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Wales Online
Robert Dalling

Nine explosive moments from the High Court 'Wagatha Christie' trial this week

The 'Wagatha Christie' libel trial has been in full swing at the High Court in London this week, as Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy exchanged evidence in the witness box.

They have been answering questions about the now-infamous sting operation by Rooney in 2019. Rooney, who is married to England star Wayne, accused the fellow WAG of leaking stories about her.

The 36-year-old uploaded several fake stories to her private Instagram account in a bid to find out who was “betraying” her before revealing it on social media. Vardy, 40 denies the allegations and is suing Rooney, the wife of England star Wayne, for libel.

READ MORE: Coleen Rooney claims Rebekah Vardy 'actively wanted to be famous' in Wagatha Christie trial

Here's nine of the most explosive moments from the trial so far:

Vardy invited Rooney for a sleepover

In her witness statement, Rooney said she received an “over the top” message from Vardy inviting her to stay at her house in 2017. She said the offer came after Wayne was stopped by police for drink-driving with party-goer Laura Simpson in Cheshire.

Rooney said: “I had a WhatsApp exchange with Becky in which she checked in on how I was doing and even offered for me to stay at her house if I wanted to get away from things. On the face of things, this was obviously a nice gesture, but I did think at the time that it was a bit over the top because Becky and I weren’t particularly close friends.”

Rooney joked about having to drive a Honda

One of the Instagram posts being discussed at the trial is about a picture of a damaged Honda Rooney posted after she had an accident in America. The court heard messages between Vardy and her agent Caroline Watt in which Watt tells Vardy The Sun are trying to confirm if she crashed it.

Vardy messaged Watt: “Haha yeah she defo did.” Giving evidence, Rooney told the court she had not crashed the car, as an article in The Sun stated, but a lorry had scraped the side of it.

She told the court: “Wayne’s football team was sponsored by Audi and they said we could get an Audi Q7. It was a spacious car, I have all four kids. The wait for the Audi was going on forever and ever. I didn’t enjoy driving the Honda. I was in it a lot. I’m not a snob. It’s just that the other one was more comfortable for me and the kids.”

She told the court she would “mock” the Honda on her Instagram account and in messages to friends, joking after the accident that it was “half a Honda”.

Vardy fell out with Sarah Harding after ‘trying to take a picture of the contents of her handbag’

Rooney said she heard Vardy fell out with the Girls Aloud singer after being spotted trying to take a snap of her handbag at the National Television Awards in 2018.

In a witness statement, Rooney said: "As an aside, I am aware that Becky had attended the 2018 National Television Awards and produced and provided various pieces of “behind the scenes” footage for The Sun.

"She also got in a spat with former Girls Aloud group member Sarah Harding during the 2018 event because Sarah apparently caught Becky taking photographs of the contents of Sarah’s handbag when Sarah had dropped it on the floor. Their dispute subsequently appeared in The Sun."

How Rooney ruled out reality stars Dawn Ward and Leanne Brown as leaks

Rooney said she went through her list of followers to narrow down who could be responsible for the leak, and ruled out Real Housewives of Cheshire stars Dawn Ward and Leanne Brown.

She said in her statement: “I have known them since I was around 18 years old and I had a social connection with them and had been with them at numerous private social events over the years and nothing had ever been leaked about those events.”

Giving evidence, she said: “Dawn and Leanne I have known since I was 18. I have been in their social circles many many times. There is information that could have leaked that’s never leaked.”

Rooney thought Vardy ‘actively wanted to be famous’

Rooney said in her witness statement Vardy “certainly stuck out to me as being someone who actively wanted to be famous” and used a “common tactic” of staging paparazzi shots. She also said she had “never had an issue” with Vardy and the pair “got on fine”.

But she said Vardy was “keen to be friendly with me and she was trying too hard and it was a bit too much”. She went on to say that in hindsight she believes the messages were “fishing” for information and thought being close to her would “help her own interests”.

Giving evidence, Rooney said she had never rowed with a WAG before. Rooney also said she does not claim Vardy leaked the information for money and added: “I have been around for long enough to know that there are various reasons why celebrities would want to maintain a positive relationship with tabloid journalists.

“Most importantly, to help unfavourable stories from coming to light and to assist with self-promotion.”

Rooney feared being rumbled if Vardy discussed her fake Instagram stories at a BBQ

In her witness statement, Rooney describes how she “overheard” two mutual friends would be going to a BBQ at the Vardys in August 2019. Knowing she had blocked everyone except Vardy from her Instagram stories, she said it was “possible” Vardy would gossip about her to the friends or mention one of the fake stories.

She said: “I thought ahead and didn’t want them to see that they were unable to see the stories that I had been uploading to the private Instagram account in case it triggered them and Becky realising that something was going on with the account. I added them both back on as followers who could see my Instagram stories for the duration of 31 August 2019 whilst the BBQ was ongoing.

“The only story that I uploaded on 31 August 2019 shows that it was seen by three. I removed them from being able to see my Instagram stories shortly after and continued on with the Sting Operation. I never mentioned this to anyone (including Wayne) which I found difficult, but I knew was the only way I could make this operation work.”

It took three attempts to perfect the Wagatha Christie sting

Rooney said it took her three attempts to understand how to block everyone from her Instagram stories except Vardy. She said on the first two ‘dummy runs’, she uploaded stories only to realise they had been seen by Vardy and another account.

Rooney said her first fake story was a picture of suitcases as the family were heading off on holiday to Mexico, and she planned to plant a story that she was there to look into gender selection. The second fake post related to a ‘measles outbreak’ at her sons’ school in Washington.

In her witness statement, she said: “I realised that I hadn’t successfully blocked all of my followers. It took three attempts to perfect the sting.”

Vardy does not know who Davy Jones is

The court heard Vardy’s agent Caroline Watt was unable to supply her messages between herself and reporters from The Sun. This was because her phone had “fallen into the North Sea during a boat trip in Scotland” in August 2021.

Mr Sherborne asked Vardy: “That article refers explicitly to a post on Mrs Rooney’s Instagram account doesn't it? I put it to you that that came from you through Ms Watt to Mr Boyle. Vardy said: “No, absolutely not.”

The lawyer continued: “The shame is Mrs Vardy, that [the journalists] Whatsapp messages with Mrs Watt are lying at the bottom of the sea in Davy Jones’ locker.” Vardy responded: “Who is Davy Jones?”

As journalists and members of the public chuckled, Mrs Justice Steyn, who is hearing the trial, told Vardy: “It just means at the bottom of the sea.”

Vardy compared Rooney to a pigeon

Excerpts from Vardy’s interview for the Daily Mail with Alison Boshoff the day after Rooney’s ‘It’s …. Rebekah Vardy’ tweet were read to the court.

Vardy said in the interview: “Arguing with Coleen Rooney would be like arguing with a pigeon. You can tell it that you are right and it is wrong, but it's still going to s*** in your hair."

She also said in the interview that “a dozen” people had access to her Instagram account - but in the trial she admits only four - herself, Watt, husband Jamie and his social media manager Adam Jones - had her login.

Giving evidence this afternoon, she said: “I thought beforehand that other people had access.

“Rightly or wrongly, maybe that interview shouldn't have been done. I don't know. At the time I was speaking to Miss Boshoff I didn’t know what to think, I didn't know what to believe and that's what I thought had happened. I wasn't thinking straight the day after this had happened.”

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