UK’s infamous ‘Wagatha Christie’ trial reaches conclusion

Football ‘WAGs’ Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney had been locked in a fierce legal battle

Rebekah Vardy, the wife of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, has lost her high-profile ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel case against former friend Coleen Rooney, who is the partner of retired football legend Wayne Rooney.

The row began over three years ago and has long fascinated the British press and public with various television projects regarding the case currently in the works.

Coleen Rooney famously conducted a ‘sting’ operation on Instagram to find out who had been leaking the content of stories from her private account to reporters working for the British tabloid The Sun. 

Her revelation of the culprit by saying “It was….. Rebekah Vardy’s account” became legendary in the UK, but Vardy’s embarrassment led to her pursuing a multimillion-pound libel case in an attempt to restore her reputation while strong denying passing any information on to the Sun.

At the resolution of the case which started in May in a British high court, Justice Steyn ruled that the libel claim had failed meaning Vardy’s efforts were for nothing.

Justice Steyn concluded that “significant parts” of the evidence provided by Vardy weren’t credible and that it was “manifestly inconsistent with the contemporaneous documentary evidence, evasive or implausible” on many occasions.

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Vardy and her former agent Caroline Watt were also accused of deliberately destroying potentially damning evidence such as when WhatsApp messages on Watt’s mobile phone were lost after the item was dropped off a boat in the North Sea not long after a request was made to search its contents. 

Copies of the same messages were allegedly lost from Vardy’s phone while she was in the process of backing them up, and the judge commented on this as well.

“It is likely that Ms Vardy deliberately deleted her WhatsApp chat with Ms Watt, and that Ms Watt deliberately dropped her phone in the sea,” she concluded.

In Vardy’s defense, her barrister Hugh Tomlinson protested that his client would need to have been “very clever or very cynical” to have manually deleted the WhatsApp messages with an “extraordinarily complicated conspiracy” taking place to dispose of all the evidence.

Furthermore, though, the judge also found it likely that Vardy “knew of, condoned and was actively engaged” in Watts’ process of leaking stories regarding Rooney to the Sun.

Vardy suffered further damage to her reputation even before the verdict in the seven-day trial.

This came through painful cross-examination and accounts of her selling kiss-and-tell stories to the tabloids about Australian singer Peter Andre, plus trying to sell another to the press about ex-Chelsea star Danny Drinkwater’s drink-driving shame.

She was ridiculed regarding the loss of crucial evidence in court, where extremely personal WhatApp messages she sent were also read out, and tried to shift the blame onto Watt about the leaks of Rooney’s stories. 

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© Instagram / coleen_rooney | beckyvardy
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Rooney’s legal team admitted they did not boast a ‘smoking gun’ that proved that Vardy was responsible for the leaks, but they argued that their accusation was true due to circumstantial evidence while also insisting that Rooney making the accusation against Vardy was within public interest.

Due to juries being effectively abolished in English and Welsh libel trials, there was no instant verdict in May when the case’s hearings finished.

But now both women can put the saga behind them, with Vardy coming out of the debacle with her reputation further tarnished. 

Vardy’s legal team told the court that their client’s life had been made a living hell due to Rooney’s public accusations, which made her a target open to mockery, social media abuse, and negative chants when husband Jamie played football which may not cease moving forward.