By PA High Court Staff
Coleen Rooney described messages between Rebekah Vardy and her agent about her as “just evil” at the end of her time in the witness box, as the “Wagatha Christie” libel trial enters its final few days in the UK.
In a viral social media post in October 2019, Mrs Rooney, 36, said she had carried out a “sting operation” and accused Mrs 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”.
After walking into the witness box of the Royal Courts of Justice’s Court 13 in London on Friday, Mrs Rooney finished her evidence on Monday, where she was asked about the aftermath of her “reveal” post and Mrs Vardy’s response.
Hugh Tomlinson QC, for Mrs Vardy, said: “She makes it clear to you that it wasn’t her, doesn’t she?”
“She says she has zero interest in what’s going on in my life, which I believe is totally untrue,” Mrs Rooney replied. “She talks about me a lot… so that was a lie,” she added.
Mrs Rooney then discussed WhatsApp messages the court had heard between Mrs Vardy and her agent Caroline Watt – in which Mrs Rooney featured.
She said she had never met or spoken to Ms Watt, commenting on the agent’s exchanges with Mrs Vardy: “The messages that went on between them were just evil and uncalled for.”
“There’s no need for it, I’ve never done anything to them,” Mrs Rooney added.
She later said she had a lot of people contacting her immediately after the post, and Mr Tomlinson said people online were calling her “Wagatha Christie”.
She responded: “Yeah, which I just think is ridiculous.
“I got a lot of people sending me pictures, screenshots and obviously people didn’t realise how serious what was behind it was.
“I felt it was hard and people I trusted and people I had let into my circle were going against me.”
She added: “I have never spoke about this until this case, so I haven’t dwelt on it, to be honest with you I have hated every minute of it.”
Monday’s hearing also featured evidence from Coleen Rooney’s former PR representative Rachel Monk, about her interactions with The Sun newspaper in relation to stories about the footballer’s wife.
On one occasion, according to her witness statement, Ms Monk told a Sun journalist that a story about her client going to a gender selection clinic in Mexico was “bonkers”.
Harpreet Robertson, a former family liaison officer at the Football Association, told the court that two guests of Mrs Vardy allegedly being “rude and abusive” to her at a Euros 2016 match was the “worst moment” she had experienced at a game.
She claimed in her witness statement that Mrs Vardy’s evidence about why she sat behind Mrs Rooney at the England versus Wales match was “simply untrue”.
In a brief appearance in the witness box, Mrs Rooney’s brother said it was a “shock” for him to learn about his sister’s so-called sting operation, after she asked him to help create a “graphic” of text shortly before her October 2019 post was sent.
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.”