The most explosive moments from the Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy libel trial
Final arguments have been given and it’s up to Ms Justice Steyn to decide whether it was in fact... Rebekah Vardy’s account.
Playing out over six days in courtroom number 13 at the Royal Courts of Justice, the libel trial involving Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy has drawn to a close — and it garnered quite a bit of attention online.
It seems as though everyone and their mother were keeping a close eye on the court proceedings in what’s become known as the Wagatha Christie libel trial. Translating tabloid culture and feuding friendships into a legal whodunit in the age of social media, the private lives of these celebrities have been thoroughly publicised.
If you somehow managed to miss the origins of this particular story almost three years ago, allow me to refresh your memory. In a Tweet that essentially broke the internet, Coleen Rooney revealed that a follower on her private Instagram account had been leaking personal information to The Sun.
Since she had her own suspicions of who was to blame, Rooney did her own bit of detective work, removing all other accounts from her private story bar one. Posting made-up stories in the hopes that Vardy would prove her point, this level of sleuthing certainly warrants the title of Wagatha Christie.
Building suspense, Rooney let the world know that it was…….. Rebecca Vardy’s account.
This has been a burden in my life for a few years now and finally I have got to the bottom of it…… pic.twitter.com/0YqJAoXuK1
— Coleen Rooney (@ColeenRoo) October 9, 2019
Vardy has denied the allegations, calling Rooney’s Tweet an “untrue and unjustified defamatory attack”. She began libel proceedings in 2020. Unable to reach a settlement out of court, the case went to trial — and what a trial it was.
From Davy Jones’ Locker to Peter Andre’s chipolata, here are some of the most explosive moments from the Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy libel trial.
“If I’m honest”
A ‘yikes’ moment by anyone’s standards, when Vardy was asked about a message exchange with her agent Caroline Watt, she said, “If I’m honest I can’t remember”. When you’re under oath, that’s not exactly the best turn of phrase to reach for. Rooney’s lawyer — David Sherborne, who had accused Vardy of lying throughout the course of the trial — was quick to respond with: “I’d much rather you are honest because you are sitting in a witness box in a trial.” Fair.
Good old Davy Jones
When accused of deleting crucial evidence that could not be recovered from her agent’s phone, which happened to have been dropped into the sea in Scotland, Mr Sherborne said it’s “now in Davy Jones’ Locker.” A metaphor relating to the bottom of the sea that seemed to go over Vardy’s head, she asked the court “who’s Davy Jones?” The judge then clarified that it’s “just an expression”.
A public claim of betrayal
During the course of the trial, Vardy claimed that Rooney’s online ‘sting’ operation ruined the final months of her pregnancy, stating that she was “in such a state of anxiety that [she] found it really difficult to relax and enjoy what should have been a special time” The written statement also said that “the thing that really gets me is the fact she knew I was pregnant and must have realised the impact a public claim of betrayal would have on me”.
Coleen’s husband Wayne Rooney took to the witness box to tell the High Court that he had an ‘awkward’ conversation with Rebekah’s husband, Jamie Vardy, in the hopes that he would persuade his wife to ‘calm down’ during Euro 2016 at the request of England manager Roy Hodgson. While Vardy’s legal team denied that the conversation took place, Mr Rooney said, “I’m sat here under oath. I 100 per cent spoke to Mr Vardy about this situation”.
While Jamie Vardy missed much of his wife’s testimony, the Leicester City striker issued a statement outside of court. “Wayne is talking nonsense,” he said. “He must be confused because he never spoke to me about issues concerning Becky’s media work at Euro 2016.”
Peter Andre’s chipolata
Poor old Peter Andre got dragged into things when Rooney’s lawyer — in an attempt to illustrate Vardy’s lack of respect for people’s privacy — read a line from a 2004 interview. “Peter’s hung like a small chipolata, shaved, slobbery, lasts five minutes.” Reading on, Mr Sherborne continued to quote Vardy as having said that Andre had “the smallest trouser equipment I’ve ever seen”. Vardy told the court that it was one of her ‘biggest regrets’.
Arguing with a pigeon
In an interview with the Daily Mail given just a day after Rooney’s Twitter takedown, Vardy said, “Arguing with Coleen Rooney would be like arguing with a pigeon. You can tell it that you are right and it is wrong, but it’s still going to shit in your hair.” Vardy told the court that she “wasn’t thinking straight the day after this had happened.”
So, yeah, the whole case was a bit wild, to say the least. Having heard from both sides, it’s up to Ms Justice Steyn to give her decision in writing at a later date, yet to be set. If Vardy wins the case, tens of thousands of pounds worth of damages would be awarded. On the other hand, if Rooney wins, Rebekah Vardy will be left to pay legal fees and could even face a counter case for infringement of privacy.
Time will tell.