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

·7-min read

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, 40, 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:

‘If I’m honest...’

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.

Rebekah Vardy denies being behind the leak of private information about Coleen Rooney (REUTERS)
Rebekah Vardy denies being behind the leak of private information about Coleen Rooney (REUTERS)

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.

Peter Andre’s chipolata

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.”

Who’s Davy Jones?

In a memorable moment, Rebekah Vardy asked the court “who’s Davy Jones?” following a nautical reference by Ms Rooney’s laywer on day three.

Mr Sherborne had accused Ms Vardy of deleting crucial evidence and complained that messages could not be recovered from her agent’s phone because it was “now in Davy Jones’ Locker”. Ms Watt’s phone was dropped into the sea on a boat trip in Scotland last year, the court heard.

Ms Justice Steyn had to clarify what was going on to Ms Vardy, saying “it’s an expression”. Davy Jone’s Locker is a metaphor for the bottom of the sea, where drowned sailors and shipwrecks ultimately go and it was popularised by the film franchise Pirates of the Caribbean.

Lawyer David Sherborne (PA)
Lawyer David Sherborne (PA)

FA seating plan quiz

Ms Vardy’s lawyer, 68-year-old Mr Hugh Tomlinson, had a more subdued style compared to the excitable Mr Sherborne. But in one of his more lively moments in court, Mr Tomlinson took on Footbal Association family liaison officer Harpeet Robertson - who had been called as a witness by the defence.

Ms Vardy had already shown her dislike of the FA employee earlier in the trial, so Mr Tomlinson opened with: “When you first met Mrs Vardy, the two of you never got on?”

“No that’s not correct”, Mrs Robertson hit out. “There was a bad feeling between you?” Mr Tomlinson asked.

“Not from my side,” maintained Ms Robertson, adding combatively that in her evidence “there are no assumptions just facts”.

Mr Hugh Tomlinson QC (left) with Rebekah Vardy (Getty Images)
Mr Hugh Tomlinson QC (left) with Rebekah Vardy (Getty Images)

Ms Robertson testified that Ms Vardy and her guests had sat near Coleen Rooney, in the wrong seats, at a Euro 2016 match so that she could get more press attention. “Becky’s evidence on this topic is simply untrue,” Ms Robertson said.

In an extraordinary exchange in court, Mr Tomlinson started quizzing Ms Robertson on how well she could remember seating plans from the Euro 2016 England vs Wales game – asking: “Joe Hart? Harry Kane?” Ms Robertson proceeded to recall where she thought their family’s seats were at the match six years previous.

Ms Robertson maintained that she could remember “Coleen’s seats and Mrs Vardy’s seats because I had to look at my notes on several occasions”.

Coleen’s written draft

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.

Coleen Rooney says she had no choice but to try to expose the source of the leak (PA)
Coleen Rooney says she had no choice but to try to expose the source of the leak (PA)

‘Don’t play games with a girl who can play better’

Ms Rooney posted a triumphant message after her “Wagatha Christie” reveal to her private Instagram followers, saying: “Don’t play games with a girl who can play better.”

Speaking about why she posted this Instagram story, she told the court: “I felt like I had found out who it was... It was a quote that I found, and I put it up, and it was just something that I did.”

Coleen Rooney says she believes Rebekah Vardy’s Instagram account is behind the leak (PA)
Coleen Rooney says she believes Rebekah Vardy’s Instagram account is behind the leak (PA)

Wayne in the box

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.”

Coleen Rooney embarked on a months-long sting to find out the source of the leak (Reuters)
Coleen Rooney embarked on a months-long sting to find out the source of the leak (Reuters)

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.

Jamie Vardy and his wife left the court early on Tuesday (REUTERS)
Jamie Vardy and his wife left the court early on Tuesday (REUTERS)

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”.

‘Wow that’s war’

The aftermath of Coleen Rooney’s bombshell ‘Wagatha Christie’ post was revealed in messages between Ms Vardy and her agent Caroline Watt. In exchanges submitted to court, Ms Watt sent Ms Vardy the Twitter message, saying: “Message her now and ask what the f*** this is x”.

“Wow that’s war x”, Ms Vardy replied.

Ms Watt councilled Ms Vardy: “You will have to say that you don’t speak to anyone about her but that recently your insta has even been following people you don’t follow... Just say you allowed a company to access it for sponsored posts and a former social media agency that worked with too.”


Coleen the pigeon

Excerpts from Ms Vardy’s Daily Mail interview, given the day after Ms Rooney’s reveal post, were read to the High Court.

Ms Vardy said in the interview: “Arguing with Coleen Rooney would be like arguing with a pigeon. You can tell it that you are right and it is wrong, but it’s still going to s*** in your hair.”

Ms Vardy testified: “At the time I was speaking to [the Daily Mail journalist] I didn’t know what to think, I didn’t know what to believe... I wasn’t thinking straight the day after this had happened.”

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