By PA High Court Staff
Coleen Rooney is set to enter the witness box for a second time as the so-called “Wagatha Christie” libel trial enters its second week at the High Court in London.
In a viral social media post in October 2019, Mrs Rooney (36) said she had carried out a “sting operation” and accused Rebekah Vardy (40) of leaking “false stories” about her private life to the press.
Mrs Vardy, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, denies leaking stories to the media and is suing her fellow footballer’s wife for libel, while Mrs Rooney is defending the claim on the basis her post was “substantially true”.
On Friday afternoon, Mrs Rooney began giving evidence in Court 13 of the Royal Courts of Justice, facing questions from Mrs Vardy’s barrister Hugh Tomlinson QC.
Asked what she set out to achieve with the widely shared post, Mrs Rooney replied: “I wasn’t achieving anything, what I wanted was to stop the person who was leaking my private information to The Sun.”
Mrs Rooney added that she had given out warnings “many times” but “it didn’t stop”, adding that the post was her “last resort”.
On Monday, the TV personality is due to give the second half of her live evidence, finishing her cross-examination with Mr Tomlinson before being asked questions by her barrister, David Sherborne.
Mrs Rooney’s questioning is expected to be followed by evidence from her brother Joe McLoughlin and football agent Paul Stretford.
Her evidence comes after Mrs Vardy spent around 10 hours being cross examined in the witness box from May 10 – the first day of the high-profile trial.
Asked about her time being questioned, Mrs Vardy described it as “exhausting, intimidating”, adding: “I feel like I’ve been bullied and manipulated.”
Mrs Rooney is defending the libel claim brought by Mrs Vardy on the basis of truth and public interest.
The libel battle 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.”