Rebekah Vardy to return to witness box again for ‘Wagatha Christie’ trial
The TV personality faced about half an hour of questioning on the first day of the trial on Tuesday, before about five hours of cross-examination by Mrs Rooney’s barrister, David Sherborne, on Wednesday.
Mrs Vardy, who was watched throughout by Mrs Rooney, who sat metres away in the courtroom, at one point grew tearful at the start of a question about some of the abuse she and her family have received.
Mrs Vardy will go back into the witness box on Thursday and is expected to finish her evidence, with Mrs Rooney due to begin hers on Friday.
In a viral social media post in October 2019, Mrs Rooney, 36, said she had carried out a “sting operation” and accused Mrs Vardy, 40, of leaking “false stories” about her private life to the press.
The wife of former England star Wayne Rooney publicly claimed an account behind three fake stories she had posted on her personal Instagram account with The Sun newspaper was Mrs Vardy’s.
Mrs Vardy, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, denies leaking stories to the media and is suing her fellow footballer’s wife for libel, while Mrs Rooney is defending the claim on the basis her post was “substantially true”.
On Wednesday, Mrs Vardy denied being prepared “to lie under oath” when she said conversations with her agent Caroline Watt about leaking information and receiving payment were “never serious”.
Mrs Vardy also said they were “gossiping” or she was “just joking” when questioned about messages between them allegedly about leaking information on a cheating footballer in 2019 and former Leicester City player Riyad Mahrez missing training in 2018.
In her written statement, Mrs Vardy said: “I have sometimes been caught up in the heat of the moment during conversations with Caroline where I have talked about ‘leaks’ and payment, but these conversations were never serious, and Caroline would have understood that.
“I have never been paid for private information about anybody apart from myself or my family.”
The court also heard Mrs Vardy told her agent she “wanted paying” for information about then-Chelsea player Danny Drinkwater leaving police custody after crashing his car in 2019.
Drinkwater was banned from the roads for 20 months and ordered to do 70 hours of community service after pleading guilty to drink driving.
Mr Sherborne asked Mrs Vardy whether she still stood by witness statement evidence, to which she replied: “Yes, apart from the Danny Drinkwater one.”
She later told the court: “When I said I want paying for this, it’s a fleeting comment and something I probably considered at the time, but that was it.”
Mrs Rooney is defending the libel claim on the basis of truth and public interest.
The court previously heard that both women have spent “hundreds of thousands of pounds” on the case so far, with the total costs of the case expected to be at least £2 million.
The fake stories Mrs Rooney planted on her Instagram during the sting operation featured her travelling to Mexico for a “gender selection” procedure, her planning to return to TV, and the basement flooding at her home.
In the post on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, she wrote: “I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them.
“It’s ………. Rebekah Vardy’s account.”