the journalists of the disputed articles.”

Mr Sherborne is arguing that Ms Vardy’s explanation that her laptop crashed when she was trying to export her Whatsapp messages with her agent Caroline Watt is not true.

Nine months of messages between Ms Vardy and Ms Watt and media from the chats have gone missing, the court was told.

“There is only one conclusion that the court should reach and that is that Mrs Vardy deleted the Whatsapp chat and that she has lied on oath and in her witness statement.”

“There is only one reason that she has taken such a step...it was done to cover up incriminating evidence, there is no other plausible explanation.”

ICYMI: Rooneys miss court on final day of Wagatha Christie trial

Thursday 19 May 2022 10:57 , Zoe Tidman

The High Court are meeting hear the closing statements in the libel battle between Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy.

But while Ms Vardy turned up for the trial, neither Ms Rooney nor her husband - who has watched every other day at the court - were present.

Full story here:

Rooneys miss court on final day of Wagatha Christie trial

Thursday 19 May 2022 10:51 , Holly Bancroft

Ms Rooney’s lawyer David Sherborne said his client “was brought here by Mrs Vardy because of the reveal post”.

Referring to Ms Rooney, he continued: “She herself said so much more of it had been made than she expected, both at the time and since, and the trolling of Mrs Vardy was vile.”

Discussing the viral social media post, the barrister added: “It is what she believed at the time... and it is what she believes even more so now that we have got to the end of the case.

“She finds herself at the end of a seven-day libel trial, and for what?”

Ms Rooney’s lawyer begins his closing argument

Thursday 19 May 2022 10:47 , Holly Bancroft

Ms Rooney’s lawyer David Sherborne is arguing that both sides have admitted that Rebekah Vardy’s agent Caroline Watt leaked information to the press, with use of Ms Vardy’s Instagram account.

“It is an artificial sliver of a case,” Mr Sherborne said. “Simply whether Mrs Vardy knew what Mrs Watt was doing in relation to leaking from her account.”

He set out three areas to consider. “Firstly whether the reveal post is substantially true,” he said. “And whether the reveal... is a matter of public interest.”

The third issue is “what compensation should Mrs Vardy get if any for what is left of her reputation,” Mr Sherborne said.

“We’ve proved, we say, that in fact over the same period Mrs Vardy has regularly and frequently leaked to the Sun information about a number of people she knows,” Mr Sherborne said.

“Mrs Vardy is still responsible for the actions of her agent Caroline Watt,” he added. “As responsible as if she had personally been sent the screenshot or sent that information to Mr Halls, or any others of the Sun journalists.”

The Rooneys miss court today and head off on trip with children

Thursday 19 May 2022 10:33 , Holly Bancroft

Ms Rooney’s lawyer David Sherborne has told the court that the Rooneys are not present because “they had a long standing travel arrangement with their four children”.

“They’ve asked me to pass on their individual apologies,” he said, explaining that the couple meant no disrespect to the court.

Mr Sherborne said that the Rooneys had already agreed their travel arrangements with their lawyers before the trial was extended by one day.

The lawyer, highlighting that the husband and wife had attended the trial throughout so far, added: “They had a long-standing travel arrangement with their four children which was booked in advance by their lawyers.”

Mr Sherborne said this was done on the understanding that Thursday was not going to be a day the court was sitting.

The judge, Ms Justice Steyn, said: “I don’t take offence”.

Rebekah Vardy arrives in court

Thursday 19 May 2022 10:11 , Holly Bancroft

Rebekah Vardy has arrived in court for the expected final day of her libel trial against Coleen Rooney. She was wearing a black trouser suit layered over a green top. Ms Vardy opted for a more relaxed look with her hair down and was not wearing sunglasses for the first time in the trial.

 (PA)
(PA)
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Key moments of trial so far

Thursday 19 May 2022 09:59 , Zoe Tidman

Not long until the final day of the Wagatha Christie trial kicks off now.

Here is a quick recap of the key moments so far:

Key moments of the ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel battle – day by day

The fake stories at the heart of the Wagatha Christie plan

Thursday 19 May 2022 09:32 , Zoe Tidman

At the very heart of the trial is Coleen Rooney accusing Rebekah Vardy’s account as leaking information from her private Instagram to The Sun.

Her elaborate plan to try and find the source of the leaks is what earned her the nickname “Wagatha Christie”.

And on the penultimate day of the trial, the High Court saw the fake stories posted on Instagram to “trap” Ms Vardy.

Chiara Giordano has the details:

The fake Instagram stories Rooney used to attempt to ‘trap Vardy’

‘True to form, Wayne Rooney may have just decided the game'

Thursday 19 May 2022 09:08 , Zoe Tidman

Wayne Rooney took to the stand the last day the court sat.

“The witness box of Court 13 is far from the only box into which Wayne Rooney has made a well-timed late arrival, and the results were typically devastating,” Tom Peck, our political sketch writer, said.

Read his take on the Derby manager’s evidence:

True to form, Wayne Rooney may have just decided the game

What happened last?

Thursday 19 May 2022 08:40 , Zoe Tidman

Before day seven of the trial gets going, here is a reminder of what happened on day six:

Day six ‘Wagatha Christie’ trial highlights as Wayne Rooney testifies

Wagatha Christie case to draw to a close

Thursday 19 May 2022 08:11 , Zoe Tidman

The trial is due to draw to a close today.

Lawyers for both Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney are set to make their closing arguments to the High Court.

It is expected to kick back off again at 10.30am. Stay tuned.

Opinion: If Wagatha Christie has taught us anything, it’s to never underestimate the power of the ‘unfollow’

Thursday 19 May 2022 06:44 , Tom Batchelor

The longer time you spend on social media, the more people you will have annoyed, writes Sunny Hundal.

That’s my theory. Since I can’t expect everyone to agree with everything I say, the equation is simple: more opinions = more haters. And as someone who has been very online and very opinionated for about 20 years, believe me I have accumulated a lot of haters.

Here is his piece:

Opinion: Use social media? Take heed from Wagatha Christie

Who’s who in the ‘Wagatha Christie’ case

Thursday 19 May 2022 03:44 , Tom Batchelor

There are around half a dozen key figures in the case, including lesser known names such as Caroline Watt and David Sherborne.

We have compiled a hand guide to the individuals involved:

Who’s who in the ‘Wagatha Christie’ case

How the Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy row unfolded

Thursday 19 May 2022 01:44 , Tom Batchelor

After months of legal wrangling, the much anticipated “Wagatha Christie” High Court libel trial is set to conclude.

Here is how the public row between footballers’ wives Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy unfolded over the past two and a half years:

How the Wagatha Christie row unfolded

What to expect on Thursday

Wednesday 18 May 2022 22:49 , Tom Batchelor

The final day of court proceedings begins on Thursday at 10.30am.

Barristers for both women are expected to give their closing speeches at the Royal Courts Of Justice.

We will have latest updates throughout the day in this blog.

Timeline: What happened in the ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel case?

Wednesday 18 May 2022 14:25 , Zoe Tidman

The Wagatha Christie burst into the public conciousness on 19 October 2019 when Coleen Rooney took to Twitter to issue an astonishing attack on Rebekah Vardy, accusing her of betraying her confidence in pursuit of personal gain.

Here Joe Sommerlad gives a full run down of everything that has happened since:

What happened in the ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel case?

Wednesday 18 May 2022 14:22 , Chris Baynes

Barristers for both Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy are expected to give their closing speeches on the final day of the case on Thursday, after a break today.

Rooney accused Vardy of leaking "false stories" about her private life in October 2019 after she said she carried out a months-long "sting operation" which saw her dubbed "Wagatha Christie".

Vardy denies the allegations and has sued the fellow footballer's wife for damages for libel over the "untrue and unjustified defamatory attack".

Trial to resume on Thursday

Wednesday 18 May 2022 09:00 , Chris Baynes

There will be no hearing today at the High Court in Rebekah Vardy’s libel trial against Coleen Rooney.

It is expected that both Hugh Tomlinson QC, for Rebekah Vardy, and David Sherborne, for Coleen Rooney, will give their closing speeches on Thursday.

Mrs Justice Steyn is expected to give her decision in writing at a later date.

Wayne Rooney ‘talking nonsense’ in evidence, Jamie Vardy claims

Wednesday 18 May 2022 08:44 , Chris Baynes

Jamie Vardy has accused his former England teammate Wayne Rooney of “talking nonsense” in his evidence to the Wagatha Christie trial.

Rooney had told the High Court the team’s manager Roy Hodgson asked him to speak to the Leicester City striker to get him to “calm down” his wife Rekebah during Euro 2016.

In a statement issued by Vardy's representatives outside the hearing, the footballer said: "Wayne is talking nonsense.

"He must be confused because he never spoke to me about issues concerning Becky's media work at Euro 2016.

"There was nothing to speak about, I know this because I discuss everything with Becky."

All we know about Coleen Rooney’s lawyer

Wednesday 18 May 2022 08:00 , Stuti Mishra

With a reputation as a barrister the rich and famous turn to for legal assistance, Coleen Rooney’s hotshot lawyer David Sherbrone’s previous client list includes Diana, Princess of Wales, Hollywood actor Michael Douglas and former prime minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie.

Here’s all we know about Mr Sherbrone, who has also represented Johnny Depp and the Trumps:

All we know about Coleen Rooney’s lawyer who represented Johnny Depp and the Trumps

Who is Rebekah Vardy’s lawyer?

Wednesday 18 May 2022 07:00 , Stuti Mishra

As the Wagatha Christie libel case is underway in London, all eyes are on the man heading up Rebekah Vardy’s legal team.

Hugh Tomlinson, born in Leeds in 1954, is an experienced media barrister, first called to the bar in 1983.

He has a long career of fighting libel cases on behalf of celebrities and public figures, including he Prince of Wales and Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.

Tom Ambrose has more details here:

All we know about Rebekah Vardy’s ‘super injunction’ barrister Hugh Tomlinson

ICYMI: Wayne Rooney describes ‘traumatic’ impact of Vardy case on wife Coleen

Wednesday 18 May 2022 06:00 , Stuti Mishra

Wayne Rooney has described the “traumatic” impact of the last two-and-a-half years on his wife Coleen as he gave evidence on the penultimate day of the “Wagatha Christie” libel trial.

Mr Rooney told the court that the period after his wife’s “reveal” post had been “very traumatic” for her and that he had watched her “really struggle”.

“For me and my wife, we don’t want to be in this court,” Mr Rooney said.

Jess Glass has the full story:

Wayne Rooney describes ‘traumatic’ impact of Vardy case on wife Coleen

Coleen Rooney-Rebekah Vardy timeline: Everything that’s happened in the ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel case

Wednesday 18 May 2022 05:00 , Stuti Mishra

My colleague Joe Sommerlad has put together this timeline of the case between the two footballers’ wives, from that infamous moment on 19 October 2019 when Coleen Rooney took to Twitter to issue an astonishing attack on Rebekah Vardy, accusing her of betraying her confidence in pursuit of personal gain.

What happened in the ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel case?

ICYMI: Coleen has become ‘a different mother, a different wife’ because of trial, Wayne Rooney says

Wednesday 18 May 2022 04:00 , Chiara Giordano

Wayne Rooney has said his wife Coleen has “become a different mother, a different wife” because of the stress of the ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel trial.

Speaking from the witness stand at the High Court on Tuesday, the former England captain and Derby County manager said he and his wife “don’t want to be in this court”.

Holly Bancroft has the full story:

Coleen is ‘a different mother, a different wife’ because of trial, Wayne Rooney says

ICYMI: Wayne Rooney says he asked Jamie Vardy to ‘calm down’ wife at Euro 2016 at request of England manager

Wednesday 18 May 2022 02:00 , Chiara Giordano

On the sixth day of the trial, Wayne Rooney told the High Court he asked Jamie Vardy to "calm down" his wife at the request of England manager Roy Hodgson during the Euros in 2016.

Mr Rooney said he was asked to intervene over the media attention Ms Vardy had been receiving during the tournament.

Matt Mathers has the full story:

Ex-England manager ‘told Jamie Vardy told to calm down’ wife at Euro 2016

ICYMI: Rebekah Vardy vs Coleen Rooney: a breakdown of their courthouse style

Wednesday 18 May 2022 00:01 , Chiara Giordano

As the trial continues at the Royal Courts of Justice, Saman Javed has taken a closer look at the footballers’ wives courthouse style.

Both women have stuck to a muted colour palette so far, opting for either black, white or dark blue hues.

It is suggested Rooney and Vardy are likely using their clothing to communicate the seriousness and importance of the trial.

Rebekah Vardy vs Coleen Rooney: A breakdown of their courthouse style

Day six highlights

Tuesday 17 May 2022 22:00 , Chiara Giordano

Holly Bancroft, who has been at the High Court in London for The Independent, has pulled together the key highlights to come from day six of the explosive trial:

Day six ‘Wagatha Christie’ trial highlights as Wayne Rooney testifies

No hearing tomorrow

Tuesday 17 May 2022 20:22 , Chiara Giordano

There will be no hearing taking place at the High Court on Wednesday.

It is now expected both Hugh Tomlinson QC, for Rebekah Vardy, and David Sherborne, for Coleen Rooney, will give their closing speeches on Thursday.

Mrs Justice Steyn is expected to give her decision in writing at a later date.

Highlights from day six

Tuesday 17 May 2022 18:17 , Holly Bancroft

All the evidence has now been heard in the ‘Wagatha Christie’ trial at the High Court. Here are the highlights from day six:

- Wayne Rooney told the High Court that he had an “awkward” conversation with Jamie Vardy to get his wife to “calm down” her media activities during Euro 2016 at the request of the England manager.

- Mr Rooney said that Coleen has “become a different mother, a different wife” because of the stress of the libel trial.

- England’s top goalscorer said that he “didn’t want to get involved” with his wife’s social media sting, saying she is “an independent woman who does her own thing.”

- Coleen Rooney’s fake Instagram stories, which she used to run her sting operation, were revealed at the High Court.

- Wayne Rooney’s cousin Claire said she was referred to as “chavvy” in a WhatsApp message exchange between Rebekah Vardy and her agent.

- Splash news photographer said Ms Vardy knew all about leaks to the press, PR exec testified.

- Rebekah Vardy and her husband Jamie left her High Court libel trial early on Tuesday. One of Ms Vardy’s legal team told the court that they left early because “Mrs Vardy isn’t feeling very well”.

- Defence witness Mr Matthew Blackband queried Ms Vardy’s account that her computer crashed when she tried to upload her Whatsapp chats with her agent and that’s why she lost key messages. “Based on the information that has been provided I would suggest that this is a manual deletion,” he said.

ICYMI: Coleen Rooney has become ‘a different mother, a different wife’ because of trial

Tuesday 17 May 2022 17:46 , Tom Batchelor

Wayne Rooney has said that his wife Coleen has “become a different mother, a different wife” because of the stress of the ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel trial.

Speaking from the witness stand at the High Court on Tuesday, the former England captain and Derby County manager said they he and his wife “don’t want to be in this court”.

Here is the story:

Coleen is ‘a different mother, a different wife’ because of trial, Wayne Rooney says

Court rises

Tuesday 17 May 2022 16:58 , Holly Bancroft

The court has risen for the day. That concludes all the evidence in Rebekah Vardy’s libel trail against Coleen Rooney.

The trial will return on Thursday morning to hear closing arguments.

Voices: True to form, at the Wagatha Christie trial Wayne Rooney may have just decided the game

Tuesday 17 May 2022 16:51 , Holly Bancroft

Political sketch writer Tom Peck has delivered his verdict on day six of the ‘Wagatha Christie’ trial. He writes:

“The witness box of Court 13 is far from the only box into which Wayne Rooney has made a well-timed late arrival, and the results were typically devastating.

Manchester United and England’s record goal scorer was the penultimate witness in his wife’s defence, and though we can’t know yet, it’s quite possible he’s decided the game.

At the latter stages of their careers, once-rampaging attackers like Rooney have to learn to play a little bit smarter. Their all action days are over. They can’t always track back. Instead they must conserve their energy, they must wait for the moment and then, wallop! They pounce.

Which is exactly what Wayne Rooney did.”

Read the full piece here:

True to form, Wayne Rooney may have just decided the game

‘I would suggest that this is a manual deletion’, expert on Ms Vardy’s messages

Tuesday 17 May 2022 16:27 , Holly Bancroft

Defence witness Mr Matthew Blackband has queried Ms Vardy’s account that her computer crashed when she tried to upload her Whatsapp chats with her agent and that’s why she lost key messages.

“I’m putting to you that that’s possible,” Ms Vardy lawyer said.

“I cannot see how that is possible,” Mr Blackband replied.

“Based on the information that has been provided I would suggest that this is a manual deletion,” he said.

Referring to the alleged computer crash, Mr Blackband told the court: “I cannot see how that would be an explanation as the download the data has already occurred, a zip file has been formed.”

“I’ve not been able to identify a process that would cause that to happen.

“There would have to be a corruption of the database, which would mean that Whatsapp would not work,” he continued.

Pictured: The Vardys leave court early

Tuesday 17 May 2022 15:55 , Holly Bancroft

Rebekah Vardy and her husband Jamie have left her High Court libel trial early. Ms Vardy’s lawyer told the court that Ms Vardy wasn’t “feeling very well”.

 (PA)
(PA)
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Tuesday 17 May 2022 15:39 , Holly Bancroft

An expert instructed by Rebekah Vardy found it “surprising” that there was an “absence” of WhatsApp messages between her and agent Caroline Watt after Ms Vardy tried to export messages from her device to her solicitors, the High Court was told.

Ian Henderson was asked a series of questions in court by Coleen Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne about Ms Vardy’s data, which the lawyer suggested had been “deleted” or “lost”.

Mr Sherborne put it to the expert that he described the “absence of this data being caused by the uploading process” as “somewhat surprising”, with Mr Henderson agreeing that he remembered saying that.

“Clearly by surprised you’re saying that that is not what you would expect to have happened?” Mr Sherborne added.

“That is correct,” Mr Henderson replied.

The Vardys leave early because ‘Mrs Vardy isn’t feeling very well'

Tuesday 17 May 2022 15:29 , Holly Bancroft

One of Ms Vardy’s legal team has told the court that Rebekah Vardy and her husband Jamie have left early because “Mrs Vardy isn’t feeling very well”.

Tuesday 17 May 2022 15:23 , Holly Bancroft

Expert witness Ian Henderson is now giving evidence for Rebekah Vardy.

Ms Rooney’s lawyer David Sherborne asked Mr Henderson whether it was likely that Ms Vardy’s account had been “compromised” for a period of time.

Mr Henderson said: “I’m aware that at least one other person had access to Ms Vardy’s account”, but said that he could not conclude that Ms Vardy’s account was compromised.

Recap: Coleen has become ‘a different mother, a different wife’ because of trial, Wayne Rooney says

Tuesday 17 May 2022 14:55 , Holly Bancroft

Wayne Rooney has said that his wife Coleen has “become a different mother, a different wife” because of the stress of the ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel trial.

Speaking from the witness stand at the High Court on Tuesday, the former England captain and Derby County manager said they he and his wife “don’t want to be in this court”.

“I’ve watched my wife over the last two and a half years really struggle with everything ... becoming a different mother, a different wife,” he said.

“It’s been been very traumatic for my wife.”

Read the full story here:

Coleen is ‘a different mother, a different wife’ because of trial, Wayne Rooney says

Tuesday 17 May 2022 14:44 , Holly Bancroft

Ms Adaarewa has said she recalled Splash news photographer saying that Ms Vardy knew that her Instagram account was being used to leak stories to the press.

In her written statement, Ms Adaarewa said: “I specially recall Danny saying that Mrs Vardy was not only aware that Danny has a means of access to her account but also that she was well aware that access had been and was being used to take content and pass it to the press.”

She continued: “This much was abundantly clear to me from listening to the exchange, though there was no express discussion of Mrs Vardy personally benefitting from a financial perspective and it would therefore be speculative for me to suggest so.”

Splash news photographer said Ms Vardy knew all about leaks to the press, PR exec says

Tuesday 17 May 2022 14:25 , Holly Bancroft

Penelope Adaarewa, a PR executive, is being asked about a meeting she attended with a photographer called Danny Hayward, director of Splash News, and a mystery Mr Y - a figure in the media industry.

During the meeting Ms Adaarewa overheard a phone call, which was on speaker phone, between Mr Y and Mr Hayward. She was included in the phone call, and was introduced to Mr Hayward by Mr Y, but said that the pair started having what seemed to her was a private conversation in front of her.

In her written witness statement, Ms Adaarewa said: “I specifically recall Danny saying that others knew he had a means of access to the account and it seemed clear to me that included Becky Vardy. In his discussion with Y about the fallout from Mrs Rooney’s recent revelations.

“I recall he used the words to the effect of “But she is sticking to her story that she knew nothing about it” which he said clearly believing that Mrs Vardy did in fact know all about the passing on of information from her Instagram account and that her denial was disingenuous.”

The defence calls their last witness, Penelope Adaarewa

Tuesday 17 May 2022 14:05 , Holly Bancroft

Penelope Adaarewa, a PR executive, is being asked about a meeting she attended after the “media storm” that resulted from Coleen Rooney’s ‘Wagatha Christie’ post.

Tuesday 17 May 2022 14:03 , Holly Bancroft

The Rooneys and the Vardys are now seated in court after the lunch break. Rebekah Vardy was resting her head on her husband Jamie’s shoulder, and Coleen and Wayne Rooney were consulting something on Coleen’s phone.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting