Wayne Rooney gives evidence in 'Wagatha Christie' trialMay 17, 2022
(Another) big day in court, Wayne! Coleen Rooney’s husband set to take the stand today as £3M Wagatha Christie libel trial enters sixth day… after court heard his wife launched ‘sting’ amid reports of his ‘misbehaving’
- Coleen Rooney has described messages between Rebekah Vardy and her agent about her as ‘just evil’
- Coleen accused Rebekah of leaking ‘false stories’ about her private life after months-long ‘sting operation’
- Rebekah denies the allegations and has sued Coleen over the ‘untrue and unjustified defamatory attack’
- * MailOnline’s liveblog on the ‘Wagatha Christie’ trial can be followed throughout today by clicking HERE *
Wayne Rooney is today expected to give evidence in the bombshell ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel case, one day after his wife Coleen Rooney described messages between Rebekah Vardy and her agent about her as ‘just evil’.
Coleen, 36, has accused Rebekah, 40, of leaking ‘false stories’ about her private life in October 2019 after she said she carried out a months-long ‘sting operation’ – and the £3million High Court trial is now in its final few days.
Rebekah denies the allegations and has sued the fellow footballer’s wife over the ‘untrue and unjustified defamatory attack’, with the last of the defence witnesses – including Rooney – set to give evidence today.
After walking into the witness box of the Royal Courts of Justice’s Court 13 on Friday, Coleen finished her evidence yesterday, and responded to questions about Rooney’s ‘misbehaving’ and arrest for drink drinking.
Wayne Rooney arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice in London this morning
Coleen Rooney arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice in London this morning
Hugh Tomlinson QC, for Rebekah, referred to an article which told of Rooney’s arrest for drink driving, when he was caught with another woman in the car.
The barrister said it was ‘another apparent crisis’ in their relationship and that Rooney had been ‘misbehaving’.
Revealed: ‘Uncalled-for’ messages in libel case
January 22, 2019: Coleen Rooney posts a picture on her private Instagram, showing damage to her car after a collision. The next day Rebekah Vardy says in a WhatsApp message to Caroline Watt: ‘She’s a nasty b***h x’ and ‘I’ve taken a big dislike to her!… Would love to leak those stories x’. Rebekah claims her comments were not about Coleen .
January 27: Coleen tweets: ‘It’s sad to think someone who I have accepted to follow me is betraying for either money or to keep a relationship with the press.’ Rebekah sends a WhatsApp message to Mrs Watt: ‘U seen Coleen’s Twitter.’ Mrs Watt replies: ‘Such a victim. Poor Coleen… And it wasn’t someone she trusted. It was me.’
February 6: Rebekah in messages to Mrs Watt: ‘She [Coleen] thinks it’s me that’s been doing stories on her!… That c*** needs to get over herself!’
October 1: Rebekah says that in a picture on Coleen’s private Instagram one of the Rooney children ‘looks like he’s go [sic] no seatbelt on’. Mrs Watt replies: ‘Yeh he is but it’s on her private insta so can’t do anything with it x… She has taken it down now too.’ Rebekah ardy responds: ‘She’s such a d**k x’
Coleen replied: ‘Yes there has been a few, it’s unfortunate that things have happened in my life and they get publicised, and it has happened quite a few times and I have dealt with it – we have dealt with it as a couple and as a family.’
Mr Tomlinson referred to a ‘supportive’ message sent around that time from Rebekah to Coleen, saying there was ‘nothing suspicious’ about it.
Coleen said: ‘I already had suspicions … so as time went on things just seemed to add up. When there were tough times going on, I did feel like Mrs Vardy would message me.’
She added: ‘Obviously, having the suspicions that I had, I felt like it was a bit of fishing for information.’
Coleen was also asked about the aftermath of her ‘reveal’ post and Rebekah’s response.
Mr Tomlinson said: ‘She makes it clear to you that it wasn’t her, doesn’t she?’
‘She says she has zero interest in what’s going on in my life, which I believe is totally untrue,’ Coleen replied. ‘She talks about me a lot… so that was a lie,’ she added.
Coleen then discussed WhatsApp messages the court had heard between Rebekah and her agent Caroline Watt – in which Coleen featured.
She said she had never met or spoken to Ms Watt, commenting on the agent’s exchanges with Rebekah: ‘The messages that went on between them were just evil and uncalled for.’
‘There’s no need for it, I’ve never done anything to them,’ Coleen added.
She later said she had a lot of people contacting her immediately after the post, and Mr Tomlinson said people online were calling her ‘Wagatha Christie’.
She responded: ‘Yeah, which I just think is ridiculous. I got a lot of people sending me pictures, screenshots and obviously people didn’t realise how serious what was behind it was.
‘I felt it was hard and people I trusted and people I had let into my circle were going against me.’
A court artist’s sketch of Coleen Rooney at the witness stand at the High Court yesterday as Mrs Justice Steyn listens
Another court artist’s sketch of Coleen Rooney at the Royal Courts of Justice in London yesterday as she gives evidence
A third artist’s sketch of Coleen Rooney, watched by Rebekah Vardy, being spoken to by barrister David Sherborne yesterday
She added: ‘I have never spoke about this until this case, so I haven’t dwelt on it, to be honest with you I have hated every minute of it.’
Rebekah Vardy evidence on match photo is ‘simply untrue’, says FA worker
Rebekah Vardy’s evidence about why she sat behind Coleen Rooney at a football match is ‘simply untrue’, a former Football Association (FA) employee has told the High Court.
Harpreet Robertson, a former ticketing manager and family liaison officer for the FA, was questioned over the seating arrangements at one of England’s matches at Euro 2016.
Coleen Rooney (front) and Rebekah Vardy (back) are pictured at the England v Wales football match at Euro 2016 in France
Ms Robertson told the court she believed Rebekah made a ‘choice’ to sit in seats behind Coleen at the match, alleging in her witness statement that Rebekah’s evidence over this was ‘simply untrue’.
In her own witness statement, Rebekah said: ‘We went to a game one day and Coleen and her family were sitting in our seats. Rather than make a fuss we sat in the nearest seats available.’
Rebekah denied she had intentionally swapped seats to be seen near Coleen and in the pictures.
However in her witness statement, Mrs Robertson said: ‘Becky never expressly refused to take the seats that she had been allocated, her guests did this instead, but it appeared that she wanted to be sat in the seats that were right in the eye line of anyone looking at, or photographing, Coleen. Indeed, her behaviour during the game suggested to me that her focus was little or nothing to do with the football match. I remember that Becky was constantly on her phone, often taking selfies and generally showing very little interest in the match itself.’
Ms Robertson added: ‘The following morning, the tabloid papers were full of photographs of her sat directly behind Coleen. This was precisely the kind of media attention that the FA, and I, had tried to avoid.’
In her witness statement, Ms Robertson also said that she would reserve seats at matches for her and FA security team members, but found a number of people already sat in those seats.
She continued: ‘I asked them to move but they refused and were incredibly rude and abusive to me, remarking words to the effect of ‘we can sit where we like, f*** off’. An altercation followed which almost reduced me to tears. I soon realised that these people were the guests of Becky. Becky could plainly hear what was being said between me and her guests.’
Ms Robertson said she and the FA security team later sat elsewhere which ‘compromised security for the entire players family and friends group to at least some extent’.
Yesterday’s hearing also featured evidence from Coleen’s former PR representative Rachel Monk, about her interactions with The Sun newspaper in relation to stories about the footballer’s wife.
On one occasion, according to her witness statement, Ms Monk told a Sun journalist that a story about her client going to a gender selection clinic in Mexico was ‘bonkers’.
Harpreet Robertson, a former family liaison officer at the Football Association, told the court that two guests of Rebekah – who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy – allegedly being ‘rude and abusive’ to her at a Euros 2016 match was the ‘worst moment’ she had experienced at a game.
She claimed in her witness statement that Rebekah’s evidence about why she sat behind Coleen at the England versus Wales match was ‘simply untrue’.
In a brief appearance in the witness box, Coleen’s brother Joe McLoughlin told the court he was ‘shocked’ when he read his sister’s October 2019 social media post revealing her so-called ‘sting operation’ after helping her to create a ‘graphic’ of its text shortly before it was sent.
‘It was a shock to me,’ he said in a brief appearance in the witness box.
Mr McLoughlin explained he helped run his sister’s public social media accounts as he worked at Triple S Group – the sports management company supporting Wayne Rooney.
Asked if he had previously discussed with his sister how she might find out who was leaking her information, he replied: ‘No, never’.
Also yesterday, Coleen was asked about the abuse Rebekah received on social media after the reveal post. Coleen said: ‘I know and it is disgusting. I would never ever wish that upon anyone.
‘I was getting trolled as well but obviously Mrs Vardy’s was disgusting, the things they were saying … the world we live in today and the trolling is terrible.’
She told the court that she did not say anything further about her investigation, either to Rebekah or publicly, because of a legal letter she had received from Rebekah’s lawyers.
She said: ‘I was quite threatened by it. I just held off and tried to take direction from what the solicitors advised me.’
Earlier yesterday, Coleen said she wanted a ‘totally untrue’ story about a so-called gender selection procedure to be published as ‘evidence’ for her sting operation to discover the source of leaked stories.
One of the Instagram stories used in the ‘sting’ was posted on April 8 2019, with Coleen claiming she was travelling to Mexico to look into a procedure to determine a baby’s sex.
‘Let’s go and see what this gender selection is all about,’ Coleen posted, accompanied with a number of heart emojis and what appeared to be a grimacing face emoji.
Around four months later, The Sun published a story online on August 15 2019 with the headline ‘Col’s baby girl bid’, marked as an exclusive, detailing Coleen’s alleged ‘desperate bid to have a baby girl’.
Asked about this post by Mr Tomlinson, Coleen said: ‘I wanted the story to run so I had evidence.’
Coleen also told the High Court she ‘had suspicions’ that Rebekah’s Instagram account was responsible for leaking information to journalists when she unfollowed her on the social media site.
She said the pair were ‘not good friends’ and that if someone had unfollowed her she would ‘probably just forget about it and not message’ the person, adding: ‘I wouldn’t have been that bothered really.’
She said: ‘I felt it was suspicious. Obviously, I had suspicions in other ways, so this just added to the suspicions that I had.’
The trial comes after a widely-shared social media post in October 2019, in which Coleen Rooney said she had carried out a ‘sting operation’ and accused 40-year-old Rebekah Vardy of leaking ‘false stories’ about her private life to the press
Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy during his side’s Premier League match against Watford at Vicarage Road on Sunday
Coleen is defending the libel claim brought by Rebekah on the basis of truth and public interest.
The libel battle comes after Coleen publicly claimed that an account behind three fake stories in The Sun that she had posted on her personal Instagram account was Rebekah’s.
The fake stories Coleen planted on her Instagram during the sting operation featured her travelling to Mexico for a ‘gender selection’ procedure, her planning to return to TV, and the basement flooding at her home.
In the post on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, she wrote: ‘I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them. It’s ………. Rebekah Vardy’s account.’
Where DID Rebekah Vardy go when she left the courtroom? To punch a wall at her utter stupidity in bringing this case? JANE FRYER watches the Wagatha Christie drama unfold
By JANE FRYER FOR THE DAILY MAIL
Mrs Justice Steyn would surely be forgiven if she’d spent the weekend wallowing in a stack of Halsbury’s Statutes, yearning to wrestle once again with a juicy Saudi arms deal or a tricky case about Guantanamo Bay inmates and trying to blank out anything and everything Wag.
But most of us are quite happy to have the extraordinary events of last week seared forever on to our brains.
Everything from the car crash of Rebekah Vardy’s evidence (and several of her court outfits) to the restrained Aircasted, Gucci- garnished dignity of Coleen.
The precise proportions of Peter Andre’s teeny acorn; the ups and downs in the Rooney marriage. And the agony writ large across Wayne’s big pink face as he slouched, suddenly loyal as a lurcher, beside his surprisingly diminutive wife.
What a week it was. Vintage. Epic. Unbeatable.
But today is another day. Another week! And a very bright one, too, thanks to Rebekah who has come dressed for Ladies’ Day at Aintree in an acid, lemon- yellow suit.
Which, from a distance could pass for Chanel, but close up is deemed ‘too shiny’ by the fashion elite outside court.
(It is actually a rather splendid £2,095 two-piece by Alessandra Rich, accessorised with a £1,890 bag).
Coleen, meanwhile, looks all set for a shift at Specsavers in a recycled grey suit from The Kooples, a plain black top and her trusty clutch at her side.
And Wayne – poor Wayne – seems to be wearing someone else’s school uniform again.
Then we’re off. Coleen – clean, clear, concise and doggedly calm – describes Vardy’s private, expletive-ridden WhatsApp messages as ‘just evil’ and shares a bit about herself with Court 13.
How she hates all the fuss and has never courted press attention.
How, even when she was planning her brilliant Hercule Poirot-style reveal – originally written out by hand, like a true sleuth, on a note that is now forever lost – she told no one, not even Wayne.
How she was staggered by all the attention it caused, ‘hated every minute of it’ and is loathing the trial. And how, horror of horrors, she doesn’t even much like the term ‘Wagatha Christie’! Oh Coleen, what sort of Wag are you?
She even gives the messy court bundles in the witness box a quick tidy at one point and spends a long, long time patiently explaining the difference between Instagram photos and ‘stories’ to overpriced lawyers who really could have taken the trouble to mug up beforehand – or just ask their kids.
On and on her cross-examination goes. If one can call it that.
Because Hugh Tomlinson QC, the great greying Rottweiler favoured by oligarchs, royals and just about anyone needing a super-injunction, barely lays a glove on her.
If Rebekah felt ‘bullied and manipulated’ after her mauling by ‘Shere Khan’ David Sherborne, Tomlinson’s expert grilling is more a gentle stroke – a cool legal hand on Coleen’s lovely, smooth brow. This is the Ibiza half-term holiday of interrogations.
Which must be nice for Coleen after all she’s been through.
But for the rest of us it does mean there’s none of the high-drama fireworks of last week. The zing, the zest – other than Vardy’s get-up – has gone. Everyone’s a bit floppy.
David Sherborne’s magnificent tan seems to have lost a touch of its deep, mahogany sheen.
Even Rebekah – finally out of the hot seat – doesn’t seem to be revelling in it much.
In fact, as we trudge through endless discussions about who sat in whose seats when they shouldn’t have and then swore unattractively at the 2016 Euros, Bex looks positively sour.
Until, suddenly, during the afternoon break, she’s had enough and – citing a pre-existing appointment – legs it.
Maybe she’s spilt something down that suit. Perhaps there’s a flash sale at Dolce & Gabbana.
Or, could it be, she suddenly just needs to go out and punch a wall, hard, at her utter stupidity in issuing these proceedings?
As my taxi driver puts it: ‘It’s bloody mad. Sri Lanka’s got one day of petrol left and all everyone’s talking about is a couple of Wags at war. The world’s gone crazy!’
And, of course, he’s quite right. But coming up in the next episode of this preposterous tale, Wayne will be giving evidence – oh golly – and we won’t be missing a single moment.
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