Rebekah Vardy - live: Peter Andre ‘manhood’ article discussed in Coleen Rooney trial

·17-min read

Rebekah Vardy has said she “deeply regrets” sharing details about the “size of Peter Andre’s manhood” with a newspaper.

Mrs Vardy, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, gave evidence at the High Court on Tuesday in her libel battle against Coleen Rooney over accusations that she leaked “false stories” to the press.

Mrs Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne asked Mrs Vardy about an interview she gave to the News Of The World about an alleged sexual encounter with singer Peter Andre, reading out the headline: “Peter’s hung like a small chipolata, shaved, slobbery, lasts five minutes.”

Asked whether giving the interview was respectful to Mr Andre, Mrs Vardy said: “I was forced into a situation by my ex-husband to do this.”

She added: “It is something that I deeply regret.”

Mrs Rooney, 36, was dubbed “Wagatha Christie” after last year accusing Mrs Vardy, 40, of leaking “false stories” about her private life to the press in a viral social media post.

Mrs Vardy denies leaking stories and is suing Mrs Vardy for libel.

Key Points

  • Rebekah Vardy and family ‘faced abuse and threats’

  • Rooney and Vardy arrive in court

  • What is the ‘Wagatha Christie' case about?

  • ‘It’s.... Rebekah Vardy’s account’: The post that kicked the legal battle off

Key takeaways from first day of trial

08:08 , Zoe Tidman

While we are waiting for the second day of the trial to start, here is a reminder of what happened yesterday when it kicked off:

Seven most explosive moments from first day of ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel trial

07:00 , Lamiat Sabin

The second day of the trial will begin at 10.30am today.

Rebekah Vardy’s cross examination by Coleen Rooney’s barrister is due to continue.

Watch this space for more updates as the trial resumes.

What is Coleen Rooney’s defence?

04:00 , Lamiat Sabin

The court heard on the first day of the libel trial on Tuesday that Coleen Rooney, who has been accused by Rebekah Vardy of defamation, will rely on a public interest defence.

But the High Court also heard that Ms Rooney did not put her accusations that Ms Vardy betrayed her trust – by leaking stories to the Sun newspaper – to her in advance of publishing her viral tweet that garnered her the nickname ‘Wagatha Christie’.

Another defence is that the betrayal allegations are true, which she would need to prove.

Vardy has ‘no knowledge’ that ex-agent’s phone ‘fell in sea’

02:00 , Lamiat Sabin

Rebekah Vardy said – on the first day of the libel trial on Tuesday – that she was unaware that her former agent’s phone had allegedly fallen into the North Sea.

Ms Vardy has been accused by Coleen Rooney of leaking her personal information to the press, for which Ms Vardy is suing her for defamation.

Rebekah Vardy as she gives evidence, as drawn by court artist (Elizabeth Cook/PA)
Rebekah Vardy as she gives evidence, as drawn by court artist (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

Ms Vardy has since alleged her former agent Caroline Watt could have been responsible for viewing Ms Rooney’s Instagram Stories and giving the information to the Sun newspaper.

Ms Watt had claimed earlier this year, ahead of the trial, that data could not be extracted from her phone in 2021 as her phone had fallen into the North Sea after a boat she was travelling on hit choppy waters.

Ms Vardy has claimed, in her written statement, to have “no personal knowledge” of this alleged incident happening.

‘It’s..... Rebekah Vardy’s account’

Wednesday 11 May 2022 00:01 , Lamiat Sabin

Here’s a run-down by Colin Drury of how the ‘Wagatha Christie’ case first started

Coleen Rooney accuses Rebekah Vardy of leaking her Instagram stories to ‘The Sun’

ICYMI: Trial focuses on claim about Peter Andre’s ‘manhood’

Tuesday 10 May 2022 22:00 , Lamiat Sabin

The libel trial took an unexpected turn when Peter Andre, and his sex life, was dragged into the proceedings.

The High Court heard that Rebekah Vardy divulged information about her alleged fling with the former pop star to the press.

But Ms Vardy, who is suing fellow WAG Coleen Rooney for defamation, claimed that she had been “forced” by her ex-husband to make the claim about Mr Andre’s alleged small “manhood” to the News of the World.

You can read more about this here:

Rebekah Vardy says she regrets telling paper about ‘size of Peter Andre’s manhood’

Vardy’s and Rooney’s lawyers: Who are they?

Tuesday 10 May 2022 20:43 , Lamiat Sabin

Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney are being represented at the High Court by two top lawyers who have a list of high-profile former clients.

Ms Vardy is represented by veteran media barrister Hugh Tomlinson, whose previous clients include Prince Charles, easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, footballer Rio Ferdinand, and Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.

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

Ms Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne has a client list including the late Diana, Princess of Wales, Hollywood actor Michael Douglas and former prime minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie.

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

‘It is something I deeply regret'

Tuesday 10 May 2022 17:45 , Katy Clifton

Rebekah Vardy was asked whether it was “respectful” of Peter Andre’s “right not to share this information” about their sexual encounter with a newspaper.

She replied: “I was forced into a situation by my ex-husband to do this. It is something that I deeply regret… It is not nice to read and I understand why this is being used and to me this is mudslinging and I was also threatened with mudslinging by Mrs Rooney’s team.”

Asked the question again by Coleen Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne, Mrs Vardy said: “The circumstances around it were completely different.”

She later said she did not ask Mr Andre for his permission or tell him it was going to happen in advance.

Mr Sherborne asked: “Did you feel particularly strongly about the size of his manhood that it should be made public?”

Mrs Vardy replied: “It was something that I was forced to say.”

Peter Andre article

Tuesday 10 May 2022 17:31 , Katy Clifton

Earlier today, Coleen Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne asked Rebekah Vardy questions about an interview she gave to the News Of The World about Mrs Vardy’s claimed sexual encounter with singer Peter Andre.

Mr Sherborne showed what appeared to an A3 printout of the article to Mrs Vardy in the witness box before reading the headline: “Peter’s hung like a small chipolata, shaved, slobbery, lasts five minutes”.

The barrister read excerpts from the article, in which it was claimed Mr Andre had managed “just five minutes of sex with Rebekah” and in which she said he had “the smallest trouser equipment I’ve ever seen” that was like a “miniature chipolata”.

Mr Sherborne suggested to Mrs Vardy that the News Of The World was the “highest circulating newspaper at the time”, read by some four million people.

Trial to resume on Wednesday

Tuesday 10 May 2022 16:36 , Chiara Giordano

The hearing has now finished - the second day of the trial will begin at 10.30am tomorrow.

Vardy confirms she did not tell Rooney her agent had access to her Instagram account

Tuesday 10 May 2022 16:33 , Chiara Giordano

Rebekah Vardy confirmed she did not tell Coleen Rooney her agent Caroline Watt had access to her private Instagram account.

David Sherborne asked her: “You agree with me that if Ms Watt was looking at people’s private Instagram accounts through the use of your account that you’ve given her, that would be wrong, wouldn’t it?”

“Yes,” Mrs Vardy replied, later adding: “I didn’t know that’s what was happening.”

Vardy quizzed on Instagram terms and conditions

Tuesday 10 May 2022 16:19 , Chiara Giordano

Mr Sherborne is now taking Ms Vardy through Instagram’s terms and conditions, which he tells the court says a user cannot give someone else their login credentials.

He asks Ms Vardy: “To roam through other people’s private accounts because you’ve got the access to do that through someone else’s login credentials that’s just wrong isn’t it?”

She replies: “Yes.”

Vardy says she ‘deeply regrets’ interview about Peter Andre

Tuesday 10 May 2022 16:16 , Chiara Giordano

Ms Vardy told the court she had been forced into saying something about the size of Peter Andre’s manhood during the interview.

Asked whether she asked Mr Andrew permission first before the article was published, she replied: “I was forced into it.”

Mr Sherborne asked: “Did you tell him you were going to do it?”

Ms Vardy replied: “No.”

She told the court she went through a “terrible, terrible relationship” and the interview was something she “deeply regrets”.

Ms Vardy said: “This is something I deeply regret and something that is very much a part of my past.”

Tuesday 10 May 2022 16:05 , Chiara Giordano

Ms Rooney’s barrister is now asking Ms Vardy about an interview she gave to The News of the World the time she reportedly had sex with singer Peter Andre.

Tuesday 10 May 2022 16:01 , Chiara Giordano

David Sherborne asked Ms Vardy whether she would agree that leaking other people’s information that they didn’t want to be made public is bad.

She replied: “Yes.”

Mr Sherborne said: “One of the reasons it’s bad is because it shows you don’t respect the fact that person didn’t want it to be released.”

Ms Vardy replied: “Yes, but I didn’t leak it”.

Mr Sherborne asked: “Would you say you respect other people’s privacy?”

Ms Vardy responded: “Yes, I do.”

Tuesday 10 May 2022 15:52 , Chiara Giordano

Speaking softly from the witness stand, Vardy gave her full name as Rebekah Vardy.

Her barrister has just taken her through a folder containing her signed witness statements.

Rebekah Vardy called to give evidence

Tuesday 10 May 2022 15:48 , Chiara Giordano

Rebekah Vardy has just been called by her barrister to give evidence on the witness stand.

Rebekah Vardy had the ‘means, opportunity and motive’

Tuesday 10 May 2022 15:46 , Chiara Giordano

Coleen Rooney’s barrister has said Rebekah Vardy had the “means, opportunity and motive” to be responsible for leaking the fake stories from Ms Rooney’s Instagram account.

Mr Sherborne told the court: “In short, we say Mrs Vardy had the means, she had the opportunity with her links to The Sun, and she had the motive to secretly pass on information from Mrs Rooney’s account.

“Mrs Vardy is responsible for the secret passing on if the information that is the subject of this case.”

‘Vardy’s reaction ... shows she was responsible for the leaks'

Tuesday 10 May 2022 15:40 , Tom Ambrose

David Sherborne said that Rebekah Vardy's case has changed since her original claim.

"What was said at the time about possible alternatives is now not put forward by Mrs Vardy and that is because she and Ms Watt concocted a series of lies at the time," he told the court.

The barrister said it was "particularly telling" how Mrs Vardy and Caroline Watt reacted when Coleen Rooney said she suspected someone had leaked an incorrect story about a car crash, arguing they were "spooked".

"It is Mrs Vardy's reaction to this that shows she was responsible for the leaks," Mr Sherborne said.

Coleen Rooney ‘didn’t intend for Rebekah Vardy to receive awful abuse'

Tuesday 10 May 2022 15:36 , Chiara Giordano

David Sherborne said Ms Rooney didn’t intend for Rebekah Vardy to receive the abuse she did after posting the accusation online.

He said some of the abusive posts Ms Vardy received were “awful, and not what (Mrs Rooney) intended at all”.

The barrister said there had been a “series of unfortunate or … improbable events” in the case, and that Ms Rooney remained convinced her allegation in the post complained of was true, which is why she has not apologised.

Geolocation data shows no evidence of unknown devices accessing Vardy’s social media

Tuesday 10 May 2022 15:30 , Chiara Giordano

Coleen Rooney’s barrister said the defence’s expert had found geolocation data showed there was no evidence of any “inexplicable devices” accessing Ms Vardy’s Instagram account.

He told the trial: “It has to be Mrs Vardy or Mrs Watt, there is now no alternative candidate put forward.”

Coleen Rooney thought Rebekah Vardy was ‘Lady Whistledown’ from Bridgerton

Tuesday 10 May 2022 15:24 , Chiara Giordano

Ms Vardy’s barrister Hugh Tomlinson told the court his client was not behind the Secret Wag column in The Sun.

He said: “Mrs Rooney thinks the Secret Wag column is a real life version of Lady Whistledown in Bridgerton, rather than a journalistic invention.”

‘Most improbable events’ included phone ‘falling into North Sea'

Tuesday 10 May 2022 15:19 , Chiara Giordano

David Sherborne described what he called a series of "most improbable events" that had affected the disclosure of evidence in the case from Rebekah Vardy and those around her.

This included Caroline Watt's "poor unfortunate phone" falling into the North Sea "within days" of the court ordering that, even though she was not a party to proceedings, it should be searched for disclosure.

"What terrible luck," Mr Sherborne said.

Trial will hear evidence from Coleen Rooney, husband Wayne, cousin and brother

Tuesday 10 May 2022 15:14 , Chiara Giordano

David Sherborne told the court that the trial would hear evidence from Coleen Rooney as well as husband Wayne.

Rooney's cousin Claire Rooney and Mrs Rooney's brother will also provide evidence, he added.

Mr Sherborne explained that the witnesses would say that "Mrs Rooney doesn't have a proactive PR... unlike Mrs Vardy".

"And unlike Mrs Vardy again, she is not so keen to get lots of self-promotion or favourable coverage," he added. "That was the motive, why Mrs Vardy leaked information to The Sun."

Mr Sherborne said witnesses will also explain that Mrs Rooney "didn't tell any of them she was making this sting operation".

He said it was a "surprise" to them when her post accusing Mrs Vardy was made.

Mr Sherborne said the trial would also hear from two independent witnesses - Penny Adaarewa and Harpreet Robinson.

Coleen Rooney ‘revelled in Wagatha Christie nickname’

Tuesday 10 May 2022 15:05 , Natalie Crockett

In a skeleton argument submitted to the trial earlier in the hearing, lawyers for Vardy said Mrs Rooney’s post that she had discovered the source of the leak was a “serious attack on Mrs Vardy”.

Hugh Tomlinson QC, representing Mrs Vardy, told the court: “We say this careful investigation was flawed from the start. Because it’s obvious for anybody who knows anything about the operation of social media and I’m sure Mrs Rooney does know something about it.

“The fact someone has an account doesn’t mean they are the only person who accessed it. Mrs Rooney was then dubbed ‘Wagatha Christie’. Something that she appears to have revelled in.

“She copied in her mobile phone, we recently discovered, the little photographs people had done making her up as Agatha Christie and so on.”

Only ‘two real suspects’ over leaking of Coleen Rooney’s private information

Tuesday 10 May 2022 15:00 , Chiara Giordano

David Sherborne claimed there were "only two real suspects" over the leaking of Coleen Rooney's private information, Rebekah Vardy and her agent Ms Watt.

He said there were some "hopeless, speculative theories" that a hacker was involved, but the barrister dismissed these as "wild speculation" with no evidence to support them.

Mr Sherborne added: "It comes back to the two suspects, Caroline Watt and Mrs Vardy herself. We say they were both in it together".

The barrister said it was "more likely than not that Mrs Vardy knew and approved Ms Watt passing in secret information about Mrs Rooney's private Instagram account to The Sun".

‘In essence this is a detective story'

Tuesday 10 May 2022 14:52 , Chiara Giordano

David Sherborne, representing Ms Rooney, has argued Ms Vardy is responsible for the leaking of stories even if she didn’t “get her hands dirty”.

He told the trial: “In essence this is a detective story and like any good detective story you don’t find someone standing over the body with the smoking gun in hand.

“Ultimately, they all end up so the finger points to the right suspect. This is where I’m going to say what we mean by responsible.

“Our case is that responsibility in real terms in common sense terms doesn’t mean it’s Mrs Vardy who has to pull the trigger herself, if she gave the gun and the bullets told her who to target where it was happening that makes her just as responsible.

“It’s like hiring a hitman or hitwoman so you don’t get your hands dirty.”

The barrister claimed there was evidence of Ms Vardy contacting her agent to pass on some “juicy” information and when asked by Ms Watt why she doesn’t do it herself she allegedly replied: ‘I just don’t want it coming back on me’.”

“We say that this sort of arrangement, this method, this understanding between the two of them is repeated throughout the exchanges we’ve managed to obtain,” he said.

Coleen Rooney in court ‘not because she wants to be but has to be'

Tuesday 10 May 2022 14:33 , Chiara Giordano

The hearing has resumed with Coleen Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne telling the court his client is appearing in the courtroom “not because she she wants to, she’s here because she has to be”.

“She’s been brought here because of something she wrote,” he added.

“She didn’t want to have to write it any more than she wants to be here.”

Court rises

Tuesday 10 May 2022 13:04 , Chiara Giordano

The court has risen for lunch. Proceedings will continue at about 2pm.

‘No information’ in evidence to show Vardy even viewed Instagram posts, barrister argues

Tuesday 10 May 2022 13:02 , Chiara Giordano

Mr Tomlinson continued addressing Mrs Justice Steyn by saying there is "no information" in any of the evidence that demonstrates Mrs Vardy even viewed Mrs Rooney's Instagram posts during the "sting operation".

He told the court: "Mrs Vardy does not actually know what happened, she doesn't know how this information got into the press, all she knows is what she did and she knows it wasn't her."

The barrister said Mrs Rooney's case is "entirely inferential" and that another line of her argument is to say Mrs Vardy has been "destroying evidence, she has deleted it and she has conspired to conceal all evidence of her wrongdoing".

He added: "This is untrue, there is no such campaign of deletion. The reason there is no such evidence against Mrs Vardy is because she didn't do it."

Posts shared on Rooney’s private Instagram account were ‘low-level chit chat'

Tuesday 10 May 2022 12:47 , Chiara Giordano

Hugh Tomlinson QC, representing Rebekah Vardy, claimed Ms Rooney’s private Instagram account was not private in the way most people would expect and only contained “low-level” information.

He told the High Court: “To become a follower, you have to be accepted by Mrs Rooney but it’s not private in the sense most people would understand it because it had 300 followers including businesses.

“It’s a repository for relatively low-level chit chat and bits of information that go to people who are not in any way close or intimate friends of Mrs Rooney.”

“She had no idea who had access to those business accounts,” he added.

Vardy’s agent withdrew witness statement saying she did not leak stories

Tuesday 10 May 2022 12:35 , Chiara Giordano

The court heard from Mr Tomlinson that Mrs Vardy’s agent Caroline Watt had recently withdrawn a witness statement from the trial in which she said she had not leaked stories.

Ms Watt also withdrew a waiver that might have allowed Sun journalists to say whether or not she was the source.

Mr Tomlinson said until these developments “Mrs Vardy believed that Ms Watt wasn’t the source of the leaks.

“She trusted her friend, that was Ms Watt’s own evidence.

“The result of all these developments is that Mrs Vardy doesn’t know what to think. She accepts that it’s possible that it may be that Ms Watt was the source of some or all of the stories.”