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Rebekah Vardy loses libel case against Coleen Rooney after Wagatha Christie trial

Rebekah Vardy has lost her libel case against Coleen Rooney.

The judge overseeing the case, Mrs Justice Steyn, delivered her written ruling on Friday at midday, following a week-long trial in May.

Rebekah launched a libel lawsuit against Coleen back in 2020, after she publicly accused her of leaking “false stories” about her private life.

Coleen’s original statement

In October 2019, the wife of Wayne Rooney claimed she planted false information on her private Instagram page and blocked everyone from her story – except Rebekah’s account.

The mother-of-four said stories about her basement flooding, returning to TV, and gender selection were only viewed by Rebekah’s account – and the false stories all made it into the press.

Coleen believed this was proof that the fellow WAG allegedly sold stories about her private life, but Rebekah vehemently denied her claims.

Their lengthy legal battle concluded with a seven-day trial at London’s High Court in May.

The highly-publicised trial saw both WAGs give evidence in court, as Rebekah tried to prove she wasn’t behind the leaks.

However, Coleen defended her claim in court on the basis her post was “substantially true”.

In her ruling, obtained by the PA news agency, Mrs Justice Steyn agreed with Coleen’s defence, and said it was “likely” that Rebekah’s then-agent, Caroline Watt, “undertook the direct act” of passing the information to The Sun newspaper.

Her judgement read: “Nonetheless, 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.”

Caroline Watt and Rebekah Vardy

The judge continued: “In my judgment, the conclusions that I have reached as to the extent to which the claimant engaged in disclosing to the Sun information to which she only had access as a permitted follower of an Instagram account which she knew, and Mrs Rooney repeatedly asserted, was private, suffice to show the single meaning is substantially true.”

During the trial, Coleen’s barrister David Sherborne argued that Rebekah had leaked information to the press in the past, and had a history of passing on private information through her friend and former agent Caroline Watt.

The WAG also declared it was in the public interest to expose Rebekah for portraying a “false image” as the “First Lady of Football” when she had been “secretly leaking information” about others.

Discussing Coleen’s viral “reveal” post, Mr Sherbourne said: “It is what she believed at the time… and it is what she believes even more so now that we have got to the end of the case.”

However, Rebekah’s barrister Hugh Tomlinson said Coleen “failed to produce any evidence” that his client “regularly and frequently abused her status as a trusted follower” of her private Instagram account by leaking information from it to the press.

Rebekah strongly denied Coleen’s claims in court, but on the final day of the trial, she accepted that her former agent Caroline Watt, who had access to her Instagram account, may have been behind the leaks. 

You can read the biggest bombshells from the Wagatha Christie trial here

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