Vardy’s ‘nasty’ text not about Rooney, court toldon February 9, 2022 at 5:47 pm

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On the second day of the hearing, Mrs Vardy’s barrister said the message was “about someone else”.

Coleen Rooney

Image source, Getty Images

Rebekah Vardy was not referring to Coleen Rooney when she called someone an expletive in a message to her agent, a court has heard.

On the second day of a two-day hearing, Mrs Vardy’s barrister said the “nasty” message was “about someone else”.

Proceedings this week will decide what evidence can be used in a May trial.

The “Wagatha Christie” row broke out in 2019 after Mrs Rooney said fake stories were leaked to newspapers after only being seen by Mrs Vardy’s Instagram.

Mrs Vardy denies the accusations and is suing Mrs Rooney for libel.

On Tuesday, the High Court heard that WhatsApp messages between Mrs Vardy and her PR and friend Caroline Watt had been disclosed ahead of the trial.

Today, Mrs Vardy’s barrister Hugh Tomlinson said a text in which she referred to someone as a “nasty” expletive was “not a passage about Mrs Rooney”.

Mrs Rooney’s lawyers have previously claimed that Mrs Vardy, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie, had leaked information to The Sun newspaper either directly or through Ms Watt “acting on her instruction or with her knowing approval”.

According to Mrs Rooney’s written case, messages between Mrs Vardy and Ms Watt in January 2019 showed them discussing a post on Mrs Rooney’s private Instagram where her car had been damaged.

Mrs Vardy told Ms Watt she “would love to leak those stories x”.

Mrs Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne, had said those messages “reveal that Mrs Vardy and Ms Watt are responsible for the leaking”. However Mr Tomlinson insists they were “selective”, and had “precisely the opposite effect”.

During Tuesday’s hearing, the barrister quoted messages from Mrs Vardy to Ms Watt in which she said she was “offended” that Mrs Rooney thought she was the person who had leaked the information.

He added: “If one reads these messages in full, what one sees is that Mrs Vardy expresses shock at being accused and she is here communicating with the person that Mr Sherborne says is her co-conspirator.

“These are obviously candid personal messages, and if she was really concerned – ‘Oh, this is terrible, we have been found out’ – then it would have been completely different.”

Rebekah Vardy

Image source, Getty Images

Mrs Rooney is also bringing a claim against Ms Watt for misuse of private information and is asking for it to be joined to the libel case.

Mr Sherborne told the court that if Mrs Vardy wins her claim on the basis that she was not the person who leaked the information, then Mrs Rooney will be left without “vindication” unless she is able to bring the claim against Ms Watt as part of the same case.

A lost phone

David Sherborne also said that Mrs Rooney’s lawyers wanted further information from the WhatsApp messages between Mrs Vardy and Ms Watt, but were told Ms Watt’s phone had fallen into the sea after a boat she was on hit a wave, shortly after the last hearing.

“[It was] most unfortunate, because it was only a short time after the court ordered that the phone should be specifically searched,” he said.

Mr Tomlinson told the court: “That is what happened. Mrs Vardy was not present when that happened. She [Ms Watt] was on holiday, she lost her phone.”

Mrs Vardy’s lawyers have opposed the application to add the claim against Ms Watt to the libel case, saying in written arguments the claim “could have been brought 15 months ago”.

Ian Helme, representing Ms Watt, also opposed the application and previously said she has given “clear and consistent” denials against the claim for misuse of private information.

The trial is due to begin in early May but is likely to be delayed.

The hearing before Mrs Justice Steyn concluded on Wednesday with judgement expected on Monday morning.

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