Wags at war: Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney set for first High Court hearing in libel battle
Rebekah Vardy’s high-profile libel battle against Coleen Rooney is set for its first High Court hearing on Thursday.
Mrs Rooney, 34, accused Mrs Vardy in October last year of leaking stories about her private life to the media – with Mrs Rooney swiftly dubbed “Wagatha Christie” on social media for her apparent sleuthing work.
The wife of former England star Wayne Rooney claimed fellow footballer’s wife Mrs Vardy, 38, shared stories she had posted on her personal Instagram account.
Mrs Rooney wrote: “For a few years now someone who I trusted to follow me on my personal Instagram account has been consistently informing The Sun newspaper of my private posts and stories.”
She added that she blocked everyone apart from an Instagram page belonging to Mrs Vardy from seeing her Instagram stories, and then “posted a series of false stories to see if they made their way into The Sun” over the space of five months.
Mrs Rooney dramatically added: “I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them.
“It’s ……………. Rebekah Vardy’s account.”
Mrs Vardy – who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy – has denied the accusations and is suing Mrs Rooney for damages for libel.
At a preliminary hearing in London on Thursday, Mr Justice Warby will be asked to determine the “natural and ordinary” meaning of Mrs Rooney’s posts on Instagram and Twitter which accused Mrs Vardy of leaking the stories.
Mrs Vardy’s lawyers argue that the meaning of Mrs Rooney’s posts was that she had “consistently and repeatedly betrayed the defendant’s trust over several years by leaking the defendant’s private and personal Instagram posts and stories for publication in The Sun”.
In her written claim filed with the court, Mrs Vardy said she had worried she would lose her baby because of the stress as she was pregnant at the time.
She “suffered extreme distress, hurt, anxiety and embarrassment as a result of the publication of the post and the events which followed”, her lawyers allege.
Mrs Vardy also claims she “continues to suffer severe and extreme hostility and abuse as a result of the post”, including “a number of highly distressing publications on Twitter” in June falsely alleging she was a new suspect identified in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
Mrs Rooney claims Mrs Vardy “was in fact responsible for consistently passing on information about the defendant’s private Instagram posts and stories to The Sun”.
She also alleges “this was part of the claimant’s (Mrs Vardy’s) established history and habitual practice of providing private information to journalists and the press”.
The preliminary hearing before Mr Justice Warby is being held at the Royal Courts of Justice from 10.30am on Thursday.
It is not known if Mrs Vardy or Mrs Rooney will be attending the hearing.
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