After nearly three years of expensive legal back-and-forths, Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney are finally getting loose Head to head in court.
The famous football WAGs arrived for their much-anticipated defamation trial at the High Court of Justice in London on Tuesday morning.
In 2019, the wife of England footballer-turned-manager Wayne Rooney sensationally accused Rebekah, the wife of Leicester City player Jamie Vardy, of leaking stories to The Sun newspaper.
Rebekah, the vehemently denied the allegations against her, responded by slapping Coleen with a defamation lawsuit.
how did it start
In October 2019, Coleen shared a lengthy post about her Twitter and Instagram accounts, suggesting that “for a number of years, someone I have trusted to follow me on my personal Instagram account has been constantly updating The SUN newspaper with my private posts and stories.”
Coleen, who has been married to Wayne since 2008, said “after a long time trying to figure out who it could be, for a variety of reasons,” she had a gut feeling and formulated a plan for how she could hustle this mystery persona.
“I blocked everyone from seeing my Instagram Stories except ONE account,” Coleen said at the time. “Over the past five months I’ve published a number of fake stories to see if they made their way into the Sun newspaper. And you know what, they did it!”
Coleen noted that she “saved all of the original stories and took screenshots clearly showing only one person viewed them,” claiming it was “Rebekah Vardy’s account.”
What happened next?
Rebekah, who has been married to Jamie since 2016, addressed the allegations on Twitter the same day and tagged Coleen in her post.
“As I just told you on the phone, I wish you would have called me if that’s what you thought.” She tweeted in 2019.
“I never speak to anyone about you, as various journalists who have asked me to do so over the years can vouch. If you thought this was happening you could have told me and I could have changed my passwords to see if it stops.”
Continuing that “various people have had access” to her Instagram account over the years, Rebekah added, “Just this week I realized I was following people I didn’t know and never followed myself. “
“I’m not funny, but I don’t need the money. What would I gain from selling stories about you?” Rebekah wrote. “I liked you very much Coleen and I’m so upset that you chose to do that, especially when I’m heavily pregnant.”
Rebekah said she was “disgusted” at “having to even deny it,” saying that “you should have called me the first time that happened.”
She later filed a defamation lawsuit against Coleen in June 2020, setting the stage for a court battle estimated at over $3.7 million in legal costs, reports Der Spiegel.
What can we expect?
Under English defamation law, Coleen and her legal team must successfully prove that their post about Rebekah was “substantially true”.
The full trial began Tuesday morning after months of preliminary hearings – which none of the WAGs attended.
The case first appeared in court in November 2020 after a judge said Coleen’s post had “clearly identified Rebekah as guilty of aggravated and consequential breach of trust.”
The two have both sued each other and are now facing each other in court.
Even if Coleen’s legal team successfully carries out his case, The Times reports that she may still have to foot the bill for some of the legal costs.
Meanwhile, if Rebekah emerges victorious, she could be awarded meager damages.
The trial is expected to last six days, with a verdict at a later date.