Disney+ secures deal with Coleen Rooney to document ‘Wagatha Christie’ trial

The streaming giant announced the project during the Edinburgh TV Festival on Friday.
Disney+ secures deal with Coleen Rooney to document ‘Wagatha Christie’ trial

By Naomi Clarke, PA Entertainment Reporter

Disney+ has confirmed it is creating a documentary series with Coleen Rooney about the “Wagatha Christie” legal battle brought by Rebekah Vardy.

Last month, the wife of former England footballer Wayne Rooney, 36, won a libel battle against 40-year-old Vardy, who is married to Leicester striker Jamie Vardy, over a viral social media post.

The streaming giant announced on Friday during the Edinburgh TV Festival it has “exclusive access” to Rooney and the trial to develop the three-part series.

It had been rumoured that many broadcasters and streaming services were bidding to secure the rights to create a project about the high-profile court case.

‘Wagatha Christie’ trial
Rebekah Vardy outside the High Court with her husband Jamie (Yui Mok/PA)

Announcing the news, Sean Doyle, Disney+ director of unscripted content, said it is “excited” about the deal.

He admitted he can see why it might be “a bit surprising” that Disney would take on such a project, but does not think that is a “bad thing”.

Mr Doyle added that he thinks new content at Disney, including the new Kardashian reality series, is maybe “changing people’s expectations” about it.

Asked why Disney wanted to document the Rooney-Vardy courtroom battle, Mr Doyle said: “Well what a story, first and and foremost.

“Everything we do has to be an amazing story that has amazing twists and turns in it.

He added that the “Wagatha Christie” case is a story people particularly want to hear.

In a social media post that went viral in October 2019, Rooney said she had carried out a months-long “sting operation” as she accused Vardy of leaking “false stories” about her private life to the press.

‘Wagatha Christie’ trial
Coleen Rooney with husband Wayne during the trial  (Yui Mok/PA)

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 her fellow footballer’s wife for libel, while Rooney defended the claim on the basis that her post was “substantially true”.

In a much-anticipated ruling last month, Mrs Justice Steyn found in Rooney’s favour and dismissed the claim against her.

Following the case, Rooney welcomed her victory saying she “never believed it should have gone to court” and that “it was not a case I ever sought or wanted”.

Vardy also expressed her thoughts on the trial in a TV interview with TalkTV’s Kate McCann, admitting she regrets the dispute went as far as it did but reaffirming that she still believes she is innocent.

She said she was “disappointed” with the outcome of the trial, adding: “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.”

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