They’re battling it out in a libel trial that could cost £3million – but it appears Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy are also hoping to win in the style stakes.
The high-profile WAGS both put their best fashion foot forward when arriving at London’s High Court for the second day in the ‘Wagatha Christie’ case.
Looking effortlessly elegant, Coleen, 36, opted for a £32.99 printed dress from Zara, which she teamed with one Chanel loafer; she has been sporting an air boot on her other foot since suffering a fracture after a fall at home in March.
Meanwhile Rebekah, 40, went for a full-on designer look, pairing a black, high-neck £1,780 Prada dress with a matching £1,245 blazer from Alexander McQueen, yet another Duchess of Cambridge-approved designer.
Yesterday, for their first day in court, Rebekah went for full Duchess style again in a trendy midi shirt dress from a British-Canadian designer Edeline Lee, who marks Kate Middleton among her fans.
Coleen has been in a bitter feud with Rebekah since October 2019 after accusing her of leaking ‘false stories’ about her private life to the media, before claiming that she uncovered the culprit after carrying out a social media ‘sting operation’.
They’re battling it out in a libel trial that could cost £3million – but it appears Coleen Rooney (left) and Rebekah Vardy (right) are also hoping to win in the style stakes
Rebekah Vardy appears at the Royal Courts Of Justice in London for the second day of the Wagatha Christie libel trial today
Coleen Rooney arrived at the Royal Courts of Justice wearing a £32.99 white and black patterned Zara dress while her left foot was still in a brace following an accident at home
Turning up for the second day of proceedings, Wayne Rooney’s wife Coleen wore her brown hair scraped back into a ponytail.
She sported a natural make-up look with a light layer of foundation and lick of mascara, as well as a brown smokey eye.
Her flattering V-neck dress featured long sleeves, a tied belt in the same fabric of the frock and a ruffled hem.
Adding a touch of glitz to her black and white ensemble, she sported dainty silver earrings, a matching necklace with an R pendant, and a dazzling diamond bracelet.
The mother-of-four, who was wearing a medical boot on her left leg for an injury, completed her look with a black handbag.
Meanwhile Rebekah, who has five children as well as a step-daughter from husband Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy’s previous relationship, looked ready for business in her all-black ensemble.
Coleen was once again accompanied by her Derby County manager husband Wayne (right), who carried a leather handbag containing a file
The high-profile WAGS both put their best fashion foot forward when arriving at London’s High Court for the second day in the ‘Wagatha Christie’ case. Pictured, Coleen
Looking effortlessly elegant, Coleen (above), 36, opted for a £32.99 printed dress from Zara, which she teamed with one Chanel loafer; she has been sporting an air boot on her other foot since suffering a fracture after a fall at home in March
Coleen (above) has been in a bitter feud with Rebekah since October 2019 after accusing her of leaking ‘false stories’ about her private life to the media, before claiming that she uncovered the culprit after carrying out a social media ‘sting operation’
She donned a blazer from Alexander McQueen – a brand regularly worn by the Duchess of Cambridge – which featured padded shoulders and a nipped-in waist.
Her sleeveless Prada maxi dress featured a matching black belt and inset pockets on the sides and was teamed with elegant heels and a pair of sunglasses.
She elevated her look even further with beaded jewellery and shimmering earrings, while holding on to a black handbag.
In October 2019, Coleen accused Rebekah 40, of leaking ‘false stories’ about her to the press. She explained that she had posted a series of fake stories about herself to her personal Instagram account.
Three stories had been shared with The Sun newspaper – including one about travelling to Mexico to find out about gender selection, another regarding a return to TV and a final story about the basement flooding at her new home.
Hoping to find the account responsible for sharing these false stories, Coleen explained that she had changed the privacy settings of her posts so it was visible to just one person’s account – Rebekah’s.
Meanwhile Rebekah (pictured), 40, went for a full-on designer look, pairing a black, high-neck £1,780 Prada dress with a matching blazer from Alexander McQueen, yet another Duchess of Cambridge-approved designer
Yesterday, for their first day in court, Rebekah (pictured) went for full Duchess style again in a trendy midi shirt dress from a British-Canadian designer Edeline Lee, who marks Kate Middleton among her fans
Rebekah (above), who has five children as well as a step-daughter from husband Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy ‘s previous relationship, looked ready for business in her all-black ensemble
Coleen’s social media post revealing her operation quickly led to her being labelled ‘Wagatha Christie’ in a nod to the renowned British crime author Agatha Christie.
‘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.
WAGATHA DAY 1 RECAP: C*** slurs, World Cup photo wars, Scooby Doo… and a ‘manhood resembling a ”chipolata”’
‘There has been so much information given to them about me, my friends and my family — all without my permission or knowledge. After a long time of trying to figure out who it could be, for various reasons, I had a suspicion.
‘To try and prove this, I came up with an idea. I blocked everyone from viewing my Instagram stories except ONE account. (Those on my private account must have been wondering why I haven’t had stories on there for a while.)
‘Over the past five months I have posted a series of false stories to see if they made their way into the Sun newspaper. And you know what, they did! The story about gender selection in Mexico, the story about returning to TV and then the latest story about the basement flooding in my new house.
‘It’s been tough keeping it to myself and not making any comment at all, especially when the stories have been leaked, however I had to. Now I know for certain which account/individual it’s come from. I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them.
‘It’s………. Rebekah Vardy’s account.’
But shortly after Coleen’s public accusation, Rebekah – who was pregnant and on holiday in Dubai at the time – denied any involvement.
She hit back on social media, writing: ‘As I have just said to you [Rooney] on the phone, I wish you had called me if you thought this.
‘I never speak to anyone about you, as various journalists who have asked me to over the years can vouch for. If you thought this was happening you could have told me and I could have changed passwords to see if it stopped.
‘Over the years various people have had access to my Insta and just this week I found out I was following people I didn’t know and have never followed myself. I’m not being funny but I don’t need the money, what would I gain from selling stories on you?’
But in April, Rebekah sensationally appeared to accept that her agent had been leaking stories about Coleen in a dramatic development to the ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel battle, the High Court heard.
In documents submitted to the court, Coleen’s legal team claimed Rebekah’s case had ‘collapsed’ after an ‘abrupt change of position to her pleaded case’ following a second statement made by her in which she alleged that her agent and close friend Caroline Watt had leaked stories to The Sun.
The document compiled by Coleen’s lawyers David Sherborne and Ben Hamer, and seen by the Hight Court, states: ‘The collapse of Rebekah’s case over the last day has been remarkable.
‘As of the evening of 27 April 2022, in an abrupt change of position to her pleaded case since the outset, Rebekah’s appears now to accept Coleen’s case: that Caroline Watt, Rebekah’s close friend and PR, was the conduit by which stories from the Defendant’s Private Instagram Account were leaked to The Sun through her access via Rebekah Vardy’s account (@beckyvardy).’
It adds: ‘It is only now-over two weeks later and on the eve of trial-that Rebekah has been forced to come clean.’
The High Court in London has also heard that Ms Watt is not fit to give oral evidence to the trial.
Coleen’s lawyers previously claimed that Rebekah had leaked information to The Sun either directly or through Ms Watt ‘acting on her instruction or with her knowing approval’.
Ms Watt was referred to at an earlier hearing after the High Court in London heard that WhatsApp messages between Rebekah and Ms Watt had been disclosed. Texts heard in court included Rebekah referring to someone, whose identity is disputed, as a ‘nasty b****’.
Ms Vardy’s legal team say Ms Watt is in a ‘fragile state’ and has been expressing concerns about giving evidence.
They have asked the judge for Ms Watt’s statement to be admitted as ‘hearsay’ evidence, so that she does not have to appear in person, following the 11th hour psychiatric report.
Wagatha Christie timeline: How Coleen and Rebekah’s long-running, vicious war unfolded before the eyes of the world
September 2017 to October 2019 – The Sun runs a number of articles about Coleen, including that she travelled to Mexico to look into baby ‘gender selection’ treatment, her plan to revive her TV career and the flooding of her basement.
October 9, 2019 – Coleen uses social media to accuse Rebekah of selling stories from her private Instagram account to the tabloids.
Coleen says she spent five months attempting to work out who was sharing information about her and her family based on posts she had made on her personal social media page.
After sharing a series of ‘false’ stories and using a process of elimination, Coleen claims they were viewed by one Instagram account, belonging to Rebekah.
Rebekah, then pregnant with her fifth child, denies the allegations and says various people had access to her Instagram over the years.
She claims to be ‘so upset’ by Coleen’s accusation, later adding: ‘I thought she was my friend but she completely annihilated me.’
The public dispute makes headlines around the world, with the hashtag #WagathaChristie trending.
How it all began: On October 9, 2019, Coleen Rooney, now 36, accused Rebekah Vardy, 40, of leaking ‘false stories’ about her to the press in an Instagram post (above)
Shortly after Coleen’s public accusation, Rebekah – who was pregnant and on holiday in Dubai at the time – denied any involvement (above)
February 13, 2020 – In a tearful appearance on ITV’s Loose Women, Rebekah says the stress of the dispute caused her to have severe anxiety attacks and she ‘ended up in hospital three times’. Coleen says in a statement that she does not want to ‘engage in further public debate’.
June 23, 2020 – It emerges that Rebekah has launched libel proceedings against Coleen.
Rebekah’s lawyers allege she ‘suffered extreme distress, hurt, anxiety and embarrassment as a result of the publication of the post and the events which followed’.
November 19-20, 2020 – The libel battle has its first High Court hearing in London. A judge rules that Coleen’s October 2019 post ‘clearly identified’ Rebekah as being ‘guilty of the serious and consistent breach of trust’.
Mr Justice Warby concludes that the ‘natural and ordinary’ meaning of the posts was that Rebekah had ‘regularly and frequently abused her status as a trusted follower of Coleen’s personal Instagram account by secretly informing The Sun of Coleen’s private posts and stories’.
February 8-9, 2022 – A series of explosive messages between Rebekah and her agent Caroline Watt – which Coleen’s lawyers allege were about her – are revealed at a preliminary court hearing.
The court is told Rebekah was not referring to Coleen when she called someone a ‘nasty bitch’ in one exchange with Ms Watt.
Coleen’s lawyers seek further information from the WhatsApp messages, but the court is told that Ms Watt’s phone fell into the North Sea after a boat she was on hit a wave, before further information could be extracted from it.
February 14 – Coleen is refused permission to bring a High Court claim against Ms Watt for misuse of private information to be heard alongside the libel battle. A High Court judge, Mrs Justice Steyn, says the bid was brought too late and previous opportunities to make the claim had not been taken.
April 13 – Ms Watt is not fit to give oral evidence at the upcoming libel trial, the High Court is told as the case returns for another hearing.
The agent revokes permission for her witness statement to be used, and withdraws her waiver which would have allowed Sun journalists to say whether she was a source of the allegedly leaked stories.
April 29 – Rebekah ‘appears to accept’ that her agent was the source of allegedly leaked stories, Coleen’s barrister David Sherborne tells the High Court. He argues that a new witness statement submitted by Rebekah suggests Ms Watt was the source but Rebekah claims she ‘did not authorise or condone her’.
Rebekah’s lawyer Hugh Tomlinson says the statement did not contain ‘any change whatever in the pleaded case’, with her legal team having no communication with Ms Watt.
Who’s who in the case? Former friends who had a bitter falling out, the former Virgin Atlantic air hostess, and the celebrity lawyers going head to head
Rebekah Vardy with her agent, Caroline Watt, who had been due to give evidence in the trial but was recently found to be ‘not fit’ to take part, also withdrawing her written evidence
The footballer’s wife bringing the claim, Rebekah’s family was thrust into the limelight after her husband Jamie helped Leicester City on their way to an unlikely Premier League win in 2016.
The model and TV personality, 40, appeared on I’m A Celebrity in 2017 before later appearing on Dancing On Ice in 2021, as well as making appearances on Loose Women.
The mother-of-five recently wrote a children’s book with her husband Jamie, entitled Cedric The Little Sloth With A Big Dream, which follows a little sloth who hopes to become a footballer.
Coleen, the footballer’s wife defending the claim, is perhaps now better known as ‘Wagatha Christie’ after her social media posts at the heart of the libel trial went viral.
The 36-year-old has had a varied career including TV presenting, writing, as well as fronting an exercise DVD.
Coleen met her husband when she was 12, as the couple went to the same school in Liverpool.
They began dating when they both turned 16 and have four sons together – Kai Wayne, Klay Anthony, Kit Joseph and Cass Mac.
Mrs Vardy’s friend and agent, Ms Watt has featured in some of the preliminary hearings, despite not being a party to the claim or giving evidence at the trial.
She is a former Virgin Atlantic air hostess who has been Rebekah’s agent for the past seven years, helping to build her profile in the national media.
Reports that she no longer represents her following the current controversy engulfing the two have been dismissed as inaccurate with Ms Watt remaining close to Ms Vardy both professionally and personally.
Ms Watt, 39, is married to former footballer Steve Watt, who played briefly for Chelsea, making one Premier League appearance for two minutes in 2005 and Swansea City. He is currently manager of Kent non-league side Hythe Town and they have two children.
After leaving the airline industry, Ms Watt began working as an agent in the world of entertainment, quickly developing a reputation for her communication skills and ability to network.
She was formerly employed by talent agency The Frontrow Partnership but left in 2019 to go it alone and took her main client and close friend, Ms Vardy with her.
Ms Watt has been credited with building Ms Vardy’s public profile by ensuring that she regularly featured in the national media and also brokered the deal for her to appear on the hit reality TV show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2018.
Ms Watt started representing the high-profile WAG in 2015, when her husband, Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy shot to fame.
She is a regular visitor to the Vardy’s Lincolnshire home and also socialises with Ms Vardy, attending glitzy parties and bars.
Her other clients include the former Page 3 girl Nicola McLean but it is Ms Vardy that has been the biggest asset in her career as an agent.
Hugh Tomlinson QC (left), 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. David Sherborne (right), 53, is acting for Mrs Rooney
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.
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.
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.