A pigeon and a chipolata? FFS! First week highlights of Rooney v Vardy
The high-ceilinged wood-panelled court 13 at the Royal Courts of Justice has been packed this week for the libel case brought by Rebekah Vardy against Coleen Rooney. The trial centres on whether Vardy was or was not involved in leaking stories from Rooney’s private Instagram account to journalists at the Sun. In the process the court has heard exchanges about emojis, slang and chipolatas.
Were the lads fuming?
Rooney’s barrister pressed Vardy on whether she had leaked a detail about unhappy players at Leicester City football club – where her husband, Jamie, is a star striker.
David Sherborne asked: “Did you or did you not know that the ‘lads were fuming’?”
Vardy replied: “Jamie and I never discussed whether ‘the lads were fuming’”.
Vardy began answering a question with the words: “If I’m honest … ”
Sherborne shot back: “I would hope you’re honest because you’re sitting in a witness box.”
Vardy’s problems with WhatsApp backups
Vardy said she accidentally lost all of her WhatsApp images during a dodgy backup that went wrong, while uploading the documents for disclosure to her solicitors: “Something odd happened as I was exporting the files.”
She was also asked how nine months of more recent WhatsApp exchanges with her agent had also been lost. Vardy told the court she may have “potentially switched phones” during the period but “I can neither confirm or deny that”.
The pigeon interview
Rooney has sat in the front row of the courtroom, accompanied by her husband, Wayne. She looked on intently as the court heard a quote that Vardy gave to the Daily Mail, shortly after the original leaking accusation was made: “Arguing with Coleen is like arguing with a pigeon. You can tell it that you are right and it is wrong but it’s still going to shit in your hair.”
A running theme of the trial has been the court struggling to understand how to interpret the emojis included in WhatsApp messages involving Vardy – including the difference between 😆 and 😭.
At one point, Sherborne read out a WhatsApp message sent by Vardy, saying “Poor Coleen” followed by “laughing emojis”.
Vardy disputed this characterisation: “I don’t know whether they’re laughing emojis.”
Sherborne replied, somewhat dismissively: “OK, crying with laughter.”
Peter Andre’s unfortunate cameo
Vardy was questioned about a 2004 kiss-and-tell story she sold to the News of the World.
The court heard she said: “Peter’s hung like a small chipolata ... the smallest trouser equipment I’ve ever seen.”
Sherborne asked Vardy: “Did you feel particularly strongly that the size of his [Andre’s] manhood should be made public?”
Vardy, arguing she was coerced into giving the interview: “It was something I was forced to say.”
What does FFS mean?
Sherborne asked Vardy about a term included in some of the messages: “What does FFS stand for?”
Vardy: “Can I?”
Vardy: “For fuck’s sake.”
Sherborne confirmed he just wanted to check he understood the term.
What is all of this about?
Sherborne finished his opening remarks by asking a question that has occurred to many observing the trial: “This whole court might just think: ‘Why on earth are we here?’”