Wagatha Christie Coleen Rooney is expected to give evidence at the High Court today, as the legal battle with arch rival Rebekah Vardy rumbles on
Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will auto-play soon8CancelPlay nowColeen Rooney and Rebekah return to court for trialKey Events
- Coleen reveals how leaks made her feel vulnerable at height of marriage woes13:19
- Coleen rolls up her sleeves as she takes to the stand 12:22
- Rebekah breaks down in tears as she says how she felt she was being “mocked” 11:46
- Rebekah says Peter Andre ‘chipolata’ article was ‘shameful’11:04
- Becky handed over Insta account to agent while she was on I’m A Celeb10:53
ByConnie RuskAssistant Showbiz Editor
- Updated17:04, 13 May 2022
Coleen Rooney took to the stand at the High Court today for day four of the explosive Wagatha Christie trial.
So far the bitter battle has seen Rebekah Vardy, 40, compare her arch rival to a 'pigeon that s***s in your hair' after the WAG's infamous Instagram post and break down in tears as texts with her agent about Rooney's personal Instagram were read out in court.
The three-year defamation case centres around Rooney, 36, accusing Vardy of leaking "false stories" about her private life in October 2019 after she said she carried out a months-long “sting operation” which saw her dubbed “Wagatha Christie”.
Vardy denies the allegations and has sued the fellow footballer’s wife for damages for libel over the "untrue and unjustified defamatory attack".
WAG Vardy has been arriving at court surrounded by burly security guards clad in full designer gear while Rooney has been flanked by hubby Wayne.
For full coverage of yesterday's jaw-dropping case – read our recap here.
16:38Katherine HeslopCourt adjourns as Coleen says Rebekah had a "desire to be famous"
Rooney said she had considered everyone with access to her account as a possible suspect..
But she said: "There was not one other person on my private Instagram who added up to be in a position to give this information over.''
She said Vardy had a "desire to be famous".
"She wanted to be kept relevant,'' Rooney said.
"I felt like what she was getting back from giving my Instagram posts was to be kept in the newspaper regularly…"
Rooney said she had no problem with Vardy revealing information about herself "just as long as it's got nothing to do with me".
She said: "I have never had a drink with Rebekah Vardy.
"I have never socially interacted with her."
"We have met up occasionally through football.
"But we have never met up socially.''
She said the only time she had spoken on the phone to Vardy was the day she did her reveal post.
Earlier, Rooney said of her sting operation: "This whole thing was not something I just thought of overnight. I did think of it over a long time.''
16:29Katherine HeslopCourt sketch shows Coleen taking the stand
In a court sketch Coleen can be seen giving evidence to Hugh Tomlinson, QC, for Rebekah, today.
Coleen arrived at court for the fourth day of the trial in a cream ensemble.
Today she has spoken of the emotional toll the alleged leaking from her personal Instagram account took on her and why she went ahead with the 'Wagatha Christie' sting.
In another sketch Coleen's husband Wayne, who has accompanied her throughout the trial, watched on as his wife gave evidence.
(Image:Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire)16:16Katherine Heslop’WAG isn’t a disrespectful term- I just don’t use that word’- says Coleen
Continuing to talk about the car crash story, Tomlinson suggests anyone who saw Coleen driving around the US in her damaged car could have tipped off the newspaper.
Rooney accepted that but said the timing was so close to her private Instagram post and the article appeared to describe the picture she had posted.
She said she could not understand why Vardy – on her account in court – had taken it upon herself to confirm news of the crash to a national newspaper.
"I have never had to confirm anybody else's information to the newspaper,'' Rooney said.
"I would never confirm information on someone else's behalf.''
Rooney said after the leak she decided to review the followers on her private Instagram account.
Tomlinson asked: “That's quite a job isn't it?''
Rooney replied: "Yes, it is. But it's quite easy to do on a phone.''
Tomlinson suggested some of the followers are WAGs.
Rooney said: "Wives and girlfriends of footballers.''
The QC replied: "Sorry WAG is perhaps disrespectful.''
Rooney responded: "No, it's not disrespectful. It's just I don't use that word.''
She said she knows all the other WAGs who follow her private account very well.
She had known Dawn Ward and Leanne Brown for years while Annie Kilner was her neighbour.
"I have never fallen out with any of these people,'' she said.
"I have never had a fall out with any other wife or girlfriend of another footballer,'' she told the court.
15:53Connie RuskColeen agrees anyone who saw damaged Honda could have leaked story
Coleen agreed with Mr Tomlinson anybody who saw the damaged Honda would have known about it and the story could have made its way to The Sun without someone seeing her private Instagram account.
Mr Tomlinson said: "This information could at any time have come to The Sun without anybody looking at your posts at all."
"They could, yes," she replied.
15:24Connie RuskColeen ‘inundated’ with messages after ‘going through difficult time in marriage’ (Image:PA)
Coleen was asked questions about a post she said she made on her private Instagram account in 2017 that featured her then three children with the caption "no matter where I am they always follow me, and I hope that lasts forever".
She told the court the post was made when she was “going through a difficult time in my marriage” and had just returned from a family holiday.
Coleen said she deleted the post because she was “inundated” with messages asking “if I was OK”, with Mr Tomlinson telling the court that Mrs Vardy also sent a “supportive” message.
“I wasn’t in any state of mind to reply to any messages,” Mrs Rooney said.
The Liverpudlian beauty claimed the text in the post later featured in a Sun article about the state of her marriage.
Mr Tomlinson put it to Mrs Rooney that there was not “a shred of evidence” Becky had leaked this post.
“It was someone who was on my Instagram account and I believe that it was Mrs Vardy,” the WAGreplied.
15:14Connie RuskRooney says how she "didn’t have a clue" at first who was behind leaks
Rooney told the court: "Early on I didn't have a clue who was doing it to me.''
She said she was now sure Vardy had leaked the fake tales and believed she was behind other leaks.
The WAG revealed she had over 100,000 photos on her phone which her solicitors had been through to prepare the case.
15:00Connie RuskRooney questioned Vardy’s motives to sitting behind her at EurosRebekah and Coleen pictured in 2016 (Image:Daily Mirror)
Tomlinson is now asking about the Euro 2016 when Vardy sat behind Rooney in the crowd.
Rooney said she was told at the time that there had been a "mix up" with the seats and her agent Paul Stretford had told her Vardy was sitting behind her because she wanted to get a picture.
She said she did not believe it at the time that anyone would do anything like that.
"I thought it was a load of nonsense,'' she said.
When she was at an England game two years later – after the 2018 World Cup in Russia – she spoke to an another FA official and asked how the World Cup had gone.
Rooney said: "I was told it was ok, we missed you a lot but it was hard work with Rebekah Vardy.''
She said that prompted her to ask if Vardy had actually sat behind her for a photo two years earlier and was told it was true.
Rooney said that was one of the things that came to mind when she was trying to work out who was leaking her private information.
Tomlinson suggested the seat row was a 'storm in a teacup'.
Rooney said: "I was not bothered. I am not a gossip. I won't say something unless I know it to be true.''
14:48Connie RuskColeen "fuming" when she decided to go public with Wagatha Christie post
Coleen said she thought Rebekah would “try to explain it away or pretend to be my friend” if she confronted her fellow footballer’s wife privately about alleged leaks.
She wrote in her witness statement: “Nobody had ever contacted me in advance of leaking my posts and stories to The Sun to ask if I was okay with it – on the contrary, I had made it abundantly clear that I was unhappy about the leaks and they continued regardless.
“I took the view that enough warning had already been given and decided to go public.”
She continued: “I had never actually spoken to Becky on the phone before, or met up just the two of us, so we didn’t really have that direct kind of relationship.
“I also knew that she had a very close relationship with the media so I thought that if I confronted her privately then she would probably just try to explain it away or pretend to be my friend and supportive, as she had done before, and then spin the narrative publicly.
“I was also fuming at the time.”
14:20Connie RuskVardy’s lawyer says Coleen has ‘no evidence’ Vardy was behind the leaks
Vardys lawyer Tomlinson has suggested Coleen had no evidence Vardy was the source of the two fake stories Rooney claims are the result of leaks.
"I believe I do,'' Rooney said.
"I believe it has come from the account and I believe Mrs Vardy knew that it was happening – whether it was Mrs Vardy herself or someone he has given permission to.''
Tomlinson replied in a dig to Wayne's team: "Your belief is not evidence Mrs Rooney. You might believe Derby County may win the Premiership within two years but it does not mean it's going to happen.''
14:17Connie Rusk’No-one knew about the sting but me’, says Coleen Coleen says no-one knew about the sting but her (Image:REX/Shutterstock)
Coleen wanted to catch the account responsible for leaking her information “red-handed”, she told the court in her written evidence.
In her witness statement, the WAG said she had made two warning posts and temporarily removed Rebekah Vardy from her account “but nothing had worked”.
She continued: “I wanted to catch the account responsible ‘red-handed’ as it were and so I came up with a plan.”
Describing her plan, Mrs Rooney said: “I decided that I would invent and fabricate a story, limit accessibility in such a way so that it was only Becky’s Instagram account that could view it, upload it to Instagram via Instagram Stories for a period of 24 hours so that it was only ‘Seen By’ Becky’s Instagram account and then I would wait and see whether my fabricated/invented story, which had only been seen by Becky’s Instagram account, appeared in The Sun.”
She added: “For the avoidance of any doubt, I did not mention this plan or the content of the Sting Operation to anyone or discuss it with any person at any time.
“Nobody knew the detail of what was going on apart from me. It killed me not telling anyone about it but I managed it.”
14:01Connie RuskColeen pretended kids had unfollowed Becky as she began to lay sting trap
Coleen Rooney said that she reaccepted Rebekah Vardy to follow her private Instagram account in March 2019 but "definitely" suspected her of leaking stories from it.
Mrs Rooney wrote: "In any event, whilst I definitely already suspected Becky, and, for me, rightly so, I wanted to be 100% certain who was responsible for the leaks and so I replied to Becky to blame the kids for messing around with my phone and I accepted her as a follower again on the private Instagram account.
"I can see that Becky and Caroline (Watt) had a further exchange about the matter on the same day and Caroline said ‘she’s as bad a liar as her s***ehouse husband’."
13:52Connie RuskColeen ‘suspicious’ by Becky’s ‘outrage’ after she removed her as a followerColeen Rooney is expected to take to the stand at the High Court today for day four of the explosive Wagatha Christie trial. (Image:Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
In her witness statement, Coleen Rooney said that Rebekah Vardy and her agent seemed to be “outraged” after Mrs Vardy’s account was removed as a follower of Mrs Rooney’s private Instagram.
Discussing how Mrs Vardy had then messaged her in March 2019, Mrs Rooney said: “Becky’s approach to me made me really suspicious.
“Instagram does not notify you when someone unfollows/blocks you and Becky’s Instagram account would have had around 400,000 followers at the time and following around 1,000 other accounts so I thought she must have been searching for me or going out of her way to look at my private Instagram account to realise that I had stopped following her and that I had removed her as a follower.
“I suspected that the reason why Becky would have been actively looking for my private Instagram account was for the purposes of seeing whether there was material on there to pass to The Sun.”
13:40Connie RuskColeen "knocked sick" after message from Becky to agent about late sister Coleen pictured with her late sister Rosie (Image:Liverpool Echo)
Coleen Rooney said a message between Rebekah Vardy and her agent referencing her late sister “knocked me sick” when it was disclosed.
The WAG wrote in her witness statement: "While they were discussing her messaging me in order to cover her tracks, Becky says to Caroline Watt ‘maybe I should say something about Rosie’.
"Rosie is a reference to my sister who suffered with Rett Syndrome and passed away in 2013 at the age of just 14.
"The mere fact that Becky would suggest seeking to use Rosie’s name in conversation with me in order to put me off the scent of suspecting Becky as the person responsible for leaking my private information to The Sun is really low and sad.
"It actually knocked me sick when I read that message from Becky to Caroline."
13:27Connie RuskColeen cried ‘every night’ when they moved to USColeen and Wayne pictured arriving at court on Friday (Image:REX/Shutterstock)
Coleen revealed she suffered chronic 'homesickness' when she moved to America while Wayne was playing for Washington's DC United in 2018.
"It was a terrible time for me,'' she said. "My friends and family mean the world to me. I cried every single night.
"I couldn't even Facetime my parents. It was horrific.''
Coleen said the car crash leak caused her further anguish because people started messaging her to see if she was ok and it had only been a minor scrape.
"I'm not used to driving on that side of the road. It was in America,'' she added.
"There was no crash. It gave me the anger to put it out into the public.
"I was annoyed. I was fuming.''
13:19KEY EVENTColeen reveals how leaks made her feel vulnerable at height of marriage woes
Rooney highlighted a story which showed Wayne in their bed with their children at a time when the couple's relationship was on the rocks.
"There had been a situation. There had been some wrong-doing by my husband,'' she said.
"I was in a vulnerable situation. I didn't know how my marriage was going to work out.
"What was going on with that relationship. We needed to try and work things out.''
She said the article – suggesting Wayne was back in her bed – affected their relationship.
"I was spending a lot of time at my parents' house,'' she said. "My and Wayne were trying to figure out our relationship and see where things were going.
"But I didn't want the public to know that.
"I knew how quick the papers are to jump onto things.
"I hadn't settled on, 'this is it – we are getting back together?'''
13:09Connie RuskColeen ‘fuming’ after ‘untrue’ story about having a car crash was leaked (Image:REUTERS)
The WAG told the court she was left “fuming” about a Sun article in January 2019 about her allegedly being involved in a car crash in the US when she lived there.
She had previously made an Instagram post about damage to her Honda vehicle.
Mrs Rooney said she was alerted to the story by one of her son’s football coaches, but told the court: “There was no crash.”
“I’m not used to driving on the side of the road,” she said, explaining that a lorry had “scraped down the side of the car”.
Mrs Rooney claimed that the Sun had reported detail that “was untrue”, adding that she became “angry” and “annoyed” that information from her private life was “getting out there”.
“I was fuming”, she said.
13:06Connie RuskColeen said she tried to resolve libel battle with Rebekah "in vain"
Coleen tried to resolve her libel battle with Rebekah on three occasions “in vain”, she has told the court in her written evidence.
In her witness statement, she said: “I have sought to resolve this matter amicably on various occasions because I was of the view that the time, money, resources and efforts involved could be better spent elsewhere, particularly in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“However, the efforts I made in May 2020, prior to proceedings being issued, in October 2020, after I had filed my defence, and in January 2021, during a stay in the proceedings, were all in vain.
“I have no doubt that this litigation, whatever the outcome, will benefit neither Becky nor myself.”
12:56Connie RuskRooney says Vardy was ‘constantly checking in with me’ (Image:PA)
Coleen said it was "a regular occurrence" she would be messaged by Rebekah Vardy when there was press coverage about Mrs Rooney.
Vardy was "not in my circle", the WAG told the High Court.
"I felt like when she contacted me it was to try and get information out of me," she added.
Vardy’s messages to her came "when something not nice was going on in my personal life", Coleen claimed.
She said the WAG's messages were "generally nice", but added "towards the end its was a bit unusual".
"Someone who was not that close to me… constantly checking in with me all the time," Coleen said.
12:44Connie RuskColeen said it was "not my intention" to subject Vardy to abuse
Hugh Tomlinson QC put it to Coleen she must have been obvious to her that the October 2019 post would have made Rebekah Vardy subject to abuse.
The WAG replied: "No, that was not my intention at all, not at all", adding: "It’s not in my nature to."
12:30Connie RuskColeen says Wagatha Christie sting operation was a "last resort" (Image:REUTERS)
Coleen Rooney said she made her social media post in October 2019 about carrying out her so-called “sting operation” as a “last resort”.
Rebekah Vardy’s lawyer Hugh Tomlinson QC asked her what she wanted to achieve from the post.
“I wasn’t achieving anything,” she said, adding: “What I wanted was to stop the person who was leaking my private information to The Sun.”
She told the court that she had given out warnings “many times”, but “it didn’t stop”.
“This was my last resort,” she said.
12:22KEY EVENTColeen rolls up her sleeves as she takes to the stand (Image:PA)
Coleen Rooney has been sworn in and will now take to the stand.
In the conclusion of giving evidence, Rebekah made a series of denials over the allegations that she was linked to leaks from Coleen Rooney’s private Instagram account.
She denied personally leaking information to The Sun, denied speaking to or messaging any journalists about any of Mrs Rooney’s posts, denied asking her agent Caroline Watt to pass on information and denied deleting messages from her WhatsApp.
Becky said she had previously spoken to Caroline “pretty much all the way through these proceedings”, with the agent telling her she did not leak information on Mrs Rooney.
Vardy's said the suggestion that she had thrown under agent “under a bus” in the case was “not right”.
12:19Connie RuskVardy in tears as she speaks of hopes to clear her name for her children
Rebekah Vardy said she pressed on with legal action despite a letter from Coleen Rooney’s solicitors which she perceived as a “threat” because she “didn’t do anything wrong.”
Hugh Tomlinson QC reminded her of the letter which said Mrs Rooney’s defence would “not make happy reading”, and asked how she felt about it.
She said: “I felt it was a threat.”
Asked why she chose to go on, she said: “Because I didn’t do anything wrong and I wanted to clear my name. Not just for me but for my family and my children.”
12:13Connie RuskBecky tells court she felt "bullied and manipulated" by Coleen’s lawyer Rebekah Vardy has broken down in tears during day four of the trial (Image:Getty Images)
Rebekah told the High Court that she felt like she had been “bullied and manipulated” while facing cross examination in the witness box.
Her barrister Hugh Tomlinson QC asked her how she had found the experience.
She replied: “Exhausting, intimidating. I feel like I’ve been bullied and manipulated.”
12:04Connie RuskRebekah denies purposefully deleting WhatsApp messages
Rebekah has denied ever purposefully deleting her WhatsApp messages.
The court previously heard swathes of messages were unavailable because they had been accidently wiped, while others did not show images, video, or audio they contained.
Hugh Tomlinson QC asked: “Have you at any stage deliberately deleted anything from your WhatsApp messages?”
“No, never”, she replied.
Moments earlier she spoke of her emotional state at the time she was exporting her messages, during which she claims many were inadvertently deleted.
She said: "I wasn’t very well, I was having constant panic attacks, anxiety, I was scared I was going to lose my baby."
12:00Connie RuskVardy says she "wasn’t in a good place" months after Coleen’s Wagatha Christie Insta post (Image:Getty Images)
Rebekah Vardy returned to the witness box after a short break and became briefly emotional again when discussing the birth of one of her daughter Olivia Grace.
Her barrister Hugh Tomlinson QC asked her about differences between her evidence in a witness statement and a letter from February 2020 over whether she personally saw one of the alleged fake Instagram posts Mrs Rooney made about a flooded basement.
Mr Tomlinson asked what her state of mind was like around February 2020, with Mrs Vardy replying: “I wasn’t in a good place.”
She was asked when her child was born, giving a date in December 2019, and became tearful.
Mr Tomlinson asked if she remembered giving instructions in relation to the letter, with Mrs Vardy saying she did not.
11:46KEY EVENTRebekah breaks down in tears as she says how she felt she was being "mocked"
Rebekah broke down in tears in the witness box as she responded to questions about messages she exchanged with a journalist.
Hugh Tomlinson QC said "from time to time", Rebekah had messaged the journalist after she gave an interview to him in 2016.
He asked Vardy why she had messaged him last year.
“I was angry, I was angry at repeated articles mocking my misery, mocking my hurt, mocking my upset”.
She objected to being seen as "entertainment", adding: "I didn’t find it funny. It was hurtful. It was upsetting. This was my life."
With Becky becoming tearful, and reaching for a tissue, the judge ordered that the court take a 10-minute break.
11:39Connie RuskVardy says husband Jamie was never told by Wayne for her to keep a low profile during World Cup Rebekah Vardy pictured at the 2018 World Cup in Russia (Image:Daily Mirror)
Vardy said none of the WAGs had told her they were upset by the team picture of WAGs in Russia during the 2018 World Cup.
She produced two posts about the night from Harry Maguire's fiancee Fern Hawkins' Instagram account. Fern was said to have been "embarrassed" by the photo.
The WAG said her husband Jamie had never been told by Wayne Rooney to encourage her to keep a lower profile on social media.
In a WhatsApp exchange about it between her and her husband Jamie, the footballer described it as "a load of b*******" and said no-one had said anything to him about it.
Vardy denied having close relationships with any journalists.
11:36Connie RuskVardy says she didn’t "give much thought" to agent’s messages about Coleen’s insta of son ‘not wearing seat belt’ (Image:Getty Images)
Rebekah was next questioned in relation to a WhatsApp exchange with her agent, Caroline Watt, in which they discussed Coleen's son allegedly not wearing a seat belt in a photo from her private Instagram.
Hugh Tomlinson QC said, in a text, Caroline said: "It’s on the private Instagram so can’t do anything with it."
He asked Rebekah what she understood Ms Watt to be saying at this point.
"I don’t know, I didn’t really give it much consideration or much thought," Rebekah replied, adding: "I was probably doing the school run myself at that time."
Mr Tomlinson asked: "Did you think that Caroline was leaking stories from Coleen’s private Instagram account?2
"No, I didn’t," she said.
11:09Connie RuskVardy denies leaking story about Leicester City team ‘fuming’ with Riyad Mahrez
Vardy said she did not leak to a newspaper a claim that Riyad Mahrez's Leicester City team mates were "fuming" he had not turned up to training two days running in a bid to engineer a transfer to Manchester City.
The WAG, however, said she had wanted to tip off the press about ex-Leicester City midfielder Danny Drinkwater's drink-drive arrest.
Vardy said she sent Drinkwater a message saying: "What have you done Danny ffs''. She added a crying face emoji.
The former I'm A Celebrity star denied she had messaged him for his address so she could tip off photographers.
11:04KEY EVENTRebekah says Peter Andre ‘chipolata’ article was ‘shameful’Rebekah Vardy says she is “deeply sorry” for Peter Andre comments (Image:mirror.co.uk)
Rebekah Vardy said she did not say many things presented in an article published in the News Of The World about a sexual encounter she had with Peter Andre.
Mrs Vardy told the court: “There’s a lot of things in there that didn’t come out of my mouth that were misrepresented in the circumstances around that article I’m deeply sorry for.”
She also said she was “very young” at the time, had apologised for the article, and that it was “shameful”, adding that she had sent “personal messages” to Mr Andre and his partner since it was published.
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