Rebekah Vardy takes centre stage at Wagatha Christie trial

Rebekah Vardy takes centre stage at Wagatha Christie trial

Rebekah Vardy was stared down by Coleen Rooney as she denied leaking stories about her and said she ‘deeply regrets’ comparing Peter Andre’s manhood to a chipolata as she took to the witness stand at today’s Wagatha Christie trial.

With her hair tied into a bun, the wife of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy walked across the courtroom and passed within inches of her rival Coleen, 36, who glanced in her direction for the first time all day.

The 40-year-old then took to the stand and swore on the Bible before being quizzed by Coleen’s barrister David Sherborne.

The WAGs have been at war since October 2019 after Coleen accused her fellow footballer’s wife of leaking ‘false stories’ about her private life, before claiming she had uncovered the culprit after carrying out a social media ‘sting operation’.

Coleen publicly claimed Rebekah shared three fake stories she had posted on her personal Instagram with The Sun, a claim Rebekah vehemently denied – leading her to launch the costly libel action which finally reached trial today.

Today, Rebekah repeatedly denied leaking information to newspapers in the first few minutes of her cross-examination by Mrs Rooney’s barrister.

Mr Sherborne said: ‘You wouldn’t want to be called a leaker, would you?’

Rebekah replied: ‘I have been called a leaker and it’s not nice.’

The barrister later asked if Rebekah respected people’s privacy, to which she replied: ‘Yes, I do.’

He then asked her questions about an interview she gave to the News Of The World about Mrs Vardy’s claimed sexual encounter with singer Peter Andre.

Mr Sherborne showed what appeared to an A3 print out of the article to Rebekah in the witness box before reading the headline: ‘Peter’s hung like a small chipolata, shaved, slobbery, lasts five minutes’.

The barrister read excerpts from the article, in which it was claimed Mr Andre had managed ‘just five minutes of sex with Rebekah’ and in which she said he had ‘the smallest trouser equipment I’ve ever seen’ that was like a ‘miniature chipolata’.

Mr Sherborne suggested to Rebekah that the News Of The World was the ‘highest circulating newspaper at the time’, read by some four million people, and asked her whether it was ‘respectful’ of Peter Andre’s ‘right not to share this information’.

She replied: ‘I was forced into a situation by my ex-husband to do this. It is something that I deeply regret… It is not nice to read and I understand why this is being used and to me this is mudslinging and I was also threatened with mudslinging by Mrs Rooney’s team.’

Asked the question again by Coleen Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne, Mrs Vardy said: ‘The circumstances around it were completely different.’

She later said she did not ask Mr Andre for his permission or tell him it was going to happen in advance.

Mr Sherborne asked: ‘Did you feel particularly strongly about the size of his manhood that it should be made public?’

Mrs Vardy replied: ‘It was something that I was forced to say.’

Among the key developments at today’s sensational Wagatha Christie showdown – 

  • Rebekah’s barrister says she ‘had no choice’ but to bring the libel claim against Coleen to ‘establish her innocence and vindicate her reputation’;
  • He tells court she has been ‘jeered and heckled at football matches’ and ‘made the butt of endless jokes’ since the allegations emerged; 
  • Called ‘an evil rat face b****’ on social media, with posts going on to say she ‘should die’ and ‘her baby should be put in an incinerator’;
  • Coleen’s famous Instagram sting was not a ‘careful investigation’ that produced ‘irrefutable’ evidence as she suggested, Rebekah’s barrister adds; 
  • Rebekah ‘has no knowledge’ of incident that saw agent Caroline Watt’s phone fall into the North Sea and ‘doesn’t know’ if she was a leaker; 
  • ‘Claim Rebekah was involved in ‘conspiracy’ and ‘campaign of deletion’ of evidence is ‘completely baseless”; 
  • Coleen’s barrister, David Sherborne, tells court the case hinges on ‘betrayal’ – whether it was by Rebekah who betrayed Coleen by leaking information to The Sun or Coleen’s agent, Caroline Watt, who was responsible; 
  • Suggests that if Ms Watt was responsible for leaking the stories ‘she was doing Rebekah’s dirty work like a hitman’ – and accuses Rebekah of ‘lying’ for suggesting otherwise; 
  • Rebekah’s claim she sat behind Coleen at the 2016 Euros because they were the ‘nearest seats available’ was ‘untrue’, according to new witness statement; 
  • ‘Harry Maguire’s fiancée Fern Hawkins was ‘upset and embarrassed’ by Rebekah’s WAGs paparazzi photo at 2018 World Cup’; 
  • Rebekah ‘had the means, motive and opportunity to leak stories about Coleen’; 

    oday saw the toxic feud between Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy spill out into the High Court after months of painstaking pre-trial hearings. 

    Below is a summary of the evidence as it was heard in court: 

    Rebekah ‘had to vindicate her reputation’ following Coleen’s ‘flawed’ investigation

    Today, Hugh Tomlinson QC, representing Rebekah, began setting out her case to the court.

    At the heart of the dispute are three ‘fake’ stories which Coleen maintains that she posted on her personal Instagram stories as she attempted to discover who was leaking information about her and her family.

    Wagatha Christie timeline: How Coleen and Rebekah’s long-running, vicious war unfolded before the eyes of the world

    September 2017 to October 2019 – The Sun runs a number of articles about Coleen, including that she travelled to Mexico to look into baby ‘gender selection’ treatment, her plan to revive her TV career and the flooding of her basement.

    October 9, 2019 – Coleen uses social media to accuse Rebekah of selling stories from her private Instagram account to the tabloids.

    Coleen says she spent five months attempting to work out who was sharing information about her and her family based on posts she had made on her personal social media page.

    After sharing a series of ‘false’ stories and using a process of elimination, Coleen claims they were viewed by one Instagram account, belonging to Rebekah.

    Rebekah, then pregnant with her fifth child, denies the allegations and says various people had access to her Instagram over the years.

    She claims to be ‘so upset’ by Coleen’s accusation, later adding: ‘I thought she was my friend but she completely annihilated me.’

    The public dispute makes headlines around the world, with the hashtag #WagathaChristie trending.

    How it all began: On October 9, 2019, Coleen Rooney, now 36, accused Rebekah Vardy, 40, of leaking 'false stories' about her to the press in an Instagram post (above)

    How it all began: On October 9, 2019, Coleen Rooney, now 36, accused Rebekah Vardy, 40, of leaking ‘false stories’ about her to the press in an Instagram post (above)

    Shortly after Coleen's public accusation, Rebekah - who was pregnant and on holiday in Dubai at the time - denied any involvement (above)

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    Shortly after Coleen’s public accusation, Rebekah – who was pregnant and on holiday in Dubai at the time – denied any involvement (above)

    February 13, 2020 – In a tearful appearance on ITV’s Loose Women, Rebekah says the stress of the dispute caused her to have severe anxiety attacks and she ‘ended up in hospital three times’. Coleen says in a statement that she does not want to ‘engage in further public debate’.

    June 23, 2020 – It emerges that Rebekah has launched libel proceedings against Coleen.

    Rebekah’s lawyers allege she ‘suffered extreme distress, hurt, anxiety and embarrassment as a result of the publication of the post and the events which followed’.

    November 19-20, 2020 – The libel battle has its first High Court hearing in London. A judge rules that Coleen’s October 2019 post ‘clearly identified’ Rebekah as being ‘guilty of the serious and consistent breach of trust’.

    Mr Justice Warby concludes that the ‘natural and ordinary’ meaning of the posts was that Rebekah had ‘regularly and frequently abused her status as a trusted follower of Coleen’s personal Instagram account by secretly informing The Sun of Coleen’s private posts and stories’.

    February 8-9, 2022 – A series of explosive messages between Rebekah and her agent Caroline Watt – which Coleen’s lawyers allege were about her – are revealed at a preliminary court hearing.

    The court is told Rebekah was not referring to Coleen when she called someone a ‘nasty bitch’ in one exchange with Ms Watt.

    Coleen’s lawyers seek further information from the WhatsApp messages, but the court is told that Ms Watt’s phone fell into the North Sea after a boat she was on hit a wave, before further information could be extracted from it.

    February 14 – Coleen is refused permission to bring a High Court claim against Ms Watt for misuse of private information to be heard alongside the libel battle. A High Court judge, Mrs Justice Steyn, says the bid was brought too late and previous opportunities to make the claim had not been taken.

    April 13 – Ms Watt is not fit to give oral evidence at the upcoming libel trial, the High Court is told as the case returns for another hearing.

    The agent revokes permission for her witness statement to be used, and withdraws her waiver which would have allowed Sun journalists to say whether she was a source of the allegedly leaked stories.

    April 29 – Rebekah ‘appears to accept’ that her agent was the source of allegedly leaked stories, Coleen’s barrister David Sherborne tells the High Court. He argues that a new witness statement submitted by Rebekah suggests Ms Watt was the source but Rebekah claims she ‘did not authorise or condone her’.

    Rebekah’s lawyer Hugh Tomlinson says the statement did not contain ‘any change whatever in the pleaded case’, with her legal team having no communication with Ms Watt.

    These were about Coleen claiming that she was travelling to Mexico to find out about gender selection, making a return to TV and flooding taking place at her new home. All three stories later appeared in The Sun.

    Mr Tomlinson said that, on October 9, 2019, Coleen published a post to more than two million followers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook which ‘accused Mrs Vardy of being the person who, over a period of years, had consistently and regularly leaked information about her, her friends and her family, to The Sun newspaper’.

    He told the court ‘it was expressed in a dramatic style’, referring to the way Mrs Rooney posted ‘It’s ………. Rebekah Vardy’s account’.

    Addressing the Instagram post, Rebekah’s barrister, Mr Tomlinson, told the High Court today: ‘The allegation in the post was and remains false: Mrs Vardy had not leaked information about Mrs Rooney or her friends and family to the Sun newspaper from her private Instagram account.

    ‘Mrs Rooney did not have the ‘irrefutable’ evidence that she claimed to have had: her so-called ‘careful investigation’ was nothing of the sort.

    ‘If anyone had been leaking information from Mrs Rooney’s private Instagram this was not done with Mrs Vardy’s knowledge or approval.’

    He continued: ‘Mrs Vardy made strenuous but unsuccessful attempts to settle the case but the post was not taken down.

    ‘As result, Mrs Vardy had no choice but to bring this libel action to establish her innocence and vindicate her reputation.’

    Mr Tomlinson said Coleen said in the post that she had saved and screenshotted the original newspaper stories which showed that, as she claimed, Rebekah’s account had saved and shared her Instagram posts.

    He told the court: ‘We say that this careful investigation was flawed from the start because it is obvious … anybody who knows anything about the operation of social media knows the fact somebody has an account does not necessarily mean that they are the only person who accessed it.’

    He said the meaning of the post was that Mrs Rooney had made the accusation against Mrs Vardy.

    Coleen ”revelled in’ being dubbed ‘Wagatha Christie” and wrongly assumed Rebekah was like Bridgerton’s Lady Whistledown’

    Mr Tomlinson said Coleen had ‘revelled in’ being dubbed ‘Wagatha Christie’, and had shared posts which mocked her up as the renowned crime writer Agatha Christie.

    Coleen also took screenshots of herself and Miss Marple in the wake of her ‘revelations’ which also were compared with a Scooby-Doo episode where a villain is unmasked by the gang of adventure-loving ‘meddling kids’, the court heard.

    Mr Tomlinson accused Coleen of ‘revelling’ in the social media response, and keeping copies of some of the jokes on her phone.

    He said: ‘She screenshot Agatha Christie, herself as Miss Marple, and someone had done a sequence from Scooby Doo when they unmasked the masked villain, and she had screenshotted that.

    He said she was not acting he public interest but was ‘revelling in the attention of the Agatha Christie story.’

    Mr Tomlinson added that Coleen had wrongly assumed that Rebekah was like Bridgerton’s Lady Whistledown.

    The character is a mysterious writer of gossip is the pseudonym of Penelope Featherington in the popular Netflix drama.

    Rebekah’s barrister Mr Tomlinson said Coleen was convinced Rebekah was the source of the short lived Secret Wag columnist on The Sun who gave behind the scenes gossip about the Premier League’s biggest stars.

    Mr Tomlinson said: ‘In the unlikely event that there is a real secret Wag, it isn’t Mrs Vardy.’

    ‘There has been ‘deliberate deletion of evidence’ in Wagatha case’

    Mr Sherborne said there had been a ‘deliberate deletion of evidence in this case.

    Speaking of the destruction of all media files and WhatsApp messages on Rebekah’s phone, he said: ‘Mrs Vardy’s own expert describes this turn of event as ‘somewhat surprising’

    ‘Our expert says there can only be one explanation.

    ”Mrs Vardy was responsible for deliberately deleting them.

    ‘One would only delete them if you are guilty or trying to conceal incriminating evidence.’

    Coleen’s barrister: ‘Case is essentially about betrayal’

    Putting forward Coleen’s argument, David Sherborne QC suggested the libel case was ‘essentially about betrayal’

    ‘The central question that the court needs to decide now seems to be whether: it is Coleen Rooney that was betrayed by Rebekah Vardy because she knew Caroline Watt, her PR and close confidante, was leaking Mrs Rooney’s private information to The Sun and condoned this, as well as directly leaking information herself, or whether, instead, it is Mrs Vardy that was betrayed by Caroline Watt because she had leaked this information without Mrs Vardy knowing it and had lied to her by denying all along that she had leaked anything.’

    Mr Sherborne added Mrs Rooney is defending the claim on truth and public interest grounds.

    ‘Rebekah lied after her PR agent dropped out because of ill health’

    Mr Sherborne accused Rebekah of lying after her agent Caroline Watt dropped out of the case because of ill health.

    After this happened, she changed her position and began pointing the finger towards her former confidante suggesting she may be the source of the leaks, he said.

    The barrister told the court: ‘As is always the case with Mrs Vardy, she denies, denies and denies but then when it becomes deniably obvious she lies and she distances herself and she said the stories were leaked without her approval.

    ‘She said she felt lied to and betrayed.’

    Mr Tomlinson said that, as a result of the post, Rebekah – who was seven months pregnant at the time – and her family were subjected to horrible abuse, including one post calling her an ‘evil rat-faced b****’ and others saying she should die and her baby should be ‘put in an incinerator’.

    WAGs’ fashion battle begins as Coleen wears £1,565 Mugler blazer while Rebekah dons £890 dress by Kate Middleton-approved designer

    By Bridie Pearson-Jones for MailOnline 

    They’re usually spotted in glamourous attire on foreign holidays and in swanky nightclubs.

    But Coleen and Rebekah swapped cocktail dresses and bikinis for a smart business style today as they arrived at London High Court to battle out the ‘Wagatha Christie’ case.

    Coleen, 36, opted for a stylish black suit with a £1,565 Mugler blazer and navy T-shirt, which she paired with a £615 Gucci loafer.

    Rebekah, 40 paired opted for full Duchess style in a trendy midi shirt dress from British-Canadian designer Edeline Lee, who marks Kate Middleton among her fans.

    Turning up for the first day of proceedings, Coleen wore her brown hair down while tying part of it back and opting for a natural make-up look with a light layer of foundation and lick of mascara.

    She added small golden hoops to the look which otherwise had minimal jewellery.

    The mother-of-four, who was wearing a medical boot on her left leg for an injury paired the look with one velvet Gucci loafer from the Italian fashion houses SS22 collection which costs £615.

    Coleen clutched two leather handbags as she walked into court and rolled up her blazer sleeves exposing a diamond bracelet.

    He one troll even accused her of abducting Madeleine McCann, Mr Tomlinson said, while her husband Jamie Vardy was also subjected to chants about her during football matches.

    Mr Tomlinson said: ‘The allegation was false, Mrs Vardy had not leaked information about Mrs Rooney, her friends and family to The Sun newspaper.’

    He added that, if information was leaked ‘this was not something that was done with Mrs Vardy’s knowledge or authority’.

    Mr Tomlinson said the affair and subsequent libel case had become the subject of intense press coverage and a source of ‘entertainment’ in the media, being referred to as ‘Wag Wars’ and ‘Wagatha Christie’.

    He added: ‘This is far from being an entertaining case, it has been profoundly distressing and disturbing.’

    He said Coleen’s post on Instagram was liked about 93,000 times while the Twitter post received more than 300,000 likes.

    Mr Tomlinson added: ‘(Rebekah) needs to be able to clear her name through this case, so she can move on from this terrible episode.’

    The court heard Rebekah had suffered ‘enormous distress and upset’ over the allegations.

    Mr Tomlinson continued: ‘The fact that the parties are each married to well-known footballers has led to this action being trivialised in some media coverage as ‘WAG wars’.

    ‘The information alleged to have been leaked was, as Mrs Rooney admitted at the hearing on April 29, 2022, low value gossip.

    ‘Nevertheless, the impact of the post on Mrs Vardy was far from trivial. It has – as was inevitable given Mrs Rooney’s public profile and the sensational nature of the allegation made – been republished in the national media, and on social media on many thousands of occasions, to many millions of readers.

    ‘Although the media, as they are entitled to do, have turned this case into an entertainment it is not, from Mrs Vardy’s point of view, entertaining.

    ‘It has been, and continues to be, deeply upsetting in circumstances where she was not the person who leaked information about Mrs Rooney. Mrs Vardy needs to clear her name in order to ever be given a chance to move on from this horrendous episode.’

    He added that it was ‘obvious that Mrs Vardy has suffered, and continues to suffer, enormous distress and upset as a result of its publication’.

    ‘As a result of the post, Mrs Vardy and her family were subjected to abuse and threats. She was jeered and heckled at football matches and was the butt of endless jokes and further accusations,’ he said.

    Rebekah ‘knew Coleen was ”posting fake stories” to see if they would be leaked’

    Mr Tomlinson claimed Rebekah knew Coleen was ‘posting fake stories’ to see if they would be leaked to the media.

    ‘She did not directly leak any information from Mrs Rooney’s private Instagram account to The Sun, nor did she do so indirectly by ‘approving or condoning’ anyone else to do so on her behalf,’ he said.

    He said that the ‘candid’ WhatsApp messages previously heard in court between Mrs Vardy and her agent Caroline Watt show that while ‘from time to time they did discuss ‘leaking’ information to the press’ only one post is mentioned, in circumstances where journalists already knew the information.

    Mr Tomlinson continued: ‘Furthermore, it is plain from the WhatsApp exchanges that Mrs Vardy was aware that Mrs Rooney was posting fake stories in order to see whether anyone would leak them, as well as the fact that she had previously been a suspect.

    ‘She, like Mrs Rooney, believed that someone was leaking information from Mrs Rooney’s private Instagram but didn’t know who it was and thought it must be her PR as she couldn’t see why anyone would be ‘arsed with selling stories on her’.’

    Mr Tomlinson continued addressing Mrs Justice Steyn by saying there is ‘no information’ in any of the evidence that demonstrates Rebekah even viewed Coleen’s Instagram posts during the ‘sting operation’.

    He told the court: ‘Mrs Vardy does not actually know what happened, she doesn’t know how this information got into the press, all she knows is what she did and she knows it wasn’t her.’

    The barrister said Coleen’s case is ‘entirely inferential’ and that another line of her argument is to say Rebekah has been ‘destroying evidence, she has deleted it and she has conspired to conceal all evidence of her wrongdoing’.

    He added: ‘This is untrue, there is no such campaign of deletion. The reason there is no such evidence against Mrs Vardy is because she didn’t do it.’

    Meanwhile, Mr Tomlinson told the court that Whatsapp exchanges between Rebekah and her agent do not demonstrate that she was responsible for leaking stories as alleged by Mrs Rooney.

    Commenting on a message in which Rebekah said she would ‘love to leak those stories’, he said: ‘They are not stories about Mrs Rooney.’

    ‘It’s accepted that on some occasions the leaking of stories was discussed between Mrs Vardy and Ms Watt,’ Mr Tomlinson said.

    He added that ‘none of those discussions’, with one exception, related to any of the stories at the centre of the libel action.

    Rebekah’s claim she sat behind Coleen at the 2016 Euros because they were the ‘nearest seats available’ was ‘untrue’

    In an 11th-hour application, Coleen’s barrister David Sherborne asked Mrs Justice Steyn for permission to introduce a witness statement from Harpreet Robertson, who was a family liaison officer for the Football Association during the Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018 international football tournaments.

    Mr Sherborne said the statement was ‘responsive’ to evidence in Rebekah’s statement that at the Euros in 2016, where she first got to know Coleen, her friends sat behind Coleen because they were the ‘nearest seats available’.

    The barrister said in court documents: ‘In fact, Ms Robertson explains that this is untrue.’

    Mr Sherborne told the court Rebekah had introduced this evidence into her witness statement to ‘suggest that from the outset she was friendly and respectful to Coleen’.

    He added: ‘That goes to her motive for leaking information – she, of course, denies that. We say this is a constant theme of her witness statement that she was friendly and kind to Coleen, and was therefore unlikely to leak anything.’

    In response, the judge said: ‘Although I accept that there was no order allowing for responsive evidence, nevertheless, it is an important consideration in assessing why the default occurred, that the reason was in circumstances where the defendant had provided all other statements on time.

    ‘This statement had not been provided because it was not, at that stage, intended to give it and only thought necessary to give it on receipt of the claimant’s statement.’

    Allowing the statement to be used in the case, Mrs Justice Steyn concluded: ‘It does not seem to me that it causes any prejudice to admit this statement.’

    Rebekah ‘knew Coleen was ”posting fake stories” to see if they would be leaked’

    Mr Tomlinson claimed Rebekah knew Coleen was ‘posting fake stories’ to see if they would be leaked to the media.

    ‘She did not directly leak any information from Mrs Rooney’s private Instagram account to The Sun, nor did she do so indirectly by ‘approving or condoning’ anyone else to do so on her behalf,’ he said.

    He said that the ‘candid’ WhatsApp messages previously heard in court between Mrs Vardy and her agent Caroline Watt show that while ‘from time to time they did discuss ‘leaking’ information to the press’ only one post is mentioned, in circumstances where journalists already knew the information.

    Mr Tomlinson continued: ‘Furthermore, it is plain from the WhatsApp exchanges that Mrs Vardy was aware that Mrs Rooney was posting fake stories in order to see whether anyone would leak them, as well as the fact that she had previously been a suspect.

    ‘She, like Mrs Rooney, believed that someone was leaking information from Mrs Rooney’s private Instagram but didn’t know who it was and thought it must be her PR as she couldn’t see why anyone would be ‘arsed with selling stories on her’.’

    Mr Tomlinson continued addressing Mrs Justice Steyn by saying there is ‘no information’ in any of the evidence that demonstrates Rebekah even viewed Coleen’s Instagram posts during the ‘sting operation’.

    He told the court: ‘Mrs Vardy does not actually know what happened, she doesn’t know how this information got into the press, all she knows is what she did and she knows it wasn’t her.’

    The barrister said Coleen’s case is ‘entirely inferential’ and that another line of her argument is to say Rebekah has been ‘destroying evidence, she has deleted it and she has conspired to conceal all evidence of her wrongdoing’.

    He added: ‘This is untrue, there is no such campaign of deletion. The reason there is no such evidence against Mrs Vardy is because she didn’t do it.’

    Meanwhile, Mr Tomlinson told the court that Whatsapp exchanges between Rebekah and her agent do not demonstrate that she was responsible for leaking stories as alleged by Mrs Rooney.

    Commenting on a message in which Rebekah said she would ‘love to leak those stories’, he said: ‘They are not stories about Mrs Rooney.’

    ‘It’s accepted that on some occasions the leaking of stories was discussed between Mrs Vardy and Ms Watt,’ Mr Tomlinson said.

    He added that ‘none of those discussions’, with one exception, related to any of the stories at the centre of the libel action.

    Rebekah’s claim she sat behind Coleen at the 2016 Euros because they were the ‘nearest seats available’ was ‘untrue’

    In an 11th-hour application, Coleen’s barrister David Sherborne asked Mrs Justice Steyn for permission to introduce a witness statement from Harpreet Robertson, who was a family liaison officer for the Football Association during the Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018 international football tournaments.

    Mr Sherborne said the statement was ‘responsive’ to evidence in Rebekah’s statement that at the Euros in 2016, where she first got to know Coleen, her friends sat behind Coleen because they were the ‘nearest seats available’.

    The barrister said in court documents: ‘In fact, Ms Robertson explains that this is untrue.’

    Mr Sherborne told the court Rebekah had introduced this evidence into her witness statement to ‘suggest that from the outset she was friendly and respectful to Coleen’.

    He added: ‘That goes to her motive for leaking information – she, of course, denies that. We say this is a constant theme of her witness statement that she was friendly and kind to Coleen, and was therefore unlikely to leak anything.’

    In response, the judge said: ‘Although I accept that there was no order allowing for responsive evidence, nevertheless, it is an important consideration in assessing why the default occurred, that the reason was in circumstances where the defendant had provided all other statements on time.

    ‘This statement had not been provided because it was not, at that stage, intended to give it and only thought necessary to give it on receipt of the claimant’s statement.’

    Allowing the statement to be used in the case, Mrs Justice Steyn concluded: ‘It does not seem to me that it causes any prejudice to admit this statement.’

    Rebekah ‘couldn’t have authored The Sun’s Secret Wag column because it was supportive of Coleen’

    Mr Tomlinson quoted to the court from a Sun Secret Wag column from October 2019, which was supportive of Coleen, to dismiss the idea that Rebekah could have been the author of the column.

    There were chuckles in court and a smile from Rebekah when the lawyer behind her read the first line: ‘OMG!’ and turned to the judge to explain ‘which stands for Oh My God, my lady’.

    He continued reading from the article: ‘HOW could she!!?? Coleen Rooney has created the biggest WAG fallout since Nicola McLean whipped off her 32FF superbra.

    ‘Becky’s had a load of flack but most of us think Coleen played a blinder… as long as it actually WAS Becky, otherwise it’s a huge own goal. And if Becky’s had people she doesn’t know about accessing her account she needs to stop them ASAP.’

    He added: ‘This is supposedly in a column written by Rebekah Vardy, according to Mrs Rooney.’

    Harry Maguire’s fiancée Fern Hawkins ‘was ”upset and embarrassed” at Rebekah’s staged 2018 Russia World Cup photo’

    Harry Maguire’s fiancée Fern Hawkins was ‘upset and embarrassed’ when Rebekah Vardy helped stage a paparazzi photo of the England WAGs at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the High Court has heard.

    The case has already heard evidence about the 2018 paparazzi photo, with bombshell texts between Rebekah and her former agent Caroline Watt said to reveal Rebekah’s key role in setting it up behind her fellow WAGs’ backs.

    She had previously denied any part in the posed-up photo, which showed the women gathered outside a restaurant.

    Today, the court heard an 11th-hour witness statement from FA liaison officer Harpreet Robertson which claimed Harry Maguire’s wife-to-be Fern Hawkins had been annoyed by the snap.

    In testimony read to the court by Mr Sherborne, Ms Robertson said: ‘Fern did express her upset to me, that she had taken part and she was embarrassed, was prepared and had not expected to be put in that position by Mrs Vardy.’

    Messages between Rebekah and Ms Watt on the day in question were handed over to Coleen’s legal team as part of their High Court battle.

    The flurry of messages were exchanged between the two women during a day-out in St Petersburg on June 26, in 2018.

    Rebkah was out in the Russian city with Millie Savage, Gemma Acton, Megan Davison, Annabel Peyton, Fern Hawkins, Shannon Horlock, Annie Kilner and Lucia Loi

    They were the partners of John Stones, Gary Cahill, Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland, Harry Maguire, Nick Pope, Kyle Walker and Marcus Rashford.

    The restaurant trip was two days prior to England’s first-round game against Belgium.

    At 14:37pm, Rebekah messaged her agent: ‘We may have to walk to restaurant from hotel now… so might be a good pic of us walking down it’s about 10/15 mins away’

    Ms Watt replied: ‘Ok will let them know thanks’

    At 16.12pm, Rebekah messaged: ‘On the way down in the restaurant car… He’s doing two runs’.

    Five minutes later, Ms Watt replied: ‘Ok. Hopefully he catches you all! Don’t forget to take a group shot.’

    Rebekah then said: ‘If he’s here he is hiding in bushes or behind trees lol’

    Half an hour later, however, Rebekah messaged that she is worried the other women will think she has tipped off the photographer after they spot him outside the restaurant.

    ‘F*** I made everyone go outside for a pic and the pap was there… Looks like I tipped him off now,’ Vardy says.

    She said her fellow WAGS wanted her to put her own picture of them on her own Instagram.

    ‘Girls have asked me to put it on insta so quick get them out… they want me to put it up before the pap puts his in! I’ve bought about 10 mins,’ she wrote.

    Posting a picture of the group on one of the WAGS Instagram would render the paparazzi shot less valuable, as it would be freely available to media outlets.

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