Entertainment

Rebekah Vardy’s bombshell texts will be read to court in latest Wagatha win for Coleen Rooney


Coleen Rooney requested for the disclosure of communications between Rebekah Vardy, her agent Caroline Watt and a journalist from The Sun and it was granted by a High Court judge at a preliminary hearing today.

According to The Mirror, Mrs Justice Steyn said journalist Andrew Halls was the writer behind of one of the ‘so-called sting articles’ featuring in the libel dispute, concluding disclosure in relation to the journalist was ‘necessary’ and ‘proportionate’.

The proceedings were held to look further into issues around witness statements, disclosure of material and arrangements ahead of the trial, which is due to start next month.

Rebekah, who is married to footballer Jamie Vardy, is suing Coleen for libel over accusations of leaking “false stories” about Rooney’s private life to the press in October 2019.

Vardy vehemently denies the allegations, and both WAGs have shelled out thousands in the lengthy legal dispute.

Mrs Justice Steyn told the court on Wednesday, while she has granted disclosure from News Group Newspapers in relationship to Vardy’s communications with journalist Andrew, she was ‘not persuaded’ legal tests were met to allow disclosure in relation to a further eight journalists.

She said she would give the full reasons for her decision at a later date.

Coleen’s barrister David Sherborne began the hearing by making an application for third party disclosure against News Group Newspapers Ltd – the publisher of the Sun newspaper.

He said this was over communications between Rebekah, her agent Caroline and a number of Sun journalists in which the two women were allegedly “passing on stories or information relating to other parties”.



Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy
Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy

The barrister claimed Vardy believed any disclosure order should be limited around articles about Coleen, but said this “ignores” his client’s case, which was “wider than just Mrs Vardy leaking stories about Mrs Rooney either directly herself or through others under her instruction”.

During his application, he claimed Rebekah “has an established practice and history of leaking private information about others in particular to the Sun newspaper and she is a leaker or others’ private information”.

Mr Sherborne also alleged that there had been ‘deliberate steps’ taken by Rebekah to ‘avoid giving disclosure’.

He told the court this recently included Rebekah’s expert downloading her data to inspect, but then had “forgotten the password which he used to encrypt the material and he couldn’t remember it”.

“So that material is now lost to us as well,” Mr Sherborne said.

The barrister later explained his application for disclosure over alleged ‘close links’ with Sun journalists was the ‘last resort’.

He told the court Rebekah argues the allegation she has an ‘established history and habitual practice’ of providing information in relation to others is ‘baseless and untrue’ and she did not leak Coleen’s private information to The Sun.



Rebekah Vardy is suing Coleen Rooney for libel over the Wagatha Christie drama

She also denies providing information through others, Mr Sherborne said.

But the barrister said disclosed messages allegedly show Vardy ‘doesn’t want to be seen to be the person leaking’, so her agent Caroline was to be ‘the fall guy’.

He claimed there was a ‘pattern’ of discussions between the WAG and Caroline about other people’s information ‘that then finds its way into the Sun’.

Mr Adam Wolanski, who represented News Group Newspapers opposed Coleen’s application for disclosure from The Sun journalist and said he feared she had “rather underestimated the scale of the task that she’s asked us to perform”.

“You can’t just blunder into it,” Mr Wolanksi said, adding it was a “potentially highly intrusive process”.

He told the court an initial keyword search of journalists’ email accounts had returned 20,500 results, giving ‘some idea of the scale of the task’ that the publisher would be confronted with if a disclosure order was made.



Collen orchestrated a sting on Instagram

Hugh Tomlinson QC, also for Mrs Vardy, said she was ‘critically neutral’ on the request for documents.

“Rebekah Vardy has nothing to hide,” he told the court.

Coleen was dubbed “Wagatha Christie” when she publicly claimed Vardy shared fake stories she had posted on her personal Instagram account with The Sun newspaper.

In November it was reported that Coleen’s bill will be £537,000 while Rebekah’s is estimated at £838,000.

The latest preliminary hearing comes after Coleen lost a bid to add a claim against Rebekah’s agent Caroline Watt to the libel case.

The WAG’s lawyers previously claimed Vardy had leaked information to The Sun either directly or through her agent “acting on her instruction or with her knowing approval”.

The application to add the claim, which was opposed by Vardy’s lawyers, was refused by Mrs Justice Steyn who ruled it was brought too late and could delay the trial.

The two day hearing last week alone cost Coleen £163,926 and Rebekah will have faced a similar legal bill.

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