‘Wagatha Christie’: Vardy loses to Rooney in celebrity libel trial

A UK judge Friday effectively branded England footballer’s wife Rebekah Vardy a liar, rejecting her “Wagatha Christie” libel suit against Coleen Rooney following a trial that lifted the lid on celebrity skullduggery.

High Court judge Karen Steyn found that allegations made by Rooney against Vardy were “substantially true” and that Vardy was complicit in the release of damaging stories to The Sun newspaper by her agent.

The women’s lawyers had also represented Hollywood actor Johnny Depp and Chelsea Football Club’s former owner Roman Abramovich. 

Rooney said in a statement that she was “pleased” by the outcome.

There was no immediate comment from Vardy.

Fascination with the lives of the wives and girlfriends (WAGs) of top-flight footballers — and their very public falling-out — produced wall-to-wall coverage of the trial.

Coleen, the childhood sweetheart of England’s leading goal scorer, was dubbed “Wagatha Christie” after she set up an elaborate sting to try to determine who was behind the leaks, then announced her findings publicly.

Vardy vehemently denied leaking stories that Rooney only shared with selected friends on Instagram and had sought “substantial libel damages”.

“It is likely that Ms Watt undertook the direct act, in relation to each post, of passing the information to a journalist at The Sun,” and that Vardy “knew of, condoned and was actively engaged in this process,” she ruled.

Steyn ruled that Rooney “had succeeded in proving” that point.

Vardy faced lengthy cross-examination during the trial and was even questioned on an interview where she derided the penis size of her previous boyfriend, the pop singer Peter Andre.

But her lawyer said Vardy was “entitled to an award of substantial libel damages” for serious harm to her reputation.

He accused her of being “hand in glove” with Watt, who did not testify and was unable to present a mobile phone she said she had dropped in the North Sea.

Vardy’s lawyer said his client “made mistakes” by trusting Watt, claiming she was unaware her agent was leaking stories. He said the case had been “serious and extremely upsetting” for his client.

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Originally published as ‘Wagatha Christie’: Vardy loses to Rooney in celebrity libel trial


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