Wagatha Christie trial final day: The biggest developments as Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy's barristers give closing speeches

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·TV Reporter, Yahoo Entertainment UK
·7-min read
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Rebekah Vardy, wife of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice for the high-profile trial dubbed
Rebekah Vardy is at the High Court for the final day of Wagatha Christie. (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The Wagatha Christie libel trial finally rumbles to a close on Thursday after seven days of the inside story as they see it from warring WAGs Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy.

Both of the women's barristers will give their closing speeches after the trial having taken a break on Wednesday.

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The High Court will hear again many of the details from previous days, summing up the biggest points to consider in the case.

Coleen Rooney's team doesn't believe the WhatsApp messages were lost

Rebekah Vardy, wife of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice on the final day of the high-profile trial dubbed by the media as
Rebekah Vardy arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice on the final day of the Wagatha Christie case. (Future Publishing via Getty Images)

One of the strangest details of the Wagatha Christie trial has been Rebekah Vardy's claims that she could not provide vital evidence of WhatsApp messages to her agent Caroline Watt about alleged leaks of Rooney's Instagram posts because she managed to lose them while exporting them.

Vardy has said the messages disappeared in the process of being exported to a laptop; when asked to provide the laptop for recovery, she said it was broken and had been thrown out; when Watt was asked to provide her phone for a copy of the messages, it had apparently been dropped in the North Sea.

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Rooney's barrister David Sherborne made it clear he did not believe the messages were genuinely lost as he said: "It simply was not possible for what she claims happened to cause the loss of data on the device.

“Try as she might, Mrs Vardy’s counsel put the question again and again to no avail. It is not a possibility.”

Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy arrive for day five of the Wagatha Christie trial. (Getty)
Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy have clashed over alleged leaks of private Instagram posts. (Getty)

Mr Sherborne said there was “only one conclusion”, that Vardy had deliberately destroyed parts of the chat, adding: “It was done to cover up incriminating evidence.”

On the loss of Watt’s phone, he said 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.”

The barrister said that as there are two copies of any WhatsApp chat, Watt’s phone would have contained a full copy of what had been lost from Vardy’s phone and added: “It was therefore, we say, necessary for both to be destroyed. RIP Ms Watt’s phone."

Vardy's barrister Hugh Tomlinson later denied this as a "conspiracy theory" and added: "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. From Mrs Vardy’s point of view, she does not know either."

Coleen Rooney's team say the Vardys are unreliable witnesses

Rebekah Vardy and Jamie Vardy leave the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand on May 17, 2022 in London, England. Coleen Rooney, wife of Derby County manager Wayne Rooney, and Rebekah Vardy, wife of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, are locked in a libel battle dubbed by the media as the
Jamie Vardy made a brief appearance on day six. (WireImage)

Mr Sherborne also took aim at Rebekah Vardy's footballer husband Jamie, who appeared once at court for a brief visit during the trial.

He did not give evidence, but did have a statement read out outside of court calling Wayne Rooney's witness statement that he had been asked to speak to teammate Vardy to tell his wife to "calm down" nonsense.

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But Mr Sherborne said: “Of course it is not lost on the court that he was willing to give a press statement while not under oath, he was unwilling to give one for these proceedings.”

Turning back to the subject of Rebekah Vardy, Mr Sherborne said she had given “implausible, throwaway explanations,” during her time in the witness box.

Rebekah Vardy arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney continues. Picture date: Thursday May 19, 2022.
Rebekah Vardy's reliability has been called into question. (PA)

He said: “Mrs Vardy’s suggestion that she was unaware of Ms Watt leaking information from Mrs Rooney’s Instagram account is completely unsustainable in the face of Ms Watt’s message ‘it was me’.”

Vardy previously told the court she did not respond to this message because she was bathing her children and then discussed Gemma Collins “face-planting” on Dancing On Ice.

Mr Sherborne said: “Improbable enough we say, but particularly so (given) that the answer to her earlier answer in my cross-examination was that she didn’t really watch television.”

Rebekah Vardy's team points the finger at Caroline Watt

Rebekah Vardy the wife of England soccer player Jamie Vardy arrives at the High Court, in London, Thursday, May 19, 2022. A trial involving a social media dispute between two soccer spouses has been taking place in London. Rebekah Vardy sued for libel after Coleen Rooney accused her of sharing her private social media posts with The Sun newspaper. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Rebekah Vardy's barrister has said she 'accepts Caroline Watt could be the source of the leak'. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Hugh Tomlinson, representing Rebekah Vardy, appeared to shift the blame onto Caroline Watt, saying Vardy now accepts the possibility that her friend and former agent may have been the source of the leaks.

He told the court: “She does not want to be in the position of accusing her friend and former long-time agent of doing something wrong.”

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

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Addressing the lost WhatsApp messages, he said: “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. 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. From Mrs Vardy’s point of view, she does not know either."

Rebekah Vardy 'was just gossiping, not leaking'

Rebekah Vardy the wife of England soccer player Jamie Vardy arrives at the High Court, in London, Thursday, May 19, 2022. A trial involving a social media dispute between two soccer spouses has been taking place in London. Rebekah Vardy sued for libel after Coleen Rooney accused her of sharing her private social media posts with The Sun newspaper. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Rebekah Vardy's barrister was the last to make his closing speech. (AP Photo)

Mr Tomlinson said that while Vardy might have used the word "leaking", the information she provided to journalists was actually just "gossip".

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.”

The Rooneys and Vardys arrive at court for Wagatha Christie day six. (Getty)
The Rooneys and Vardys as they arrived at court for Wagatha Christie on Tuesday. (Getty)

Mr Tomlinson said of Mrs Vardy: “Yes, she’s prepared from time to time to discuss providing information to the newspapers about specific incidents and about specific people.

“Is that so similar as to what’s alleged here as to be logically probative that she disclosed information from the private Instagram? We say no... What’s actually happening is they are gossiping."

It also seemed the "calm down" conversation could have happened as Mr Tomlinson talked about the possibility of Vardy having arranged a paparazzi photo outside of a restaurant at the 2016 Euros.

He said: “It shows a completely different type of activity, arranging a photograph. Maybe Mr Hodgson was upset and maybe Mr Rooney was told to talk to Mr Vardy, but we say it takes the case nowhere at all and it is certainly not an example of leaking.”

Rebekah Vardy is seeking 'substantial damages'

Rebekah Vardy, wife of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice on the first day of the hearing on the libel case of Rebekah Vardy against Coleen Rooney after the latter accused her of leaking private stories to the press on May 10, 2022 in London, England. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
Rebekah Vardy on day one of the trial. (Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Before the end of his closing arguments, Mr Tomlinson addressed the issue of damages he said Vardy was entitled to.

He told the court: “This is a serious and extremely upsetting matter that’s been a great burden on her and her family over the post two and a half years.

“The defence of this case has been conducted in an extremely aggressive fashion. She’s been threatened with contempt proceedings, she’s been accused of conspiracy to deceive the court, conspiracy to destroy evidence.”

Mr Tomlinson said the “forceful” cross-examination of Vardy in the trial was “very upsetting” for her. He claimed that “serious harm to her reputation has been caused, the award of damages ought to reflect that”.

The barrister said he did not want to “bandy figures about the court”, adding that Vardy was entitled to “substantial libel damages” to “compensate her for the caused by the defamatory publication”.

Watch: Rebekah Vardy arrives for Wagatha Christie final showdown

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