Rebekah Vardy Wins First Round Of High Court Battle With Coleen Rooney

Carla Harmon
November 21, 2020

Rebekah's suing her ex-friend, after being accused publicly of leaking stories to the media about Coleen's private life.

"This makes it much harder for Coleen to prove the truth of the allegation because she will have to show that it was Rebekah herself who was leaking the stories".

She says Mrs Vardy was responsible, in any event, for the leak of the stories to The Sun newspaper.

Rooney's post announcing her sleuthing drew widespread fascination and tongue-in-cheek coverage in the United Kingdom, where the private lives of footballers' wives and girlfriends are frequently splashed across newsstands.

Another threatened "Snitches get stitches" and more freakish claims said Rebekah was involved in the disappearance of holiday youngster Madeleine McCann.

The result is ‘disastrous’ for Coleen
The result is ‘disastrous’ for Coleen

Vardy denied the allegations Rooney made past year on social media, and later chose to file a libel case.

Her online sleuthing won praise from followers, who nicknamed her "Wagatha Christie".

Referring to Vardy's legal team headed up by Hugh Tomlinson QC, he adds: "As Mr Tomlinson submits, the reader is told early on that Ms Rooney formed a suspicion; the rest of the post is telling the reader how she established the truth".

But Rooney's bombshell claim was quickly rejected by Vardy, who posted a screenshotted note of her own, saying she had "never" spoken to journalists about her fellow Wag. Jamie Vardy plays for Premier League side Leicester City but has also stepped away from global football. "Rebekah Vardy's account" - diluted the meaning.

The story was widely covered by Britain's national print and broadcast media.

Mrs Vardy's lawyers argue that Mrs Rooney's post created a "highly damaging, false and permanent "digital footprint" about her that has since become embedded in public discourse and continues to affect her.

Thursday's hearing was to determine a preliminary issue: The meaning of Rooney's post in the eyes of a reasonable reader.

Rooney first took to her public Instagram account in October past year with a post claiming she had found out who was behind leaks to the media from her private social media accounts. Mr Justice Warby heard one troll told seven-months-pregnant Rebekah: "You fat, ugly rat, I genuinely hope you and your baby rot and die an extremely painful death for what you have done".

Mrs Vardy's husband Jamie was also targeted with chants during football matches as opposition fans chanted slogans including "your wife is a grass" for up to five minutes at a time.

Rooney's post did not suggest anyone except Vardy could have been involved, he added.

David Sherborne, representing Rooney, argued that it was "true" that Vardy was "responsible for consistently passing on information about the defendant's private Instagram posts and stories to The Sun".

"The ordinary reader would not regard the post as merely telling him or her who it is that Ms Rooney suspects, or as simply raising Ms Vardy's guilt as no more than one possibility, among others".

Warby ordered Rooney to pay nearly £23,000 (S$41,000) in initial costs.

However, the pair's lawyers have agreed to meet for one final attempt to resolve the case outside of court, with a stay in place until February 8.

Giving his ruling the judge said: "This was, on its face, a considered post, using wording composed with some care".

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