Weeping Wag Rebekah Vardy yesterday claimed Coleen Rooney ‘weaponised’ her fans when she accused her of leaking stories to the Press.
Mrs Vardy broke down in court and the hearing had to be halted twice as she described the fall-out from Mrs Rooney’s famous ‘Wagatha Christie’ tweet.
It declared that she had been betrayed, adding: ‘It’s… Rebekah Vardy’s account.’ The 40-year-old wife of Leicester City star Jamie Vardy said she was immediately bombarded with vile abuse and death threats.
She told the High Court: ‘It seemed she had weaponised her fan base against me.’
The mother-of-five wiped away tears as she was accused of leaking private information about Mrs Rooney, attempting to destroy incriminating evidence and pinning the blame on her agent and friend Caroline Watt.
Weeping Wag Rebekah Vardy yesterday claimed Coleen Rooney ‘weaponised’ her fans when she accused her of leaking stories to the Press
Mrs Rooney’s lawyer David Sherborne claimed Mrs Vardy had betrayed Mrs Watt by ‘throwing her under the bus’. Mrs Vardy sobbed: ‘She’s been driven to suicidal thoughts by these proceedings and the antics of the defendant [Mrs Rooney].’
The footballer’s wife was led from the court in tears twice during the hearing and at the end of the day as she struggled during cross-examination by Mr Sherborne.
She has told how she received a ‘torrent of insults’ and death threats within moments of Mrs Rooney’s social media post in 2019. She was seven months pregnant and feared she could lose her unborn baby.
Mrs Vardy is suing Mrs Rooney – wife of former England striker Wayne Rooney – for libel over the post, which led to her being dubbed ‘Wagatha Christie’.
Mrs Vardy broke down in court and the hearing had to be halted twice as she described the fall-out from Mrs Rooney’s famous ‘Wagatha Christie’ tweet
Davy Jones? Rebekah is all at sea…
The courtroom burst into laughter yesterday when Rebekah Vardy admitted she didn’t know who Davy Jones was.
It came as the court was reminded that Mrs Vardy’s agent Caroline Watt had said in an earlier hearing that her phone had fallen into the North Sea.
David Sherborne, for Coleen Rooney, said: ‘We know that Miss Watt’s phone is now in Davy Jones’ Locker, don’t we, Mrs Vardy?’ Mrs Vardy replied: ‘I’m sorry, I don’t know who Davy Jones is.’
Amid laughter, the judge explained that the idiom related to the resting place of drowned sailors.
The character also appears in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, with Bill Nighy, pictured above, playing the role of the tyrannical captain.
She accused Mrs Rooney of deliberately provoking the furore, saying: ‘She knows exactly how aggressive and nasty the social media community can be… She should have used her influence and reach to call the trolls off. She didn’t.’
In a series of tense exchanges with Mr Sherborne, Mrs Vardy was repeatedly accused of leaking information from Mrs Rooney’s private Instagram account to The Sun and of lying in her evidence to the court.
Mr Sherborne asked: ‘Would you not agree, Mrs Vardy, that if it looks like a leak and it sounds like a leak – and you even use the word leak – that it’s more likely than not to be a leak… That’s what you are, isn’t it, a leak?’
‘No,’ Mrs Vardy said repeatedly, shaking her head and wiping her eyes. The lawyer claimed she had betrayed Mrs Watt, expecting her ‘to do the dirty work’ by contacting journalists and then attempting to pin the blame on her.
He said: ‘It’s you that betrayed her by throwing her under the bus.’
Mrs Vardy broke down, shaking her head and muttering: ‘That’s a joke.’ WhatsApp messages between Mrs Watt and Mrs Vardy have been read to the court in which the two women discussed posts on Mrs Rooney’s private Instagram account.
Mrs Vardy insists they were gossiping and she was joking about leaking the information, although she has admitted that Mrs Watt may have contacted journalists.
Mrs Watt, 40, was expected to be called as a witness but the court has heard she is now receiving psychiatric care and has been deemed too unwell to give evidence.
Mrs Rooney’s lawyer David Sherborne claimed Mrs Vardy had betrayed Mrs Watt by ‘throwing her under the bus’
Experts were also unable to analyse her iPhone after she accidentally dropped it overboard while filming the Scottish coastline on a boat trip – days after the court ordered the mobile should be searched. Mr Sherborne said the episode was part of a ‘catalogue of so-called unfortunate events’ which had affected the case. The court heard that screenshots and videos sent on the WhatsApp chat between Mrs Vardy and Mrs Watt were permanently deleted during a data transfer and Mrs Vardy’s laptop was discarded after it stopped working.
Mrs Vardy repeatedly denied she had deliberately deleted potentially incriminating evidence and disposed of her laptop.
She said she believed the messages would have been ‘extremely helpful’ to proving her case.
Earlier, Mr Sherborne accused her of ‘selective amnesia’ over her recollection of events. She denied she had orchestrated a tip-off to paparazzi over a photo of her with other England Wags – wives and girlfriends – during the World Cup in Russia in 2018. She and Mrs Watt exchanged messages in which they appeared to plan the photo, but Mrs Vardy said it was only intended to be a picture of her.
Mrs Vardy repeatedly denied she had deliberately deleted potentially incriminating evidence and disposed of her laptop
Mrs Rooney, 36, is expected to start her evidence in the £3million libel trial today
The photo led to complaints from Wags and at least one player as English football bosses wanted media coverage focused on the team and the tournament rather than the wives and girlfriends. In a message to Mrs Watt, Mrs Vardy said: ‘England will do their nut.’ Asked about an article about the Wags at the World Cup, Mrs Vardy said: ‘If I’m honest, I can’t remember that at all.’ Mr Sherborne replied: ‘Well, I would much rather you were honest because you are in a witness box under oath.’
The court also heard a message she sent to Mrs Rooney in which she suggested that her phone could have been hacked. She denied it was an attempt to divert suspicion away from her. In an uncomfortable exchange, she was also asked about an article which claimed the Rooneys’ marriage was over – while Mrs Rooney and Wayne sat feet away from her.
Mrs Rooney, 36, is expected to start her evidence in the £3million libel trial today. She took copious notes throughout former friend Mrs Vardy’s evidence and has reportedly signed a contract with Netflix to make a documentary about the trial. The case continues.
nSinger Peter Andre yesterday complained he has taken ‘hit after hit’ for years after Mrs Vardy compared his private parts to a chipolata.
The quote was mentioned earlier in the case. Andre, 49, who is said to have had a fling with Mrs Vardy in 2001, posted a video online claiming there would be ‘absolute outrage’ if he made a jibe about her anatomy. He added: ‘I’ve taken it for 15 years.’