Read WhatsApp messages between Rebekah and her agent
This is the lawsuit that has gripped the nation – Vardy versus Rooney.
Rebekah Vardy has sued Coleen Rooney for defamation following a viral social media post in October 2019 where Ms Rooney, 36, said she had carried out an “undercover operation” and accused Ms Vardy, 40, of leaking ‘false stories’ about her private life to the press.
The wife of former England star Wayne Rooney was dubbed ‘Wagatha Christie’ when she publicly claimed it was Ms Vardy’s account behind three fake stories appearing in The Sun after she published them on her personal Instagram account.
Ms Vardy, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, denies leaking stories to the media and is suing his fellow footballer’s wife for defamation, while Ms Rooney defends the claim on the grounds that his message was ‘essentially true”.
Evidence in the Vardy v. Rooney trial
As part of the trial, communications between Ms. Vardy and her agent Caroline Watt were entered into evidence and published at the Courts and Tribunals Website.
The following posts surround stories leaked to various journalists working for The Sun newspaper, including Andy Halls.
Halls was the named author of stories including; “ROO-INED MOTOR Coleen Rooney narrowly avoids injury in car crash and shipwreck just weeks after Wayne was arrested for ‘public intoxication’ in Washington,” “SIP HOORAY Colleen Rooney stunned venue guests Beckham’s favorite encounter while drinking wine from a bottle to celebrate Wayne’s comeback” and the article titled “COL’S BABY GIRL BID Coleen Rooney traveled to Mexico to look into 8k ‘gender selection’ treatment in a desperate attempt to have a baby girl.
Here are the WhatsApp messages between Ms Vardy and Ms Watt the day after Ms Rooney posted an Instagram post featuring a damaged car with the message ‘RIP half a Honda…’.
These exchanges follow a message from Ms Watt saying: “Babe Coleen unfollowed you???” The messages continue on the same topic for the next 25 minutes, then read:
First, in relation to the Car Crash Post, the WhatsApp messages between Ms Vardy and Ms Watt appear to indicate that Ms Watt was in communication with Mr Halls, the court heard.
In a later post, Ms Watt wrote to Ms Vardy saying ‘the sun had that picture of his car in America anyway’.
Other messages submitted into evidence include these, sent in February 2019:
In April 2019, WhatsApp messages between the two appear to indicate Ms Watt messaged Mr Halls to The Sun, conveying information provided by Ms Vardy regarding Danny Drinkwater, the court heard.
The defense has also submitted messages that it claims refer to other journalists, including these.
Referring to these latest posts, Paul Lunt, a partner at Brabners – the law firm representing Ms Rooney – said: ‘The defendant’s understanding is that references to ‘Jane’ and ‘Victoria’ are to Jane Atkinson and Victoria Newton , who are reporters for The Sun and who, according to the defendant, were responsible for the production of the Secret Wag column.
“The defendant infers that Ms. Vardy’s reference to ‘that other thing’ is a reference to the Secret Wag column and this explains the Sun’s reluctance to publish staged paparazzi photographs of Ms. Vardy while the Secret Wag column was ongoing (i.e. to avoid readers suspecting that Ms Vardy’s close relationship with The Sun meant she was a source for the Secret Wag column).
Disclosures in released court documents end with these as of August 2019:
Hugh Tomlinson QC, for Ms Vardy, and David Sherborne, for Ms Rooney, are expected to deliver their closing speeches on Thursday.