The media soap opera between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney, both married to English footballers, began on social media in 2019, but the drama escalated and culminated in a legal battle between the two British companions. First, Coleen accused Rebekah of disclosing private information about her to “The Sun,” and in retaliation, Rebekah now sues Coleen for defamation. Understand better the “WAG war” that is raging the British media.
“WAGs at War” means “Wagatha Christie.” When a lawsuit has its own name, it is a sure sign that it is attracting a lot of interest. The face-to-face legal battle between Jamie Vardy and Wayne Rooney’s WAGs (short for footballers ’wives and girlfriends) has surfaced in the British press, and the trial, which began on May 10 and is scheduled to last seven days, will be followed by a minute by several tabloids.
In November 2020, and after several hearings, the judge decided to take the defamation case to the Supreme Court and ordered Rooney’s wife to pay 26,000 euros in the initial costs of the trial. Vardy’s partner, 40, wants to “find out” his name in public and prove he wasn’t responsible for the leaks that Coleen, 36, blames him for.
The accusatory publication ends up in court
The “controversy” erupted on October 9, 2019 with a message accusing Coleen Rooney on social media. The wife of an English international began by saying that “for a few years” someone who followed her on her personal Instagram account, “someone she trusted,” passed on private information to “The Sun” without her “consent” or “knowledge.” In an attempt to expose the mole, Coleen explained that only Rebecca’s account, which she already suspected, had access to its contents and that she published several fake “stories” for five months to see if the information got into the afternoon newspaper and whether it did. “I recorded and filmed all the original stories where clearly only one person saw them. It was … Rebekah Vardy’s account,” he wrote in a Twitter message.
This has been a burden in my life for a few years and I have finally gotten to the heart of it …… pic.twitter.com/0YqJAoXuK1
– Coleen Rooney (@ColeenRoo) October 9, 2019
This “detective” was nicknamed “Wagatha Christie” on social media, a clear reference to British author Agatha Christie.
Half an hour later, Vardy’s response arrived in self-defense form and also through social networks. Rebekah, who is experiencing the end of her pregnancy, categorically denied that she was the source of the leak, justifying several people accessing her accounts and apologizing for the situation. At the time, the Leicester City striker’s wife had an opinion column in “The Sun.” “You should have called me when it first happened,” he wrote on Instagram.
Nearly a year after the controversy, Rebekah admitted to receiving “very much public beatings after the mockery” of Coleen’s accusations and feared that the stress she caused could lead to a miscarriage. Quoted by France-Press, he added that he had “suicidal thoughts” because of the attacks he suffered. He therefore filed a defamation lawsuit against his ex-boyfriend in June 2020.
At the first hearings, Vardy’s lawyer, Hugh Tomlinson, quoted by the BBC, called Coleen’s actions “a false and unjust defamatory attack … published and republished to millions of people” and should therefore be condemned.
Rooney’s attorney argued that Coleen’s virus release blamed Rebekah Vardy’s Instagram account, not directly the model. However, Judge Mark Warby ruled in favor of Vardy and the case went to the Supreme Court.
A cell phone that disappeared into the sea and was able to resolve the case
In the fight for “the truth of the facts,” Rooney’s law team asked to analyze the conversations between Rebecca and the target’s agent and friend Caroline Watt, believing the agent to release the information even though he had the client’s approval. Their bilateral discussions on WhatsApp were discussed in several pre-trial hearings, including one in which Vardy referred to Rooney in a malicious and offensive manner, according to Sky News. However, the analysis ended when Caroline Watt claimed to have lost her phone at sea the day after one hearing, making it impossible to look at other discussions.
Watt has been described as “in a fragile state” and is not going to testify in court, and was deemed “inadequate” to give oral evidence.
Advertising expert Chris Huntelle’s saga has been bad for both women on a professional level. “Brands want to work with celebrities to achieve consumer loyalty, increase sales and create a positive connection with that person,” he explains to the BBC. “The impact on these two women is huge, especially in the short term. They could lose hundreds of thousands of pounds just by being involved in your case.” Despite the fact that Rebekah and Coleen have entered the celebrity world through their husbands, they have built their careers and created several projects from scratch.
According to attorney Jonathan Coad, Coleen Rooney must prove that Rebekah Vardy was the author of the leaks, or else prove that she ordered them. “If someone on Rebekah Vardy’s team acted on their own initiative, he doesn’t have to worry,” he explains. “Because it’s not his fault and he wins,” he concludes.