Rebekah Vardy “appears to accept” her agent could be behind the leaks about Coleen Rooney’s private life, Mrs Rooney’s barrister has claimed at the High Court. The pair are currently locked in court battle after Mrs Rooney accused Mrs Vardy of leaking “false stories” about her private life to the media in October 2019 after carrying out a months-long “sting operation”.
Mrs Rooney, the wife of former Manchester United star and current Derby County manager Wayne, was dubbed “Wagatha Christie” when she publicly claimed her fellow footballer’s wife shared the fake stories she had posted on her personal Instagram account with The Sun newspaper.
Mrs Vardy, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, denies the accusations and is suing Mrs Rooney for libel, with the full trial expected to begin next month on May 9 and last seven days.
Speaking at a pre-trial hearing, the Mirror reports Mrs Rooney’ barrister David Sherbourne to have said: “Now Mrs Vardy’s case changed where she believes it may well be Miss Watts who was the person who leaked this,” Mr Sherbourne told the High Court. He said this was a “radical change”, as Mrs Vardy had previously said “Caroline Watt is not the source.”
“She says ‘How awful it is to be betrayed'”, Mr Sherbourne said, describing admissions in her second witness statement. However, Mrs Vardy insisted that Watt continued to deny being behind any leaks from Coleen’s Instagram account.
In written submissions, Mr Sherborne said that Mrs Vardy’s new statement “suggests Ms Watt was the source of the leak but claims that (Mrs Vardy) ‘did not authorise or condone her'”.
“It now appears…that she too ‘believes’ that Ms Watt is the source,” Mr Sherborne added. The barrister continued:
“As of the evening of April 27 2022, in an abrupt change of position to her pleaded case since the outset, Mrs Vardy appears now to accept Mrs Rooney’s case: that Caroline Watt, Mrs Vardy’s close friend and PR, was the conduit by which stories from the defendant’s private Instagram account were leaked to The Sun through her access via Rebekah Vardy’s account.”
Mr Sherborne told the court: “It has become undeniably obvious that Ms Watt is the source and Mrs Vardy, true to form says ‘it wasn’t me, I didn’t realise and I didn’t know anything about what was going on’.”
However, Hugh Tomlinson QC, for Mrs Vardy, told the court that his client’s new witness statement did not contain “any change whatever in the pleaded case”.
In his written arguments, Mr Tomlinson said there had “been important developments that have occurred” since Mrs Vardy gave her first written statement, but did not explain what they were.
He continued: “These are all matters that are relevant to the proceedings and the issues that the court will need to determine. It is appropriate for the court and the defendant to have the claimant’s evidence on these new developments in a further witness statement so that the claimant’s position is made clear.
“These developments are very recent. They were completely unexpected and outside the claimant’s control…it has taken her time to process and consider the new information.”
Rebekah and Coleen’s Wagatha Christie case returned to the High Court in London earlier this month as another hearing for the ongoing libel battle was held, ahead of the full trial which is expected next month.