Coleen Rooney vs Rebekah Vardy: Key moments from day two of trial as Vardy admits trying to leak story
In a gruelling day for Ms Vardy, she revealed that she had tried to obtain payment from The Sun for a story about Mr Drinkwater, and conceded that she had directed her agent to look at Coleen Rooney’s private Instagram account to obtain information.
The wife of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy spent all day on the witness stand and was repeatedly accused of lying under oath by Ms Rooney’s lawyer, David Sherborne, who tried to paint a picture of Ms Vardy’s close relationship with the media and alleged that it was commonplace for Ms Vardy to direct her agent to leak certain stories to the press.
Ms Vardy denied that she repeatedly did this – but conceded that she had tried to leak one story about a Premier League footballer.
The two footballers’ wives are battling one another in the High Court over a widely circulated social media post in which Ms Rooney accused someone with access to Ms Vardy’s Instagram account of leaking “false stories” about her private life to the press, following a months-long “sting operation”.
The wife of former England star Wayne Rooney has been dubbed “Wagatha Christie” on account of her detailed leak investigation.
Here are the key moments from day two of the trial:
Rebekah Vardy said she tried to leak Danny Drinkwater story to The Sun
Ms Vardy asked her agent to get payment from The Sun in return for a story tip about footballer Mr Drinkwater’s car crash in April 2019, the High Court heard.
The Premier League player crashed his Range Rover through a wall on 8 April that year.
Ms Vardy messaged her agent saying she had a story about Mr Drinkwater being arrested. She told Caroline Watt that he had been drink-driving and had crashed his car with two girls in it.
“He’s only just been let out of the cells last night,” Ms Vardy wrote.
Ms Watt suggested that she leak the information to The Sun, and Ms Vardy reminded her to get some money in return for the story tip.
Speaking about her demand for payment, Ms Vardy told the court: “It was a fleeting thought and I haven’t considered it any more than when I wrote it.”
She said: “I am deeply affected by drink-driving ... At the time I didn’t care whether the information came out or not. It wasn’t a serious comment.”
“At the beginning, when I said I wanted paying for this, it was a fleeting comment. It was something I probably considered at the time but that was it,” Ms Vardy added.
In the message exchange, Ms Watt told Ms Vardy that The Sun already knew about the crash because someone inside the police station had told the paper.
Ms Vardy responded with a message saying: “F*** somebody else already tipped it.” She then told her agent: “I am fuming that I did not give it to you earlier.”
In court, Ms Vardy denied that she was angry that The Sun already knew about the story. “That’s not true,” she told Mr Sherborne. “I was annoyed that I didn’t give it to Caroline earlier.”
“Why are you ‘fuming’?” Mr Sherborne asked her. “I don’t know,” Ms Vardy said.
Rebekah Vardy and agent discussed leaking Riyad Mahrez training story to press
The lawyer for Ms Rooney said: “You message Caroline Watt at 11.26 in the morning on 1 February. You say Mahrez has not turned up to training again. The lads are fuming,” he said.
The High Court was told that the agent suggested leaking the information to a sports reporter.
It heard Ms Vardy had told Ms Watt: “I just don’t want it coming back on me.”
Ms Vardy said her comments were “speculation of bits of information that I heard and overheard, and also it had been in the press before.”
She claimed: “I was gossiping about things that were already in the public domain.”
Rebekah Vardy conceded she had directed her agent to Coleen Rooney’s Instagram
Ms Vardy admitted during cross-examination that she had directed her agent to look at Ms Rooney’s private Instagram account to find out information about Ms Rooney’s car crash.
In a January 2019 exchange, Ms Watt asked her: “Am I imagining this or did you say yesterday that Coleen had crashed her Honda?”, the court heard.
“She defo has ... Go in the Instagram,” Ms Vardy replied, according to court documents.
Mr Sherborne highlighted that on the first day of the trial, Ms Vardy had agreed it would be “wrong” if Ms Watt was looking at people’s private Instagram accounts while using Ms Vardy’s account.
He put it to Ms Vardy that, in this instance, she was directing her agent to Ms Rooney’s Instagram.
“Yes, I am,” Ms Vardy said.
The court heard that Ms Vardy and Ms Watt often talked about Ms Rooney’s Instagram posts, and that Ms Watt could log in to Ms Vardy’s own account and look at Ms Rooney’s posts in that way.
In one particular exchange, the pair discussed a story Ms Rooney had posted about a gender reveal.
“Coleen’s Instagram, wonder if they are going for baby five,” Ms Vardy messaged Ms Watt. “I already saw it. I can’t believe she’s posted it,” Ms Watt replied.
Ms Vardy told the court that she would gossip with her agent “about lots of different things we saw”, and she denied that her agent had been consistently looking at Ms Rooney’s Instagram.
Rebekah Vardy called Coleen Rooney a ‘c***’ for unfollowing her on Instagram
Ms Vardy reacted to news that Ms Rooney had unfollowed her on Instagram by calling her a “c***”, the High Court heard.
Ms Watt messaged her to let her know the news.
“‘Oh my God,’ you say, ‘I just saw, what a c***,’” Ms Rooney’s lawyer said, explaining that the exchange came after the alleged leak of information about Ms Rooney being in a car crash.
Rebekah Vardy cried in dock as court heard details of online abuse
Ms Vardy cried in the witness box while giving evidence as lawyers mentioned online rape threats made against her daughter.
Ms Vardy had to pause, take some tissues, and wipe tears away from her eyes as Ms Rooney’s lawyer mentioned the trolling and online abuse her family had faced. Ms Vardy insisted she didn’t need to take a break from her cross-examination. Mr Sherborne said: “I’m not going to take you through the trolling.”
Asked again a few moments later if she would like a break, Ms Vardy replied: “I don’t think it’s going to make any difference, to be honest.”
Rebekah Vardy denied that she was prepared to lie under oath
Ms Vardy denied the suggestion that she was “prepared to lie under oath” as she came under intense questioning at the High Court.
The denial came as Ms Rooney’s lawyer Mr Sherborne asked her about what he suggested were inconsistencies between her evidence in court and her witness statement, which he said stated that conversations she had had with her agent about leaking information were “never serious”.
He said: “I put it to you that when you say in that witness statement that these conversations were never serious, and Caroline would have understood that, that’s completely untrue isn’t it?”
“No, it’s not,” she replied.
He continued: “What this shows, Ms Vardy, is that you are prepared to lie under oath.”
She replied: “No.”
The trial continues.
Additional reporting by the Press Association