Rebekah Vardy loses libel case to Coleen Rooney, bringing 'Wagatha Christie' trial involving top soccer stars to an end
- Rebekah Vardy lost her libel case against Coleen Rooney.
- The verdict brings to an end to the high-profile saga involving the wives of two top soccer stars.
Rebekah Vardy lost her libel case against Coleen Rooney, bringing an end to the high-profile, yearslong saga involving the wives of two top soccer stars.
Vardy — the wife of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy — sued Rooney — the wife of former England striker Wayne Rooney — for libel after Rooney publicly accused Vardy of leaking false stories about her personal life to the The Sun.
In a now famous social media post in 2019, Rooney said that she had deduced Vardy was selling the stories by blocking everyone but Vardy from viewing her Instagram stories.
She then posted a number of fake stories, including one about "gender selection" treatment in Mexico, and waited to see if they would appear in The Sun. She said that three false stories that only Vardy had seen ended up in the paper.
"It's ………. Rebekah Vardy's account," she tweeted at the time.
Karen Steyn, the presiding High Court judge, said on Friday that Rooney's post about Vardy was "substantially true" and that it was "likely" that Vardy's then-agent, Caroline Watt, gave the information to The Sun, the BBC reported.
Steyn said the evidence "clearly shows, in my view, that Mrs Vardy knew of and condoned this behaviour, actively engaging in it by directing Ms Watt to the private Instagram account, sending her screenshots of Mrs Rooney's posts, drawing attention to items of potential interest to the press, and answering additional queries raised by the press via Ms Watt," the BBC.
Vardy said she won't be appealing the ruling, but insisted that the judge "got it wrong."
"I brought this action to vindicate my reputation and am devastated by the judge's finding," she said.
"The judge accepted that publication of Coleen's post was not in the 'public interest' and she also rejected her claim that I was the 'Secret Wag'. But as for the rest of her judgement, she got it wrong and this is something I cannot accept."
She also issued a plea to people who have been "abusing" her and her family to stop.
"As I explained in my evidence I, my family and even my unborn baby, were subjected to disgusting messages and vile abuse following Coleen's Post and these have continued even during the course of the trial," she said.
Rooney's detection work earned her the nickname "Wagatha Christie," referencing the nickname for the partners of British football stars – WAGs, meaning "wives and girlfriends" — and the famous detective fiction author Agatha Christie.
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