Rebekah Vardy’s agent appeared to admit leaking information about Coleen Rooney’s “car crash” to journalists, a court has heard.
During Vardy‘s third day in the witness box at the closely watched “Wagatha Christie” libel trial, jurors heard how an article was published in The Sun newspaper about Rooney crashing her Honda.
Text messages between Vardy and her agent Caroline Watt showed Ms Watt appearing to admit leaking the information.
In a viral social media post in 2019, Rooney accused Vardy of leaking “false stories” about her to the media.
Vardy, the wife of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, is now making a libel claim against her fellow WAG, who is the wife of former England player Wayne Rooney.
The High Court hearing had to be paused twice on Thursday after Vardy became upset.
Questioning Vardy, Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne brought up an article in The Sun in early 2019 about Rooney crashing her car.
Rooney had posted a photo of the damaged Honda on her private Instagram account three days before.
Mr Sherborne read out texts between Vardy and Ms Watt, where the agent told the TV personality: “I would have tried to have done a story on Coleen but the evidence has been deleted.”
She had continued: “Halls is trying to do a story on Coleen crashing her car but her PR won’t even reply. I’ve told him I’m 100% confident that it happened but don’t know how.”
“Halls” appeared to refer to Sun journalist Andy Halls, the court heard.
Rooney later said she had in fact not crashed the car but another car had gone into hers, the court heard.
Other key points from Thursday:
- Vardy accused of suggesting messaging Rooney about the anniversary of her sister’s death as “a peg” to contact her
- The prosecution accused Vardy of having “selective amnesia” over deleted messages
- They also say Vardy’s agent “stopped co-operating a while ago” in terms of access to her devices
‘It wasn’t someone she trusted. It was me’
Taking questions from Rooney’s lawyer, Vardy said she did not believe her agent was “passing on any new information”.
Later, Rooney posted a tweet saying it was “sad” someone who followed her was “betraying her”.
In a private WhatsApp conversation, Ms Watt discussed the tweet with Vardy and wrote “It wasn’t someone she trusted. It was me” with a laughing face emoji.
Mr Sherborne asked Vardy whether that seemed to show Ms Watt admitting leaking information to the journalist.
She replied: “That seems to be what she is saying, but I’m just looking at the times, at 18:47 I’m bathing the children, there is no response from me.”
Pressed further, Vardy said her next message had been about Gemma Collins “faceplanting” on Dancing On Ice.
‘Who is Davey Jones?’
The court also heard how a “catalogue” of “unfortunate events” led to messages from Ms Watt’s phone being unavailable to the court.
Jurors were reminded that Ms Watt’s phone had fallen into the North Sea, and Mr Sherborne said messages between the agent and the Sun journalist are now “lying at the bottom of the sea in Davy Jones’ locker”.
Mrs Vardy replied: “Who is Davy Jones?”
“It means at the bottom of the sea,” Mrs Justice Steyn said.
The other “unfortunate events” that led to the missing messages also included Vardy’s laptop having to be disposed of because it was “damaged beyond repair”, the prosecution said.
Mr Sherborne asked Vardy what happened to messages exchanged between 15 October 2019 and 25 July 2020, as the laptop breaking did not account for these not being available.
The TV personality said she might have switched phones but she did not know.
Vardy compared Rooney to ‘arguing with a pigeon’
She was also questioned about an interview she gave to the Daily Mail after Rooney’s viral post outing her as the alleged leak.
Asked whether she had argued with Rooney after the post, Vardy had told the newspaper: “That would be like arguing with a pigeon. You can tell it that you are right and it is wrong, but it’s still going to s*** in your hair.”
Speaking to the court, Vardy said she was “desperately” trying to “diffuse” the situation and “rightly or wrongly” gave the interview.
In the article, she had said “a dozen” people had her Instagram login and password so any one of them could have seen Rooney’s private posts on the app.
But Mr Sherborne said: “We know now that it’s not true, don’t we?”
Vardy said she “wasn’t thinking straight” at the time.
The infamous WAG photo
The 40-year-old also denied “orchestrating” a photograph of footballers’ wives and girlfriends at the 2018 World Cup.
Mr Sherborne referred to a message exchange between Vardy and her agent, in which Ms Watt said she had “got a photographer sorted for tomorrow” and Vardy replied “OK”.
Vardy said Ms Watt had arranged for a photographer to take pictures of her as she left her hotel, but denied giving the photographer the location of either the hotel or a restaurant she went to the same evening with a group of the England team’s wives and girlfriends.