High Court to rule on meaning of Coleen Rooney’s posts about Rebekah Vardy

Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy
Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy (PA Wire)
2:45am, Fri 20 Nov 2020
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The High Court will rule on the first skirmish in Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney’s high-profile libel battle on Friday afternoon.

Mrs Rooney, 34, accused Mrs Vardy, 38, of leaking “false stories” about her private life to the media last October, having carried out a “sting operation” which saw her dubbed “Wagatha Christie”.

The wife of former England star Wayne Rooney claimed fellow footballer’s wife Mrs Vardy shared fake stories she had posted on her personal Instagram account with The Sun newspaper.

Mrs Rooney wrote on Instagram and Twitter: “I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them.

Coleen Rooney with footballer husband Wayne (PA Archive)

“It’s ……………. Rebekah Vardy’s account.”

Mrs Vardy, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, denies the accusations and is suing Mrs Rooney for damages for libel.

On Friday afternoon, Mr Justice Warby will rule on the “natural and ordinary” meaning of Mrs Rooney’s posts following a preliminary hearing on Thursday.

Mrs Vardy’s lawyers argue the meaning of Mrs Rooney’s posts was that she had “consistently and repeatedly betrayed the defendant’s trust over several years by leaking the defendant’s private and personal Instagram posts and stories for publication in The Sun”.

Jamie and Rebekah Vardy (PA Archive)

Mrs Rooney’s legal team say the posts mean “there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the claimant was responsible for consistently passing on information about the defendant’s private Instagram posts and stories to The Sun newspaper”.

At Thursday’s hearing, Mrs Vardy’s barrister Hugh Tomlinson QC said Mrs Rooney’s posts were an “untrue and unjustified defamatory attack” which was “published and republished to millions of people”.

He added: “In fact, she did nothing wrong. Whatever leaks there were did not come from her.”

David Sherborne, representing Mrs Rooney, argued that it was “true” that Mrs Vardy was “responsible for consistently passing on information about the defendant’s private Instagram posts and stories to The Sun”.

Rebekah Vardy arrives for a Dancing On Ice training session at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham (PA Wire)

He said: “Mrs Rooney intends to defend these words as true in whatever meaning.”

The court also heard both Mrs Vardy and Mrs Rooney had agreed for a “stay” of the proceedings until February, so there could be “one final attempt to resolve the matter without the need for a full trial”.

Mr Justice Warby is due to deliver his ruling at the Royal Courts of Justice in London at 2pm on Friday.

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