Rebakah Vardy has lost her High Court defamation case against Coleen Rooney.
Vardy claimed Rooney damaged her reputation with her “Wagatha Christie” investigation into who leaked Instagram stories to the press, which Rooney concluded as Vardy.
Ms Judge Karen Steyn ruled that Rooney had managed to determine that the essence of the libel was “substantially true”.
A judgment released today, two months after the trial, by the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice found that Vardy and her agent Caroline Watt were involved in a series of false stories Rooney posted on Instagram, and that Watt relayed these stories directly to a journalist at The Sun.
Vardy was actively involved in the process, ruled Mrs Justice Steyn. She also found gaps in Vardy’s evidence. Watt did not attend the trial, and it was found that the main reason for doing so was because she knew that the evidence she was supposed to present (but then withdrew) was largely untrue.
“Ms Vardy did not call her close friend and agent Ms Watt as a witness,” read today’s decision. “Given the allegation that information from Ms Watt’s private Instagram account was leaked directly to The Sun journalists with the knowledge and consent of Ms Vardy, Ms Watt is a key witness to the matters in question, the absence of which is conspicuous.”
Key WhatsApp messages between Vardy and Watt from 2017 and 2019 were missing and the judge ruled they were intentionally deleted.
The 75-page ruling document also criticized the abuse Vardy has received online since the Rooney reveal post in 2019.
“Some members of the public have responded to the disclosure post by exposing Ms Vardy to heinous abuse, including messages making her, her family and even her (then unborn) baby want to become ill in the most horrific way,” the statement said Verdict.
“Nothing that Ms Vardy has been accused of, nor the results of this judgment, warrants or excuses exposing her or her family or anyone else involved in this case to such viciousness.”
A seven-day trial took place in the High Court in May.
Rooney famously posted on social media in October 2019 that she believes Vardy was responsible for leaking content from Rooney’s personal Instagram account. Rooney described in court her “stabbing surgery” to reduce the number of followers who could see her Instagram posts in order to find out how stories about her got into the press, particularly The Sun newspaper.
She planted fake stories on Instagram, eventually exposing them to just one account owned by Rebekah Vardy, who has always denied Rooney’s allegations and sued her for defamation in 2020, which she says was a last resort to “defend her reputation.” .
Wayne Rooney, Derby’s manager at the time, attended court almost every day of the trial, while Rebekah Vardy’s husband Jamie showed up on the day Wayne Rooney testified about a meeting the couple had during Euro 2016, when Rooney said, he was asked by manager Roy Hodgson to speak to Vardy about his wife’s newspaper column. The Leicester striker denied the meeting ever took place, saying: “Wayne is talking nonsense.”
(Photo: Getty Images)
Revealed Wagatha Christie