Wagatha Christie Trial: Untangling the Court Battle Between Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy

Rebekah Vardy sued Coleen Rooney for libel in 2020 after Coleen claimed that Rebekah leaked stories about her private life to the press. Learn more about the so-called Wagatha Christie trial below.

By Emlyn Travis May 14, 2022 12:19 AMTags
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Leaked Instagram stories, viral tweets, and a solo sting operation are just a few of the elements at play in the ongoing U.K. libel case between Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy, the wives of two prominent British soccer stars. 

On May 10, the so-called Wagatha Christie case officially went to trial in London's High Court, nearly two years after Rebekah, 40, first sued Coleen, 36, for defamation back in June 2020. 

In a witness statement on May 13, Coleen said that she was "glad to have put an end" to Rebekah leaking others' private information to the press after she caught the fellow soccer wife "betraying" her "red-handed" in a self-described "sting operation." 

If you haven't been following the trial up until this point, we've got you covered. It all kicked off in October 2019, when Coleen—who is the wife of former football player and Derby County F.C. manager Wayne Rooney—accused Rebekah, who is married to Leicester City athlete Jamie Vardy, of leaking false stories about her to the British tabloid The Sun in a now-viral tweet.  

Coleen Rooney vs Rebekah Vardy: Breaking Down the Internet's Most Buzzed-About Feud

"For a few years now someone who I trusted to follow me on my personal Instagram account has been consistently informing The SUN newspaper of my private posts and stories," Coleen tweeted as part of a lengthy statement. "To try and prove this, I came up with an idea. I blocked everyone from viewing my Instagram stories except ONE account." 

Getty Images

Coleen went on to reveal her method of confirming the leak.

"Over the past five months I have posted a series of false stories to see if they made their way into the Sun newspaper," she explained. "And you know what, they did!" 

"I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them," Coleen wrote. She then said the account was Rebekah Vardy's.  

The case has subsequently been nicknamed "Wagatha Christie." It's a nod to "WAGs"—an acronym used within British soccer for "Wives And Girlfriends"—and also to the great murder mystery writer Agatha Christie, due to Coleen's detective work to identify Rebekah as the alleged culprit.

But on the same day Coleen unveiled her as the prime suspect, Rebekah shut down the claims in a statement on Twitter.  

Wiktor Szymanowicz/Future Publishing via Getty Images

"I wish you had called me if you thought this," Rebekah wrote in part. "I never speak to anyone about you as various journalists who have asked me over the years can vouch for." 

Rebekah also said that, had she known about Coleen's stories were being leaked to the press, she could've tried changing her passwords to see if it stopped, adding that "various people" had access to her Instagram account.

"I'm not being funny but I don't need the money, what would I gain from selling stories on you?" She asked. "I liked you a lot Coleen & I'm so upset that you have chosen to do this, especially when I'm heavily pregnant." 

At the time, Rebekah was expecting her daughter Olivia Grace. She shares two other children with Jamie, Sofia and Finlay, and has two children, Megan and Taylor, from a previous relationship. She is also step-mom to Jamie's daughter Ella.

In June 2020, the social media battle moved into the courtroom as Rebekah filed a libel claim against Coleen. However, the fellow soccer wife has since defended her actions on the basis of truth and public interest.  

In her witness statement on May 13, Coleen described her tweet as a "last resort" and claimed that she had previously issued warnings in two different social media posts and also tried removing Rebekah from her account, but that "nothing had worked." 

Neil Mockford/GC Images

Coleen also stated that there have been "no leaks of posts from my account" since she pointed the finger at Rebekah.

On the same day, Rebekah cried as she told the court that she felt "bullied and manipulated" throughout the cross-examination. She also said that she proceeded with legal action because she "didn't do anything wrong," per the BBC.  

Rebekah's lawyer, Hugh Tomlinson, shared at trial that his client believes the culprit of the leak may have been her agent Caroline Watt, per The New York Times. According to the outlet, it was revealed in court that Caroline had dropped a phone into the sea that Coleen claimed contained WhatsApp messaged related to the case. 

It's unclear which leaks the lawyer was referring to. However, per The Atlantic, the court proceedings revealed texts between Rebekah and Caroline, her agent, in which Caroline seemingly admitted to leaking info on Coleen's 2019 car crash.

This story is developing...

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