Wagatha Christie cost me my career, says Rebekah Vardy: Ex I’m A Celeb contestant tells court that row with Coleen Rooney cost her a book deal plus a contract to endorse placenta capsules after birth of her fifth child
- Vardy has said the ‘Wagatha Christie’ sting resulted in lost brand deals for her
- Coleen Rooney said that Vardy was leaking stories about her to the Sun
- Vardy denies the claims and is now suing her for libel in the High Court
- She claims she lost a book deal and a placenta pill endorsement because of Rooney’s accusations
Rebekah Vardy has claimed that the Wagatha Christie row has cost her a book deal – and an endorsement for placenta capsules.
Vardy, who is suing Coleen Rooney for libel, says that she lost lucrative work as a result of the claim that she was leaking personal stories about Rooney to the press.
In a victim statement, Vardy said the impact of the claims, which she denies, lost her a ‘potential book deal that was turned down’.
She also said that she has a midwife company ready to make placenta pills for her after the birth of her fifth child Olivia but they pulled out because of the allegations made by Rooney, according to the Mirror.
It comes as the end of the trial meant a trove of documents related to the case – nicknamed the ‘Wagatha Files’ – have been released to the public.
In a victim statement, Rebekah Vardy (left) said the impact of the claims, which she denies, lost her a ‘potential book deal that was turned down’ (Pictured: Rebekah with her footballer husband Jamie Vardy on his only day in court)
These are the sensational posts and images at the heart of the £3 million Wagatha Christie libel trial between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney – many published here for the first time. Top of the bill is the famous but never published photo from Coleen’s private Instagram account showing Wayne in bed with three of his sons in spotted pyjamas (pictured)
Lawyers for both sides agreed to release a fascinating bundle of hundreds of documents which have formed the evidence throughout the seven-day case at the High Court.
As the judge, Mrs Justice Steyn, considers the evidence for both sides and weighs up whether or not Rebekah was libelled and should receive damages from Coleen for her bombshell social media accusation, we can now reveal for the first time many of the Instagram posts and WhatsApp messages which the lawyers have been poring over for the last two and a half years.
Top of the bill is the famous but never published photo from Coleen’s private Instagram account showing Wayne in bed with three of his sons in spotted pyjamas.
Top of the bill in the document bundle is the famous but never published photo from Coleen’s private Instagram account showing Wayne in bed with three of his sons in spotted pyjamas. Coleen told the court that she only posted the image on her private account because she did not want to fuel stories about her and Wayne reuniting after the couple’s marriage faltered
On 12th of September 2019, Coleen shows a picture of herself with her son Cass, looking at their new mansion-in-progress in Cheshire, with the caption: ‘Site visit. I think he likes his new house’ (pictured left). Many of the photographs give an insight into the Rooney’s private family life, such as one of the couple with all four of their children at the seaside (pictured right) with the caption: ‘And back to US tomorrow for dad!’ when Wayne was playing in Washington but his family were still in the UK
Screen grab dated issued by Kingsley Napley of text messages between Rebekah and Jamie Vardy after reports Wayne Rooney was asked to tell Jamie Vardy his wife needed to reduce her media presence
Screen grab dated issued by Kingsley Napley of text messages between Rebekah and Jamie Vardy after reports Wayne Rooney was asked to tell Jamie Vardy his wife needed to reduce her media presence
Coleen told the court that she only posted the image on her private account because she did not want to fuel stories about her and Wayne reuniting after the couple’s marriage faltered when he was caught drink driving in another woman’s car.
On her public Instagram account Coleen only posted a photo of herself with her then three sons Kai, Klay and Kit, wearing matching pyjamas. But she was angered a few days later, when a story appeared in The Sun clearly based on the private image.
Coleen then posted to her followers: ‘The GRASS strikes again!!!! I put that picture on wondering if it would appear in that horrible newspaper.’
Rebekah Vardy (pictured: leaving court) cried in court again and embraced her solicitor as her jaw-dropping £3million Wagatha Christie libel battle with Coleen Rooney came to an emotional close
Wayne and Coleen Rooney arrive at Manchester Airport on Thursday morning as the head out to Dubai with their children and her parents for a holiday on the final day of the libel trial
The trial heard that in 2016 during the Euros, England Captain Wayne was taken aside by manager Roy Hodgson and ordered to have a word with Jamie, to suggest he asked his wife to ‘calm down’ her media activities.
When a report of the exchange was published in the Independent, a furious Rebekah texted a link to Jamie, along with the comment: ‘Seriously???’
Jamie replied: ‘No, not at all babes x,’ with Rebekah adding: ‘T**ts trying to make me into a scapegoat x.’ Jamie the responded: ‘F***ing a**holes x’,
The united Vardys continue in similar vein before they sign off with Jamie texting about the media: ‘Build us up to smash us back down x’.
Rebekah then said: ‘Yeah, exactly,’ with Jamie adding: ‘F*** them. They ain’t bringing us down x’
The lawyers for both sides agreed to release this fascinating bundle of hundreds of documents which have formed the evidence throughout the seven-day case at the High Court.
In one image, Coleen was seen riding on a bike around holding a bottle of wine (pictured left), while Claire posted a picture of the women in a hot tub together, and some of them riding ponies. A story subsequently appeared in The Sun, clearly based on the private image of Coleen on the bicycle, which mentioned she was seen ‘swigging a bottle of plonk while cycling at speed’. Pictured right: A screen grab issued by Kingsley Napley of a post from Coleen Rooney’s private instagram story which has only been viewed by one account
Pictured left: A screen grab of Coleen Rooney’s private instagram story of the so-called “TV decisions” post, one of the three fake posts she said she posted in her sting operation. Pictured right: A post from Coleen Rooney’s private instagram story which has only been viewed by one account
There are also of course the infamous series of messages between Rebekah and her agent Caroline Watt, which were already released prior to the trial. Other photos in the bundle include Instagram posts from various WAGs at a shisha restaurant in St. Petersburg.
The court heard that Rebekah arranged for a paparazzi photographer to be waiting outside, but she denied it when she gave evidence.
Then there are many posted which Coleen added onto her private Instagram account, some of which were fake, and some of those she blocked from all over her followers except Rebekah’s account.
In one post she showed a photograph of her passport with the caption ‘Escaping the measle outbreak in Washington’.
A story subsequently appeared in The Sun, clearly based on the private image of Coleen on the bicycle, which mentioned she was seen ‘swigging a bottle of plonk while cycling at speed’. Pictured: A screenshot of one of two posts from Coleen Rooney’s private instagram made on the day of her viral public post accusing “Rebekah Vardy’s account”
Then there are many posted which Coleen added onto her private Instagram account, some of which were fake, and some of those she blocked from all over her followers except Rebekah’s account. In one post she showed a photograph of her passport with the caption ‘Escaping the measle outbreak in Washington’. In another she accused someone on her Instagram of leaking stories to the Sun
A screen grab issued as part of the ‘Wagatha Christie libel trial’ of a post on Coleen Rooney’s private instagram account celebrating Wayne Rooney’s birthday in 2017
A post on Coleen Rooney’s private instagram account celebrating Wayne Rooney’s birthday in 2017. This content has been shown as evidence at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, in the libel proceedings between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney
Jamie Vardy blasted for failing to give evidence under oath in Wagatha trial… then releasing a statement slamming Wayne Rooney
Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy leaves the Royal Courts of Justice on Wednesday
David Sherborne highlighted the failure of Jamie Vardy to give evidence.
‘Despite Mr Vardy not providing witness evidence to the Court, he was willing to make a statement outside the High Court on Day 6.’
Mr Sherborne read out Jamie’s press statement from Friday which said: ‘Wayne is talking nonsense. He must be confused because he never spoke to me about issues concerning Becky’s media work at Euro 2016. There was nothing to speak about, I know this because I discuss everything with Becky.’
Added Mr Sherborne: ‘Mr Vardy was perfectly willing to give a statement when not under oath but was apparently unwilling to provide one for the purposes of these proceedings (despite the fact that he was aware since 1 April 2022 that Mr Rooney was giving evidence), or else the Claimant [Rebekah] did not wish for his evidence to be tested.’
Another a picture of her with her niece on her lap with the caption ‘Broody’ and two hearts. There there are several posts from Coleen’s private Instagram showing photos from a girls’ weekend at the exclusive Soho Farmhouse in the Cotswolds with Wayne’s cousin Claire and two friends.
In one image, Coleen was seen riding on a bike around holding a bottle of wine, while Claire posted a picture of the women in a hot tub together, and some of them riding ponies.
A story subsequently appeared in The Sun, clearly based on the private image of Coleen on the bicycle, which mentioned she was seen ‘swigging a bottle of plonk while cycling at speed’.
Many of the photographs give an insight into the Rooney’s private family life, such as one of the couple with all four of their children at the seaside with the caption: ‘And back to US tomorrow for dad!’ when Wayne was playing in Washington but his family were still in the UK.
Then there is a touching picture of Coleen with Kai dating back to Las Vegas in 2012. Some of the Instagram posts were put in the bundle as evidence from Rebekah’s lawyers, as although the posts appeared, no subsequent stories appeared in The Sun.
For example in August 2019, one photo shows a pair of legs in surgical stockings in hospital with the caption: ‘My classy stockings. Tonsils gone.’
The next day a post showed a breakfast of croissants and coffee with the caption: ‘Mum’s looking after me.’
The following day Coleen posted a photo of Kai playing football captioned: ‘Hate being stuck in sick, especially with being on my own. Thanks to Claire Rooney for taking Kai out with the boys yesterday. And what would I do without my mum and dad? Hurry home @Wazzaroon08, which is Wayne’s Instagram handle.
On 12th of September 2019, Coleen shows a picture of herself with her youngest son Cass, looking at their new mansion-in-progress in Cheshire, with the caption: ‘Site visit. I think he likes his new house’
A few days later on September 16, there’s a romantic throwback photo of the couple and the caption ‘Missing you’, while Wayne was in the United States.
At the end of their period in the Us, another post showed Coleen at the Washington Monument, captioned: ‘When you think America is long gone, and you have to go back to sort out more (sic) the last bit of house stuff and attend an event as a couple.’
Around the same time was a post showing a huge German shepherd with the caption: ‘Looks like I won’t be getting my cute puppy. Looks like it’s going to be a security dog instead, been hearing of too many breakings recently.’
It comes as Rebekah cried in court and embraced her solicitor as her jaw-dropping £3million Wagatha Christie libel battle with Coleen Rooney came to an emotional close.
The tearful WAG – who broke into tears a number of times while giving evidence – was seen throwing her hands around solicitor Charlotte Harris following the conclusion of the high-profile legal battle.
The emotional close to the trial – which has gripped the country since last Monday – came after barrister Hugh Tomlinson QC told the court how Mrs Vardy had suffered ‘public abuse and ridicule’ on a ‘massive scale’ as a result of the Coleen Rooney’s Wagatha Christie post.
Closing the Mrs Vardy’s case on the final day of the high-profile libel battle, Mr Tomlinson told the court how his client had received ‘the most horrific abuse’ – including death threats – following the now-famous ‘It’s Rebekah Vardy’s account…’ reveal.
He also highlighted a number of messages to the high court, including one in which internet trolls had said Ms Vardy’s baby deserved to be ‘put in a microwave and ‘put in an incinerator’.
Describing the impact of the bombshell post by Mrs Rooney on Rebekah, Mr Tomlinson said: ‘There was no urgency whatsoever.
‘Mrs Rooney could have blocked Mrs Vardy and made contact with Mrs Vardy to ask for her views, or she could have waited until after Mrs Vardy had given birth.
‘She did neither and failed to give any proper or reasonable consideration to the possibility that the activity could be happening from Mrs Vardy’s account without Mrs Vardy’s knowledge.
Rebekah Vardy sketched in the High Court where she was accused of lying and giving ‘implausible’ evidence. She left court for an hour without explanation, returning with some Lucozade, her laptop and her lawyer
‘The publication of the post to millions of readers was, in the circumstances, wholly unfair to Mrs Vardy who should have been given an opportunity to comment and explain her position in advance. ‘
Mr Tomlinson said as a result Rebekah suffered ‘the most horrific abuse’. Mr Tomlinson said his client was entitled to ‘substantial damages in compensation for this defamatory publication.’
He said Rebekah had been ‘forcefully’ cross-examined by Mr Sherborne and found the experience ‘upsetting’.
‘It’s been a great burden on her for two and a half years and she was cross-examined in an aggressive fashion over a considerable period of time.’
The court heard that allegations that Rebekah Vardy plotted to leak stories were merely cases of ‘gossip’ and ‘tittle tattle’.
He said: ‘This is really a falling-out of two individuals over what is essentially a private matter.
‘The Whodunnit tone which she must have foreseen would have had a big impact, and did have an enormous impact, we do say it was unreasonable for her to do it in the manner in which she did.’
Mr Tomlinson QC said conversations between Rebekah and her agent Caroline Watt spoke about ‘leaks’ in message exchanges but had been using ‘loose language’.
He said: ‘The position is clearly that from time to time, Mrs Vardy and Miss Watt used the language of leaking. We say that in some cases that’s actually just loose language.
‘In reality, they’re gossiping. That’s a very different scenario than what’s been said against them.’
Ms Vardy also blamed her publicist for selling stories about Coleen Rooney and admitted she regretted calling Coleen a ‘c**t’ and her husband Wayne a ‘sh*tehouse’ in abusive messages – but insisted her rival’s Wagatha Christie Instagram reveal was ‘misconceived’.
Mrs Vardy’s barrister Hugh Tomlinson QC said that his client is a victim – and now accepts the possibility that her friend and former agent Caroline Watt may have been the source of the leaks, declaring his client: ‘Does not know to this day what happened’ so is entitled to ‘substantial damages’ from Mrs Rooney.
The libel trial has been brought by Mrs Vardy to ‘establish her innocence and vindicate her reputation’ after Mrs Rooney accused her personally leaking false stories to The Sun in October 2019.
Mr Tomlinson said ‘Mrs Vardy has obviously made mistakes. One of them, the most serious, was to trust someone she shouldn’t have’ [referring to her agent Caroline Watt]. Another is the way she talked in private conversations with Ms Watt. She accepts she said things which, had she known they would come out in public, she would not have said.’
He added: ‘This is a case about Mrs Vardy and the way she has been treated by thousands, maybe tens of thousands of people on social media… this goes on to this day. Even during this trial she’s continued to receive abuse on social media.’
The barrister continued: ‘Throughout this case, she (Mrs Vardy) has sought to find out the position. The very first thing she said to Mrs Rooney was ‘send me the evidence, send me the posts. The suggestion that she is trying to hide something is quite wrong’.
Mr Tomlinson said Rebekah’s libel dispute with Coleen was a ‘very simple case’ when ‘one clears away the conspiracy theories’, adding Mrs Vardy would have to be ‘very clever or very cynical’ to have deleted swathes of her WhatsApp back-ups. He also dismissed the suggestion that Rebekah had deleted a handful of ‘incriminating’ messages to save her own skin.
Her agent Caroline Watt’s phone was dropped in the North Sea after the court asked for it to be handed over for examination. When this was referred to as Davy Jones’ Locker last week, Ms Vardy admitted she didn’t know what that meant.
Rebekah Vardy leaves the High Court this afternoon looking teary-eyed, holding a tissue in her hand after the final day of the Wagatha Christie libel case
‘Has Mrs Rooney proved that Mrs Vardy leaked the information from her post that she’s accused of leaking?’ Mr Tomlinson said. He added: ‘Mrs Vardy’s case is and always has been that she did not leak the information nor did she authorise anyone else to leak. She does not know to this day what happened,’ Mr Tomlinson said, adding: ‘She does not know where this information came from.’
Referring to the laptop that was ‘destroyed’ by Rebekah – which Mr Sherborne listed in a ‘series of unfortunate events’ of lost evidence – Mr Tomlinson said it ‘doesn’t make sense’.
‘If Mrs Vardy is the cynical deleter of evidence that Mr Sherborne makes out’, he said, ‘a more logical response from her would be to say she threw the laptop out straight away, not wait until it was requested for forensic examination.’
He said the court must consider whether throwing away the laptop was the ‘concealment of evidence’ or doing what ‘any of us would do’, with Vardy simply throwing away a broken laptop.
Referring to Ms Watt’s phone which was dropped into the North Sea – he said it was not claimed that Rebekah had thrown the phone into the sea in a bid to conceal evidence, or had anything to do with its loss.
He said ‘we have no way of knowing’ if this was done to destroy evidence or an accident.
‘Mrs Vardy doesn’t know… and this can’t be used against her,’ he said.
Hugh Tomlinson QC told the court that Mrs Vardy wanted to be ‘vindicated’ that she was not the person who leaked Mrs Rooney’s private information.
He highlighted the ‘negative impact’ the case had had on Mrs Vardy, adding: ‘The media is full of jokes about this case.’
The tearful WAG – who broke into tears a number of times while giving evidence – was seen throwing her hands around solicitor Charlotte Harris following the conclusion of the high-profile legal battle. Vardy pictured leaving the High Court on Thursday
‘This is a case about Mrs Vardy and the way that she has been treated by thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of people on social media. She has been subjected to abuse that goes on to this day,’ Mr Tomlinson said.
He added that Mrs Vardy had continued to receive abusive messages during the trial at the High Court.
‘This is about her trying to do something about that so she can move on with her life,’ Mr Tomlinson said.
Mr Tomlinson QC said: ‘People have different views, people behave in different ways. Mrs Rooney thought Mrs Vardy was suspiciously friendly, but people behave in different ways.’
Later, discussing The Sun newspaper and Mrs Rooney, the barrister said it was ‘a newspaper that she clearly loathes’ and that Mrs Rooney may disapprove of the way Mrs Vardy had sometimes been featured in it.
‘One can see why Mrs Rooney thinks that but it is not a basis for making an allegation of the kind that was made,’ Mr Tomlinson said.
Mr Tomlinson added: ‘Mrs Vardy has made mistakes. Perhaps the most serious of these may have been to trust Ms Watt as her agent.’
Mr Tomlinson denied that Rebekah and Ms Watt had ‘an obsession with the Rooneys’ and pointed out that ‘less than one per cent’ of the messages between them concerned the Rooneys.
Of the 1200 pages of messages between the two women, only 10 pages had any messages concerning Coleen or Wayne.
‘Once that is taken into account, the case can be seen in a completely different light,’ he said.
The celebrity lawyers earning a fortune from the £3m Wagatha Christie case – and the judge who will make the final ruling in the libel action of the year
David Sherborne (left), 53, is acting for Mrs Rooney. He has represented an array of stars including Johnny Depp in the London case. Hugh Tomlinson QC (right), who is representing Ms Vardy, is a top-flight privacy silk who has launched a number of battles with the Press in a wide-spanning career. He is a board member of campaign group Hacked Off.
Karen Margaret Steyn QC is sworn in as a Justice of the High Court in 2019
Mr Sherborne also has a reputation as the barrister the rich and famous turn to for legal assistance – his previous client list includes Diana, Princess of Wales, Hollywood actor Michael Douglas and former prime minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie.
Mrs Rooney’s barrister is no stranger to high-profile libel trials at the Royal Courts of Justice, notably representing Johnny Depp in the actor’s 2020 libel claim against the publisher of the Sun, News Group Newspapers (NGN).
The barrister, called to the bar in 1992, has also represented dozens of claimants, including celebrities, suing NGN over phone hacking at the News Of The World.
Hugh Tomlinson QC
An experienced media barrister, Mr Tomlinson is at the front of Mrs Vardy’s legal team in the libel case.
Called to the bar in 1983, his previous clients include the Prince of Wales in his legal battle against the Mail on Sunday over his diaries, easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and oligarch Roman Abramovich.
Mr Tomlinson, who became a QC in 2002, is a board member of campaign group Hacked Off.
Mrs Justice Steyn
The High Court judge overseeing the case, Mrs Justice Steyn (pictured right) was appointed in 2019 and sits in the Queen’s Bench Division – the part of the High Court which deals with defamation, personal injury and breach of contract claims.
As well as overseeing the ‘Wagatha Christie’ claim, other prominent cases she has heard include Arron Banks’ libel claim against journalist Carole Cadwalladr and the FDA union’s unsuccessful legal challenge over Boris Johnson’s decision to support Priti Patel following bullying accusations.
The daughter of former Law Lord Lord Steyn, Mrs Justice Steyn covered a variety of cases as a barrister, including a case over the expansion of Heathrow airport.
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