25 May 2022 | 08:35 | Football
The high-profile defamation case between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney – branded “Wagatha Christie” – will finally go to trial on Tuesday.
Mrs Rooney Allegation that Mrs Vardy leaked ‘false stories’ about her private life to the media in October 2019after she said she underwent a months-long “stinging operation”.
The wife of former England star Wayne Rooney has publicly claimed her footballer wife shared three false stories she posted on her personal Instagram account, hence the nickname ‘Wagatha Christie’. sun newspaper.
The false stories included Mrs Rooney’s trip to Mexico for a “sex selection” procedure, her plans to return to television, and the flooding of her home’s basement.
Mrs Rooney wrote: “I have saved and intercepted all the original stories which clearly show that only one person has seen them.
“This is…Rebekah Vardy’s account.”
At the time, Mrs Rooney’s post was widely shared and heavily parodied on social media, including the Twitter account of then Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Mrs Vardy, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, has denied the allegations and sued Mrs Rooney for defamation.
Under UK defamation laws, the burden of proof will now fall on Mrs Rooney to prove her post was “substantially true”.
Now, after months of preliminary hearings, a full trial is expected to begin at London’s Crown Court – with neither Mrs Vardy or Mrs Rooney in attendance.
The case, which first went to court in November 2020, was ruled by a judge that Mrs Rooney’s post “unequivocally found” Mrs Vardy “committed to serious and consistent breach of trust”.
The judge, now Justice Warby, also said that “the element of suspense introduced by the multiple dots seems to me to be designed to raise expectations for dramatic revelations”.
Since then, there have been several hearings in preparation for the trial, one of which was a text between Mrs Vardy and Agent Caroline Watt, in which Mrs Vardy called someone a “nasty b****”.
In February, Mrs Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne told the High Court there had been “a series of unfortunate events” in the evidence in the case, notably Ms Watt’s mobile phone falling into the North Sea.
Mrs Vardy’s lawyer said she had “nothing to hide”.
Recently, Mr Sherborne told the High Court that Mrs Vardy “appeared to accept” Ms Watt as the source of the leaked stories about Colleen Rooney, which were published in sun newspaper.
Hugh Tomlinson QC, representing Mrs Vardy, told the court his client’s new witness statement did not contain “any changes in the defence case”.
Ms Watt was supposed to give evidence at the trial but was recently found “unfit” to participate and her written evidence was withdrawn.
Mr Tomlinson said: “We have no idea what Ms Watt’s true position is…she has not communicated with anyone.”
The trial before Judge Steyn is expected to last seven days.