Rebekah Vardy backed by High Court in Coleen Rooney libel hearing

Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney

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Coleen Rooney “clearly identified” Rebekah Vardy when she made allegations about social media stories being leaked to the tabloids, a judge has ruled.

The row dubbed ‘Wagatha Christie’ broke out in October 2019 when Rooney said fake stories had been leaked after only being seen by Vardy’s Instagram account.

In July, Vardy filed for defamation, saying she had been falsely accused.

Her lawyer told the High Court he would be seeking costs of £22,913.50.

The initial argument in this case, which Vardy has won, has been over the wording of Rooney’s social media post, which she put up for her 1.2m Twitter followers and 885,000 Instagram followers to see last year.

Rooney named the culprit of the leaks as “Rebekah Vardy’s account” meaning her lawyers could argue it wasn’t implying Rebekah herself was guilty – and could have been anyone with access to her Instagram account.

But Judge Mark Warby ruled against this, saying the post looked like it was putting the blame solely on Vardy.

There are still further factors to be considered in the legal battle though, and this ruling marks the beginning of Vardy’s libel case.

Vardy decided to sue for defamation in July, with court documents written by her lawyers saying the incident had affected her mental and physical health.

When Rooney’s social media posts were released, Vardy was seven months pregnant and her lawyers claim they led to her being taken to hospital three times with anxiety attacks.

The pair originally became friends through their husbands, former Manchester United and England player Wayne Rooney and Leicester striker Jamie Vardy.

Social media was set ablaze on 9 October 2019 when Coleen Rooney pressed send on her Instagram and Twitter posts, accusing Rebekah Vardy of leaking details about her life to the tabloids.

In an effort to work out which of her friends had been sharing stories, she’d published different fake stories on Instagram to different people. The ones that made headlines, were ones being leaked.

Rebekah Vardy took to social media to deny any involvement in the leaking.

But things did take a more sinister turn – Vardy’s lawyers said her husband faced abuse on the pitch which meant they couldn’t let their young children attend games anymore.

Both Vardy and Rooney have agreed to a “stay” in proceedings – until February.

This means they’re going to try and resolve things privately without the need for a full trial, but if they can’t it could become a full court case in the new year.

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