Coleen Rooney vs Rebekah Vardy: Key moments from day three as Vardy breaks down in tears
During her third day in the witness box, Ms Vardy recalled discovering that Ms Rooney had named her on social media as the chief suspect behind the leaking of numerous fake stories.
She reacted to Ms Rooney’s “Wagatha Christie” post, saying: “Wow that’s war” in a message to her agent, read out in court.
Ms Vardy said that the day in question was “such a blur” and accused Ms Rooney of having “weaponised her fan base against me”.
Court proceedings were brought to a stop twice as Ms Vardy battled to hold back tears and her barrister Hugh Tomlinson QC told the court that Ms Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne’s cross-examination technique was “not very pleasant”.
Here are the key moments from day three:
Rebekah Vardy commiserated with Coleen Rooney about Sun leak
Ms Vardy messaged Ms Rooney to express her outrage that one of her Instagram followers was leaking stories to The Sun, the court heard.
Following a story dubbed the “pyjama leak”, concerning a picture of Ms Rooney, her husband Wayne and their children in bed, Ms Rooney posted angry messages to her followers saying that someone on the platform had started to leak stories to the press again.
Ms Vardy messaged Ms Rooney to express her anger that one of her Instagram followers would betray her in this way.
Ms Vardy said: “That is so bad! And The Sun of all people as well! Have you been through all your followers? No one with any celeb mag links? What about being hacked? I would be chomping if that was me! Not on at all.”
Nine months of messages between Rebekah Vardy and her agent have gone missing
Ms Rooney’s lawyer accused Ms Vardy of deleting evidence in advance of the trial at the High Court.
Mr Sherborne told the court that Ms Vardy had said that she exported her WhatsApp chat with her agent Caroline Watt on 15 October 2019, however the first available message in this chat is on the 25 July 2020.
“What has happened to all of the messages?” he asked.
Ms Vardy said: “I can only imagine that I potentially switched phones during that period.”
She later added: “I can’t confirm or deny but I think I may have changed phones around that time.”
Mr Sherborne alleged that Ms Vardy deleted these messages five days after the defence sent a letter to Ms Vardy’s legal team. The letter reiterated Ms Rooney’s desire to resolve the libel claim without it reaching court.
Ms Vardy has denied deleting evidence.
The court heard that evidence from Ms Watt’s phone was not available because she dropped it when “she was filming the coast line when on a boat trip in Scotland in August 2021 and was unable to retrieve it”.
Coleen Rooney’s legal team argued that Rebekah Vardy ‘deliberately concealed evidence’
Mr Sherborne argued that Ms Vardy “deliberately concealed evidence of the secret passing of information in relation to Ms Rooney’s Instagram account”.
Referring to the fact that no media images or recordings have been exported from the WhatsApp chat between Ms Vardy and her agent, Mr Sherborne said: “Your expert has described that as somewhat surprising.
“You know that our expert says that this indicates that someone has manually deleted these from the phone.
“Ms Rooney’s expert says that there is no other way that that happened... other than a human manually deleting those messages on the phone.”
Ms Vardy replied that the loss of evidence was “extremely unfortunate”. She said that the “audio or whatever they were would have been extremely helpful to me”.
The court heard that the laptop that Ms Vardy used to export her WhatsApp messages has now been damaged and Ms Vardy no longer has it.
Rebekah Vardy turned to Coleen Rooney and accused her of revelling in ‘my anguish and upset’
Ms Vardy turned to Ms Rooney in court and told her that she “quite frankly revelled in my anguish and upset” after the “Wagatha Christie” post went up.
The court heard that Ms Vardy had called Ms Rooney after Ms Rooney had publicly accused someone with access to Ms Vardy’s Instagram account of leaking stories to the press.
Ms Vardy was told about the infamous post by her agent, and responded saying: “Wow that’s war”, the court heard.
Ms Vardy and her agent Ms Watt also brainstormed a response to send Ms Rooney.
Ms Vardy spoke about the days following Ms Rooney’s big reveal, saying: “It seemed she had weaponised her fan base against me, and I was desperately trying to do something to diffuse the situation.”
Rebekah Vardy breaks down in witness stand
Ms Vardy started crying in the witness stand during questioning about whether she leaked a story about Ms Rooney’s flooded basement to The Sun.
Ms Vardy told the court in a wobbling voice: “There was a lot of abuse at the time” and started to cry.
Mr Sherborne asked her if she needed another break and Ms Vardy shook her head.
Justice Steyn suggested that the court take a five-minute break.
Ms Vardy then put her head down and covered her head with her hands. She stayed in that position, cradling her head for a few seconds before she left the courtroom.
Earlier in the afternoon court proceedings had paused because Ms Vardy had started to cry.
Rebekah Vardy admitted knowing agent sent private details about Coleen Rooney to The Sun
Ms Vardy told the court that she “didn’t think [her agent] was passing on any new information” to The Sun journalist Andy Halls for a story about Ms Rooney supposedly crashing her Honda.
Mr Sherborne asked Ms Vardy: “You didn’t object at any stage to the fact that Ms Watt was plainly passing on information from Ms Rooney’s private Instagram account to Andy Halls?”
Ms Vardy replied: “I didn’t think she was passing on any new information.”
Mr Sherborne said: “Take the word ‘new’ out of it. Did you, or did you not, know that Ms Watt was passing on information from Ms Rooney’s private account?”
Ms Vardy replied: “She was talking to Mr Halls about information that was already being discussed.”
Mr Halls’ story ultimately turned out to be incorrect, the court heard. Ms Rooney said she didn’t crash the car, instead a car drove into her Honda.
Mr Sherborne also confronted Ms Vardy with a message from her agent, in which the agent apparently admitted being the source of the leak to The Sun.
“It wasn’t someone she trusted. It was me”, Ms Watt wrote to Ms Vardy.
Ms Vardy and Ms Watt knew about the crash because Ms Rooney posted about it on her Instagram account.
When asked about whether this message proved that Ms Watt was leaking to The Sun, Ms Vardy said: “That seems to be what she is saying.”
Rebekah Vardy said it was embarrassing to be called ‘leader of the WAGs’
Ms Vardy told the court that it is embarrassing to be called “the leader of the WAGs”. She was referring to an article in The Sun in July 2018, which was headlined: “Becky Vardy reveals the secret to England’s World Cup success is down to the lads getting to spend time with their WAGs.”
Later on in the article, it described Ms Vardy as “the unofficial leader of our WAGs.”
That part of the article was read out by lawyer Mr Sherborne and Ms Vardy responded: “That’s quite an embarrassing statement.”
The trial continues.