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Wagatha Christie: Rebekah Vardy loses libel case against Coleen Rooney

Rebekah Vardy (L), Coleen and Wayne Rooney (R)
Rebekah Vardy (L), Coleen and Wayne Rooney (R)   -   Copyright  AFP
By Euronews

The bitter libel battle between two England footballer's wives has been settled in the High Court.

Rebekah Vardy has lost her multi-million euro case against Coleen Rooney, bringing the so-called "Wagatha Christie" trial to an end. 

Judge Justice Steyn ruled that Vardy’s libel claim had failed, and that Vardy and her then agent, Caroline Watt, were "likely" responsible for a series of leaks to the British tabloid media. 

"In my judgment, the conclusions that I have reached as to the extent to which the claimant engaged in disclosing to The Sun information to which she only had access as a permitted follower of an Instagram account which she knew, and Mrs Rooney repeatedly asserted, was private, suffice to show the single meaning is substantially true," said Justice Steyn in her ruling. 

How did the case start?

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, including information about her return to TV and travelling to Mexico for a "gender selection" procedure.

The wife of former England football star Wayne Rooney publicly claimed Mrs Vardy's account was the source behind three fake stories she had posted on her private Instagram account.

The internet quickly gave Mrs Rooney the nickname of "Wagatha Christie" - a mix of the 20th-century mystery writer, Agatha Christie, and the acronym 'WAG', meaning Wife and Girlfriend, typically of a high-profile sportsman. 

Rebekah Vardy, who is married to Premier League Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, denied leaking the stories and sued her fellow footballer's wife for libel, while Mrs Rooney defended the claim on the basis her post was "substantially true".

Vardy and her team said she had suffered "public abuse on a massive scale" as a result of Coleen's claims.