Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy’s High Court battle resumed today after their attempt to settle their dispute via mediation failed.
Coleen is being sued by Rebekah over a tweet posted in October 2019 that accused the wife of footballer Jamie Vardy’s Instagram account of leaking stories about her to The Sun.
In the saga dubbed ‘Wagatha Christie’, Coleen told how she planted fake stories on her Instagram and blocked all her social media followers apart from Rebekah’s account to out the leak.
Coleen claimed she saw the false stories appear in The Sun newspaper and she went public on Twitter with her allegations.
Rebekah, who was pregnant at the time, strenuously denied Coleen’s claims and said the stress of the tweet made her fear she would miscarry her child.
As the preliminary hearing in the libel case began today, during skeleton arguments, Rebekah’s legal representative Hugh Tomlinson QC claimed that her children have been “abused at school” amid the legal wrangling and that “it’s a very serious matter from her point of view.”
Rebekah shares three children with professional footballer Jamie Vardy and also has two children from a previous relationship.
Tomlinson made it known to the court that the WAG is applying to “strike out irrelevant material” so the court can focus on what is important amid the feud.
Vardy’s Lawyer told Mrs Justice Steyn how the case has generated much “entertaining” publicity and is known as the “Wagatha Christie” case but that the war of the wags saga is not a “trivial case” as far as Rebekah is concerned.
Mr Tomlinson added said that Rebekah – who is seeking for some material to be taken out of the case – did not it removed because she was “uncomfortable” or “embarrassed”, as Mrs Rooney’s defence team claimed.
He added that she is asking for the amendments to “clear the undergrowth” so the court can focus on the key issue in the case – if she was behind the story leaks.
Mr Tomlinson said he has identified 52 “issues of fact” which do not need to be part of the trial and that keeping the issues in will take up an extra three to four days of court time and will cost Mrs Vardy another £200,000. Mrs Rooney will incur additional costs.
David Sherborne for Mrs Rooney, said the parts of the case Mrs Vardy wishes to have excluded include the allegation she had an “exceptionally close relationship” with a specific newspaper which “published the leaked stories complained of.”
He said Mrs Vardy had “disclosed private information in the past” and had used her relationship with the newspaper and its journalists “for the purposes of promoting or financially exploiting her public profile.”
Mr Sherborne added that Vardy also sought the quash the “fact that the timing of positive coverage” of her was “strikingly close to the publication of other articles that contained private information from the defendant’s private Instagram” which were “also leaked to the newspaper.”
Rebekah also wants to exclude the claim it was her “habitual practice of providing private information to journalists and the press to promote her public profile.”
And she wants to remove the allegation she was the “primary source for The Secret Wag” – an anonymous gossip column which “disclosed private information about high-profile footballers and their partners including about the defendant.”
Mrs Vardy further wants to quash her disclosure of “sensitive private information about her sexual liaison with Peter Andre” and “confidential medical details about Danielle Lloyd’s pregnancy.”
Mr Tomlinson told the hearing at the High Court in London there were few examples of Mrs Vardy’s involvement with the press none of which were relevant to the case.
Both parties were well known and had “relationships with the media.”
Wanting the material taken out, the legal rep for Vardy asked: “So what?”
He added: “What has happened here is that the defendant has gone through the claimant’s appearances in the newspapers, put two and two together and made seven. It’s not true,” he said.
He said a five-day trial – without the issues, Mrs Vardy wants excluded – would cost £273,000.
A nine-day hearing including the material will cost £475,000.
Both WAGs will have to be “cross examined” in court and each will last at least a day.
A data analyst wants £9,000 to examine computer and phono evidence.
At a hearing in March Mrs Rooney – via her lawyer – branded the £897,000 cost of the case “grotesque.”
Lawyers representing both parties appeared at London’s High Court via videolink, earleir this year, where it was heard the case is expected to cost a total of £897,000.
Sara Mansoori, representing Vardy, said the two parties had tried to mediate to resolve the case but the matter has not been solved.
“Unfortunately we are here today,” she told the court.
According to skeleton arguments the case will cost both parties a total of £897,000 – with Rooney’s share £465,842 and Mrs Vardy’s £402,312.
Mr Samson said his client – Rooney – has told him the costs were ‘grotesque’.
Vardy’s defence said the costs were ‘necessarily high’ owing to the ‘extremely complex legal analysis’ of the case that involved a large number of media reports and social media postings.
Both parties were told to file revise budgets by June 18 and said unless they resolve the case it will go to trial before Easter 2022.
Coleen accused Dancing On Ice star Rebekah’s account of leaking ‘false stories’ about her private life in October 2019 after carrying out a months-long `sting operation’ which saw her dubbed Wagatha Christie.
The wife of former Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney claimed Rebekah’s account shared fake stories she had posted on her personal Instagram account.
Coleen said she planted three bogus tales about her travelling to Mexico to ‘see what this gender selection is all about’, returning to TV and the basement flooding in her new house.
She then wrote on Instagram and Twitter that ‘someone who I trusted to follow me on my personal Instagram account’ had been leaking ‘private posts and stories’.
“I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them. It’s… Rebekah Vardy’s account,” Coleen added.