William Janes, PA
Rebekah Vardy told the High Court in London that she felt like she had been “bullied and manipulated” while facing cross-examination in the witness box.
Concluding her evidence on day four of her libel battle with Coleen Rooney on Thursday, Mrs Vardy (40) spoke of the emotional impact the experience had on her.
When asked by her barrister, Hugh Tomlinson QC, how she had found giving evidence, she replied: “Exhausting, intimidating. I feel like I’ve been bullied and manipulated.”
It comes after the model and wife of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy became tearful numerous times throughout her questioning, prompting the court to take a number of breaks before she was able to resume giving evidence.
Earlier on Thursday, she stifled tears as she spoke of how she feared losing her baby while recalling trying to secure WhatsApp evidence for the trial.
The court previously heard swathes of messages were unavailable because they had been accidentally wiped, while others did not show images, video, or audio they contained.
Speaking of her emotional state at the time she was exporting her messages, during which she claims many were inadvertently deleted, she said: “I wasn’t very well, I was having constant panic attacks, anxiety, I was scared I was going to lose my baby.”
In a witness statement, she said she will “never forgive” Mrs Rooney after she “ruined” the last weeks of her pregnancy with the accusation that she had been leaking private information to the press.
The mother-of-five said she “never provided any information about the contents of Coleen’s private Instagram account to The Sun”.
Mrs Vardy concluded her statement: “I will never forgive the way in which Coleen ruined my last weeks of pregnancy and the suffering she has caused to my children and my family, but I hope that this claim will mean that the whole world will know that I did not betray Coleen’s trust.”
The libel trial at the Royal Courts of Justice comes after Mrs Rooney publicly claimed that an account behind three fake stories in The Sun that she had posted on her personal Instagram account was Mrs Vardy’s.
The fake stories Mrs Rooney planted on her Instagram during the sting operation featured her travelling to Mexico for a “gender selection” procedure, her planning to return to TV, and the basement flooding at her home.
In the post on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, she wrote: “I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them. “It’s ………. Rebekah Vardy’s account.”
Mrs Rooney is defending the libel claim brought by Mrs Vardy on the basis of truth and public interest.