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Rooney defeats fellow England footballer Vardy’s wife in the “Wagatha” libel case

Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney

Rebekah Vardy, the wife of an England football player, had her “Wagatha Christie” libel action against Coleen Rooney rejected by a UK judge on Friday after a trial that exposed celebrity sleaze.

According to High Court judge Karen Steyn, Vardy was complicit in her agent’s dissemination of negative stories to The Sun newspaper and that Rooney’s accusations against her were “basically true.”

While Rooney is the spouse of former Manchester United player Wayne Rooney, Vardy’s husband Jamie plays at Leicester City. Tabloid double-dealing and the lives of the wealthy and famous were exposed during the 12-day trial in May.

Roman Abramovich, the former owner of Chelsea Football Club, and Hollywood star Johnny Depp were also clients of the women’s attorneys.

The majority of the reported £3 million ($3.6 million) in legal expenses will now be borne by Vardy.

In a statement, Rooney expressed her “pleasure” at the result.

She regretted, though, that the issue had been taken to court “at such expenditure in times of difficulty for so many people, when the money could have been far better spent helping others.”

Vardy remained silent for a while.

Sophisticated sting

Wall-to-wall coverage of the trial resulted from interest in the lives of top-flight footballers’ Wives and Girlfriends (WAGs) and their extremely public breakups.

Coleen’s surgical boot and the pair’s high-end clothing made front-page news, and social media divided into two sides: #TeamColeen and #TeamRebekah.

The childhood sweetheart of England’s top scorer, Coleen, earned the nickname “Wagatha Christie” after she set up a sophisticated sting operation to try to find out who was responsible for the leaks and then made her findings public.

She explained, “It’s… Rebekah Vardy’s account.”

In addition to requesting “significant libel damages,” Vardy angrily disputed leaking stories that Rooney had only shared with a restricted group of friends on Instagram.

However, Vardy and her previous agent Caroline Watt were “party to the disclosure,” according to Steyn.

“It is likely that Ms Watt undertook the direct act, in relation to each post, of passing the information to a journalist at The Sun,” and that Vardy “knew of, condoned and was actively engaged in this process,” she ruled.

Rooney was required by English libel law to demonstrate that her claim in the post that she had linked the stolen information to Vardy was “substantially truthful.”

Rooney “had succeeded in proving” his point, according to Steyn.

Horrible abuse

During the trial, Vardy was subjected to a protracted cross-examination and even questioned over an interview in which she made fun of the pop singer Peter Andre’s penis size.

She was described as “an entirely unreliable witness” by Rooney’s attorney.

Vardy was “entitled to an award of considerable libel damages,” according to her attorney, for serious reputational loss.

In conclusion, Vardy “often and repeatedly supplied information to The Sun concerning a number of people… as opposed to simply Mrs Rooney,” according to Rooney’s attorney.

When Watt chose not to testify and was unable to produce the cellphone she claimed to have fallen in the North Sea, he accused her of working “hand in glove” with Watt.

Prior to the trial, the attorney claimed that Vardy deleted certain phone texts arbitrarily.

Accusing Watt of not knowing her agent was leaking information, Vardy’s attorney claimed his client “made mistakes” by trusting Watt. For his client, he described the issue as “severe and exceedingly upsetting.”

Vardy had experienced “vile treatment,” particularly when she was expecting her fifth child, Judge Steyn concurred. There was “no explanation or excuse” for such in the libel case, she claimed.

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