Wagatha Christie trial: Coleen Rooney calls messages between Rebekah Vardy and her agent Caroline Watt ‘evil’

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Coleen Rooney has been giving evidence (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)
Coleen Rooney has been giving evidence (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

Coleen Rooney has hit out at “evil” messages about her between Rebekah Vardy and her agent which have been aired at the Wagatha Christie High Court libel trial.

Vardy is accused of branding Rooney a “nasty b*tch”, attention-seeking, and a “c***” in private WhatsApp exchanges with her agent, Caroline Watt.

Speaking from the witness box on Monday morning, Rooney called the Wagatha Christie storm “ridiculous” but revealed she has “hated every minute of it”.

When Rooney, 36, publicly accused Vardy in October 2019 of leaking stories to The Sun, Vardy, 40, got in touch to say she “had zero interest in what was going on in my life”, the court heard.

“That’s totally untrue, she talks about me a lot without me even knowing about it”, said Rooney.

“There is no need to talk about me or my Instagram, especially with Caroline Watt.

“I don’t know what Caroline Watt looks like – I’ve never spoken to her, never met her.

 (PA)
(PA)

“I just feel the messages that went on between them were just evil and uncalled for, speaking about something you don’t know.

“I’m totally the opposite of what they described. I’m not a bad person, the words they used are just totally untrue and there’s no need for it.

“I’ve done nothing to them for them to talk about, and monitor, and stalk me.”

Rooney has been accused of “revelling” in the notoriety of the case, with images found on her phone of her mocked up as part of the Scooby Doo gang and as Miss Marple.

However Rooney insisted: “I have never spoken about this until this case, this is not anything I’ve dwelt on.

“To be honest with you, I’ve hated every minute.”

Earlier, Rooney was questioned on her preparation of the bombshell accusation against Vardy, after she had posted fake stories about herself on Instagram and whittled down her followers to flush out the source of the leak.

Rooney said she posted two “warning shots” to her private Instagram followers, suggesting she knew there was a leak, and says her suspicions that it was Vardy solidified when a story ran in August 2019 about gender selection in Mexico.

Rooney allowed the false story to run in The Sun newspaper, and told the court she believed it would help her secret “Wagatha Christie” probe.

‘Wagatha Christie’ libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney Wagatha Christie’ at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London

Rooney told her PR not to comment, and suggested telling the journalist that she could not be contacted.

“I wanted the story to run so I had evidence”, she said.

“I felt like that would be an extra step, for the papers to run it, I would have my story that only one account had seen. An actual story in the paper and a false story.”

When Vardy’s lawyer Hugh Tomlinson QC suggested Rooney had wanted the fake news to be made public, Rooney replied: “I didn’t want it to be out there, I wanted it for my own evidence. A story out there but it was totally untrue.”

Rooney confirmed that she “chose not to tell The Sun it was untrue?” and allowed her PR to “tell a little fib”.

Rooney ultimately accused Vardy of leaking from her Instagram account in October 2019, but had contemplated a public reveal after the gender selection story in August that year.

“I thought about what I was going to do. In the back of my mind I would have liked to do what I did in October on that day”, she told the court.

“But I felt it was too quick. I only had this one.

“That’s when I thought I would continue to do it again and see if it got the same account.”

The bombshell reveal came after a second story, allegedly lifted from Rooney fake private Instagram posts, was published concerning a flooded basement.

When Mr Tomlinson suggested she had been behind a “serious and concerted operation”, Rooney downplayed the complexity.

Rebekah Vardy arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)
Rebekah Vardy arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

“I found out whose account it was at the end of it. At the time of doing it, it was important, but I feel in public it’s been made a lot bigger than what it was”, she said.

“It wasn’t hard, anyone could do it. I feel it’s been made bigger than what it was. It worked for me and I found out at the end which account was doing it.”

Rooney, who finished her evidence on Monday, said she made a “conscious decision” to go public with her suspicions about the leaks to the press rather than confront Vardy privately.

“I decided that was what I wasn’t going to do”, she said, of speaking to Vardy.

“I felt she had a relationship with the press, I thought maybe if I did approach her she might twist it and she might say it wasn’t her, cover it up, somehow be nice and not truthful. So I didn’t give her that opportunity.”

She added: “I believed it was her account and she knew about it.”

One of her PR agents gave evidence on Monday afternoon and told the court she was kept in the dark about the ‘Wagatha Christie’ sting operation and was “gobsmacked” when she had to deal with questions about a fake ‘gender selection’ story.

Rachel Monk received a query from The Sun newspaper about the story, which was allegedly fuelled by false posts Rooney had planted on her personal Instagram account to find out who was leaking stories to the press.

The PR agent said she spoke to journalist Ellie Henman “off the record” and offered advice that the story did not sound true.

 (PA)
(PA)

“I thought there was absolutely no chance of there being any truth in this gender selection story,” Ms Monk said.

“I said to her that I just couldn’t believe or even imagine it being true. I did this more of a heads up off the record to Ellie because, even though there was nothing on the record, I saw no need for The Sun to run what I believed, from my knowledge of Coleen, to be an inaccurate story.

“Also because Ellie was a trusted and straight professional of mine, I didn’t want her to have her name on what I believed to be an inaccurate and ridiculous story.

“However, Ellie replied and told me that The Sun would be running with the gender selection story because “they had a screenshot” which confirmed their source. I was absolutely gobsmacked but had nothing further to add and we ended the call.”

Later a former Football Association staffer told the court she was subjected to verbal abuse when Rebekah Vardy and her entourage sat in the wrong seats at England’s Euro 2016 clash with Wales.

Vardy is accused of deliberately sitting behind Coleen Rooney to get better paparazzi coverage at the tournament game.

Harpreet Robertson, the FA’s family liaison officer who was in charge of ticketing, told the High Court she believed Vardy’s group had “chosen” to sit in the wrong seats.

“It was the worst moment I’ve had working at a match”, she said of the ensuing confrontation.

“I was just being told that we are not moving, we can sit where we want, do what we want, words to that effect.

“I was told where to go, basically, in not so nice language.”

The trial continues on Tuesday, when Ms Rooney’s husband, former England footballer Wayne, is due to go into the witness box.

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