Naomi Clarke, PA Entertainment Reporter
Rebekah Vardy has said she feels there was “a lot of sexism” involved in the coverage of her 'Wagatha Christie' legal battle against Coleen Rooney.
In her first TV interview since losing the libel case, the wife of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy opened up about her thoughts on the case and the effects it has had on her personally.
Last week Vardy (40) lost a libel battle against 36-year-old Rooney over a viral social media post, after a High Court judge found it was “substantially true”.
In her first interview since the ruling, Vardy opened up to TalkTV’s Kate McCann about how she thought the case was presented in a “misogynistic way”.
McCann asked whether she thought the scrutiny by the media surrounding how she and Rooney dressed during the trial was influenced by sexism, to which Vardy replied: “Totally – the whole thing was presented in such a misogynistic way.”
Vardy pointed out that she does not think Johnny Depp’s attire was subjected to the same level of observation during his recent high-profile trial with Amber Heard.
She added: “It just seems like women aren’t allowed to defend themselves. Women aren’t allowed to dress nicely. Yeah, there’s a lot of sexism involved in it.”
Vardy also reflected on how it has affected her personally since the original post in 2019, admitting there were points where she felt she “didn’t even want to be here any more”.
She added: “It was like the worst feeling but at the same time having those feelings, feeling that I shouldn’t be feeling that because to me that was being a failure and that was not an option for me to be seen to be like that, for the kids’ benefit more than anything.”
The former I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! contestant has previously revealed that she was admitted to hospital twice to be treated for mental health issues and feels that she is probably suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
Reflecting on the chance that she will go back on medication, she added: “It’s nothing to be ashamed of, if that helps then I’ll accept it because I think everyone has to know their strengths and their weaknesses and point when they need to ask for help.”
The dispute began in 2019 when Rooney shared a post saying she had carried out a months-long “sting operation” and accused Vardy of leaking “false stories” about her private life to the press.
The wife of former England star Wayne Rooney publicly claimed Vardy’s account was the source behind three stories in The Sun newspaper featuring fake details she had posted on her private Instagram stories.
Vardy denied leaking stories to the media and sued Rooney for libel with both women attended a week-long trial at the High Court in London in May, which attracted a huge amount of press attention.
Speaking to TalkTV, Vardy admitted she does regret the dispute went as far as it did but continuously reaffirmed that she still believes she is innocent.
She added that she is “disappointed” with the outcome of the trial, saying: “I didn’t expect it to go that way, but I think we had a judge that didn’t understand the case and didn’t look at everything.
“It feels like the judge just read what was written in the media and took on their narrative bias.”
Rebekah Vardy claims she was never warned by her legal team that she might not win the libel trial against Coleen Rooney, telling TalkTV her husband was also "110% behind me."@KateEMcCann | @RebekahVardy pic.twitter.com/KEEZBIqKPu
— The News Desk (@TheNewsDesk) August 3, 2022
Vardy also revealed that at no point did her legal team warn her to not carry on with the case, adding: “Because they know I didn’t do it and that is the exact reason that I carried on for as long as I did and I will say that ’til I’m blue in the face, I did not do it.”
She added that she holds “no ill feelings” towards Rooney but feels that if she had witnessed the level of abuse another footballer's wife was receiving that she would have stepped in.
“I would have said ‘whatever I say that she’s done, she doesn’t deserve and her family don’t deserve to be abused the way they are’.
She continued: “Because if anyone’s abusing her now, if anyone’s sending her any horrible messages or her family any horrible messages, they just need to stop because no one deserves to be subjected to that sort of abuse on any level.”