SoccerJamie Vardy’s wife loses to Wayne Rooney’s wife
The defamation lawsuit turned in favor of Coleen Rooney against Rebekah Vardy.
End of a battle of influencers and wives of footballers who held the United Kingdom in suspense: justice on Friday ruled in favor of Coleen Rooney in the incredible lawsuit for defamation brought by Rebekah Vardy.
An investigation based on false stories on Instagram, settling of accounts between celebrities, a lawsuit amounting to millions… The case arouses such interest that it has its own nickname: “Wagatha Christie”, a reference to WAG (Wives and girlfriends ), an acronym used to refer to the companions of famous athletes, and to the famous novelist.
Rebekah Vardy, wife of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, is suing Coleen Rooney, wife of former England soccer star Wayne Rooney, after the latter accused her of leaking information about her in the tabloids.
Leaks curated by Rebekah Vardy
But Judge Karen Steyn sided with Ms Rooney on Friday, saying it was ‘likely’, as she claimed, that the leaks came from Ms Vardy’s public relations agent, Caroline Watt, who was acting with the backed by his boss. “Ms. Vardy was aware of this behavior and tolerated it, actively engaging in it,” said the judge.
London’s High Court, which released its verdict after a ten-day trial in May, had refused to give either side advance notice for fear the judgment would leak.
Coleen Rooney’s Trap
It all started in October 2019 when Coleen Rooney accused Rebekah Vardy of having transmitted to the tabloid “The Sun” “false stories” concerning her.
In a publication on Instagram and Twitter widely relayed and derided by Internet users, Ms. Rooney explained that she had realized that what she published on her private account was regularly published in the newspaper, which at the time had a section devoted to the wives of footballers.
Suspecting Ms. Vardy, she explained that she had carried out the investigation by “blocking everyone from my stories except ONE account”. She then posted fake stories about her life – including a trip to Mexico for an alleged gender-selective treatment for her child – to see if they ended up in the tabloid, which they did.
“I took screenshots that clearly show that only one person had seen” the stories, she said. “This is…Rebekah Vardy’s account.”
Ms. Vardy had denied and decided to sue Ms. Rooney for defamation. According to British law, it was up to Mrs Rooney to prove the truth of the accusations made. “I did not give any information to the newspapers,” assured Ms. Vardy before the court.
Rebekah Vardy says she is ‘devastated’
In her verdict, the judge admitted that the information revealed “was not deeply confidential and could be described as trivial”.
“But it doesn’t have to be confidential or material to be defamation,” she said. “This was information from private publications that Ms Rooney did not want made public.”
Rebekah Vardy said she was “extremely sad and disappointed” with this decision. “I brought this action to restore my reputation and I am devastated by the judge’s conclusion.” She indicated she had no intention of appealing, saying the ‘matter is over’ and implored those who insult her and her family to ‘stop now’.
Coleen Rooney ‘happy’
For her part, Coleen Rooney declared herself “happy” with the verdict. “This is not a deal I sought or desired. I never thought that she (Mrs. Vardy) should have gone to court at such a cost,” she responded in a statement.
The case so fascinated Internet users that they opposed during the trial with #TeamRebekah or #TeamColeen on social networks.
If Coleen Rooney, 36, and Rebekah Vardy, 40, became public figures because of their relationship with footballers, they have since been “people” in their own right. Followed by hundreds of thousands of subscribers on Instagram, they regularly share photos of their respective children.
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