oleen Rooney took the witness stand on Friday after Rebekah Vardy concluded her evidence on day four of the ‘Wagatha Christie’ High Court libel trial.
Vardy, 40, broke down again on Friday as she said she felt “bullied and manipulated” after more than three gruelling days of cross-examination.
Asked by her barrister Hugh Tomlinson after giving evidence, Vardy said: “Exhausting, intimidating. I feel like I have been bullied and manipulated.”
Asked why she considered the libel claim, Vardy held back tears as she replied: “I didn’t do anything wrong and I wanted to clear my name, not just for me but for my family and my children.”
Earlier in the day, Vardy said she had instructed her agent, Caroline Watts, not to leak a story about a married footballer having an affair and getting a woman pregnant, while the Wag also apologised to Peter Andre following a previous remark regarding his manhood.
Rooney, who is fighting the libel claim and must prove that her allegations against Vardy were true on the balance of probabilities, is expected to be the first witness in her case, with husband Wayne also set to give evidence.
Coleen Rooney says she did not intend to cause harm over her bombshell post
Coleen Rooney said she did not intend Rebekah Vardy to suffer online abuse when she made the “Wagatha Christie” bombshell post, and said she was “surprised” by the international interest it generated, writes Tristan Kirk, Courts correspondent,
Breaking her silence on the Wag war scandal for the first time in the witness box at the High Court, Rooney said: “What I wanted was to stop the person who was leaking my private information to The Sun.”
“I gave out a warning it didn’t stop and this was my last resort. I was surprised myself how much interest it caused.”
Facing questions from Vardy’s barrister, Hugh Tomlinson QC, that she had been “happy” for Vardy to face abuse, Rooney said: “I would never wish abuse upon anyone. I’ve had it myself, it’s not nice, and I would never let anyone get abused on my behalf.”
When Mr Tomlinson suggested “that’s what happened”, Rooney said: “It was not intended, at all. It’s not in my nature to cause abuse or trolling in any way at all”, she added.
Asked for the reason behind the post at the heart of the case, she said: “I was upset that my personal information was getting passed on to a newspaper. I have put up for years and years with stories that get written. This was different, it was a group of people I had accepted into my personal space. They were then going to a national newspaper which goes out to millions and giving my personal information without my consent.”
Coleen Rooney begins evidence
Coleen Rooney has begun her evidence on day four of the trial.
Rebekah Vardy says she feels “bullied and manipulated” after cross-examination
Rebekah Vardy says she feels “bullied and manipulated” after more than three gruelling days of cross-examination at the High Court, writes Tristan Kirk, Courts correspondent.
Vardy issued a string of denials about leaking stories as her evidence concluded, insisting she had never passed private information on Rooney to journalists at The Sun newspaper.
Asked by her barrister Hugh Tomlinson QC how she had found giving evidence at the libel trial, Vardy said: “Exhausting, intimidating. I feel like I have been bullied and manipulated.”
Vardy said she considered a letter from Rooney’s legal solicitors during the proceedings, asking for the retention of messages on her electronic devices, as a “threat”.
Asked why she had considered making the libel claim, Vardy held back tears as she replied: “I didn’t do anything wrong and I wanted to clear my name, not just for me but for my family and my children.”
Wayne Rooney dismissed story about Rebekah Vardy as a ‘load of b******s’, court told
Wayne Rooney dismissed a news story suggesting he had told Jamie Vardy off about his wife’s behavior at Euro 2016 as “a load of b*****s”, Rebekah Vardy told the High Court, writes Tristan Kirk, Courts correspondent.
Vardy has been accused of deliberately sitting behind Rooney at a match to get paparazzi coverage – an allegation she denies – while one of her entourage is said to have told an FA official “to f*** off” told to move to their allocated seats .
A news story appeared during the tournament, suggesting England captain Rooney had been forced to talk to fellow striker Jamie about his wife’s behaviour.
“Jamie was quite angry, actually, and he currently still is”, she told the court.
“That conversation never took place. I had a conversation with Mr Rooney on FaceTime about it as well. I asked him about it and he basically said it was a load of bollocks.”
She added: “I thought the media were trying to cause problems, stir up trouble, make unnecessary drama, and create a scenario that just wasn’t existing and didn’t exist.”
Rebekah Vardy says she instructed agent not to leak affair story
Rebekah Vardy claimed she instructed her agent not to leak a story about a married footballer having an affair and getting a woman pregnant, writes Tristan Kirk, Courts correspondent.
In messages that have been aired in the High Court, Vardy was apparently concerned about being suspected by Coleen Rooney of leaking stories to Sun journalist Andy Halls.
She told agent Caroline Watt she did not know how Coleen “would ever know that unless Halls has leaked it, in which case please don’t give him the Mr X stuff” – the court was told Mr X is a married Premier League footballer engaged in an extramarital affair
“I was specifically saying ‘don’t discuss it’, I didn’t want anyone being passed on information”, Vardy said of the message.
She denied involvement in stories that later appeared in the Daily Mail and Sun, and said Ms Watt had “absolutely not” been involved either.
Being questioned by her barrister Hugh Tomlinson QC, Vardy denied leaking news from inside the Leicester dressing room when Riyad Mahrez was agitating for a move to Manchester City. And she denied leaking a story about model Danielle Lloyd.
Vardy has accepted being prepared to leak news of footballer Danny Drinkwater’s drink drive arrest, saying: “Yes, for a moment I was”.
Rebekah Vardy apologises for Peter Andre remark
Rebekah Vardy apologised for the “chipolata” article about Peter Andre’s sexual prowess and told the High Court she reached out to the singer and his wife about the “shameful” News of the World spread, writes Tristan Kirk, Courts correspondent.
Giving evidence on the fourth day of her ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel battle, Vardy was questioned again about the 2004 article, in which she had insulted Andre’s manhood.
She claimed to have been “misrepresented” and earlier this week suggested she had been “forced” into the interview by her ex-husband.
“There’s a lot of things in there that didn’t come out of my mouth, that were misrepresented”, she said today, “and the circumstances around that article which I’m deeply sorry for and I apologise.”
“It’s shameful, reading that, and it is one of my biggest regrets.”
Adding that she was 22-years-old at the time, Vardy said she has not spoken directly to Andre but “I’ve sent both his wife and him personal messages a couple of years ago”.
Rebekah Vardy arrives in court
Recap: Vardy accused of having ‘selective amnesia’
On day three Vardy insisted she did not leak news of Coleen Rooney being involved in a car crash to a Sun journalist at the National Television Awards.
Vardy and her agent Caroline Watt exchanged WhatsApp messages after Rooney posted on her private Instagram about a Honda crash in Washington DC, with images of the vehicle “caved in”.
Ms Watt quizzed Vardy on the contents of the post, after it had been deleted, and the Wag recalled most of the caption as well as what the image showed.
Mr Sherborne said messages suggested they had tipped off Sun showbiz reporter Andy Halls about the incident when they were guests in the newspaper’s box at the 2019 awards ceremony.
“You and her had been telling Mr Halls about this at the NTAs when he was popping in and out”, he said.
Vardy replied: “It was openly being discussed by lots of individuals”, saying Rooney’s post was not a secret.
After continued questioning, Vardy said Andy Halls “may have been there but I don’t remember seeing him”, prompting Mr Sherborne to pull out a social media post by Vardy – including an image of her “stuffing my face with a burger” – in which she thanks the journalist personally for the invitation.
Mr Sherborne accused Vardy of having “selective amnesia” over whether she had Mr Halls’ phone number, suggesting she is trying to “distance herself” from the journalist and claimed she was delivering “rehearsed answers” to his questions.