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Wagatha Christie verdict - here are 10 key moments from the trial

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Rebekah Vardy (left) sued Coleen Rooney in London's High Court

Rebekah Vardy (left) sued Coleen Rooney in London's High Court

Rebekah and Jamie Vardy arrive at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney continues. Picture date: Tuesday May 17, 2022.

Rebekah and Jamie Vardy arrive at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney continues. Picture date: Tuesday May 17, 2022.

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Coleen Rooney arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney continues. Picture date: Monday May 16, 2022.

Coleen Rooney arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney continues. Picture date: Monday May 16, 2022.

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Rebekah Vardy arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, for the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney. Picture date: Friday May 13, 2022.

Rebekah Vardy arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, for the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney. Picture date: Friday May 13, 2022.

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Rebekah Vardy (left) sued Coleen Rooney in London's High Court

The long-awaited verdict in the ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel trial involving Coleen Rooney (36) and Rebekah Vardy (40) is due at around noon today.

The events leading up to the court case and the trial itself made it one of the most hotly discussed and enthralling celebrity sagas in recent memory.

Even the most devote followers could be forgiven for missing certain details, so here is a recap of the real life soap operas biggest moments.

1.How it started

On October 9, 2019 Coleen Rooney, the wife of former Man United captain Wayne Rooney, sent social media into overdrive when she posted a message on Twitter accusing Rebekah Vardy, the wife of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, of leaking personal information about her to the UK tabloid, The Sun.

Ms Rooney said she suspected that one of her private Instagram followers was passing information, that could only be seen on her Instagram posts, to the newspaper. She blocked all of her other followers and began posted false stories over the course of a few months to see if they would appear in print.

In a series of tweets on that faithful October day, Ms Rooney wrote: “You know what, they did!”

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“I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them. It’s… Rebekah Vardy.”

Ms Vardy, then pregnant with her fifth child, denied the allegations and said various people had access to her Instagram over the years.

She claimed to be “so upset” by Ms Rooney’s accusation, later adding: “I thought she was my friend but she completely annihilated me.”

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

2.The escalation

In February of that year, in a tearful appearance on ITV’s Loose Women, Ms Vardy said the stress of the dispute caused her to have severe anxiety attacks and she “ended up in hospital three times”.

Ms Rooney released a statement saying that she did not want to “engage in further public debate”.

In June of that year, it emerged that Ms Vardy launched libel proceedings against Ms Rooney.

Ms Vardy’s lawyers alleged that she “suffered extreme distress, hurt, anxiety and embarrassment as a result of the publication of the post and the events which followed”.

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Rebekah and Jamie Vardy arrive at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney continues. Picture date: Tuesday May 17, 2022.

Rebekah and Jamie Vardy arrive at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney continues. Picture date: Tuesday May 17, 2022.

PA

Rebekah and Jamie Vardy arrive at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney continues. Picture date: Tuesday May 17, 2022.

3.Pre-trial hearings

A series of explosive messages between Ms Vardy and her agent Caroline Watt – which Ms Rooney’s lawyers allege were about her – were revealed at a preliminary court hearing in February of this year.

The court is told Ms Vardy was not referring to Ms Rooney when she called someone a “nasty bitch” in one exchange with Ms Watt.

Ms Rooney’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.

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

The agent revoked 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.

Ms Vardy later “appears to accept” that her agent was the source of allegedly leaked stories, Ms Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne tells the High Court.

He argued that a new witness statement submitted by Ms Vardy suggests Ms Watt was the source but Ms Vardy claims she “did not authorise or condone her”.

Ms Vardy’s lawyer, Hugh Tomlinson, said the statement did not contain “any change whatever in the pleaded case”, with her legal team having no communication with Ms Watt.

4.The trail begins

On May 10, Ms Vardy and Ms Rooney come face-to-face in court as the trial of their libel battle takes place at the Royal Courts of Justice in London before Ms Justice Steyn. Both women give evidence, as revelations from the case make daily headlines in the press.

For three days Ms Vardy was put through her paces by Ms Rooney’s legal eagle David Sherborne, who repeatedly accused Ms Vardy of “lying” under oath.

“You are making this up aren’t you Ms Vardy?” and “That’s a lie isn’t it?” he stated on numerous occasions.

“No I am absolutely not lying,” Ms Vardy replied, while at one change tact, which Mr Sherborne capitalised on.

Discussing a message exchange with Ms Watt – Rebekah Vardy said: “If I’m honest I can’t remember.”

“I’d much rather you are honest because you are sitting in a witness box in a trial,” Mr Sherborne retorted.

5.The Peter Andre’s chipolata comment

A regrettable and unforgettable moment in the trial saw popstar Peter Andre dragged back into the spotlight, when Ms Rooney’s barrister attempted to prove Ms Vardy’s apparent disregard for people’s privacy.

“Peter’s hung like a small chipolata, shaved, slobbery, lasts five minutes,” Mr Sherborne said, reading the headline from a 2004 News of The World interview with Ms Vardy, where she discussed her old relationship with Mr Andre.

He continued to read snippets of the article aloud in court, where Ms Vardy was quoted as saying Peter had “the smallest trouser equipment I’ve ever seen”.

Ms Vardy later described the interview as one of her “biggest regrets”, while Peter Andre hit back at the comments, telling his Instagram followers: “Do you know how hard it is to keep biting my lip on situations?

“At least she has now admitted it wasn’t true. And was forced to say it.”

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Coleen Rooney arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney continues. Picture date: Monday May 16, 2022.

Coleen Rooney arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney continues. Picture date: Monday May 16, 2022.

PA

Coleen Rooney arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney continues. Picture date: Monday May 16, 2022.

6.The Davy Jones reference

While accusing Ms Vardy of destroyed key evidence, Ms Rooney’s barrister made a nautical reference that flew over Ms Vardy’s head.

On day three of the trial, Mr Sherborne said messages on her agent’s phone could not be retrieved because they were “now in Davy Jones’ Locker”.

A bemused Rebekah Vardy responded sincerely “who is Davy Jones?”, which in turned prompted the judge, Ms Justice Steyn, to clarify that the expression refers to the bottom of the sea.

7.’Arguing with Coleen Rooney would be like arguing with a pigeon’

Following Ms Rooney big reveal post in 2019, Rebekah Vardy gave an explosive interview with the Daily Mail, which was read out in court.

“Arguing with Coleen Rooney 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,” Ms Vardy told the Daily Mail.

Speaking in court, she rowed back on the comments somewhat saying: “At the time I was speaking to [the Daily Mail journalist] I didn’t know what to think, I didn’t know what to believe... I wasn’t thinking straight the day after this had happened.”

Following the 2019 post, Ms Rooney shared a separate message with her private Instagram followers, writing: “Don’t play games with a girl who can play better.”

Referring to the message in court Ms Rooney said: “I felt like I had found out who it was... It was a quote that I found, and I put it up, and it was just something that I did.”

8.Rooney takes the stand

The trial inevitably brought the two England Euro 2016 strikers into the limelight, but in opposing camps.

While on the stand, Wayne Rooney said he was asked to have an “awkward” conversation with Jamie Vardy about his wife. He said then England manager Roy Hodgson wanted Rebekah Vardy to “calm down” her media activity during the tournament.

“So I agreed to speak to Mr Vardy... to ask him to ask his wife to calm down,” he said.

However, Ms Vardy’s legal team reject that the conversation ever happened, to which Wayne Rooney responded: “I’m sat here under oath. I 100 per cent spoke to Mr Vardy about this situation.”

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Rebekah Vardy arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, for the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney. Picture date: Friday May 13, 2022.

Rebekah Vardy arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, for the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney. Picture date: Friday May 13, 2022.

PA

Rebekah Vardy arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, for the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney. Picture date: Friday May 13, 2022.

9. ‘Wayne’s talking nonsense’

Not taking the situation lying dying, the Leicester City goal scorer, who only came to court on the day that Wayne Rooney spoke, issued an heated statement outside the judicial building, accusing Rooney of “talking nonsense”.

“Wayne is talking nonsense. He must be confused because he never spoke to me about issues concerning Becky’s media work at Euro 2016,” Jamie Vardy said.

Following the rift, both Vardys left the court early, with Ms Vardy’s legal team saying it was because she wasn’t “feeling very well”.

10.Vardy-Watt message released

Some of the longed-for messages between Ms Vardy and her agent Caroline Watt were revealed in court. Following Coleen Rooney’s infamous Twitter post, Ms Watt sent the tweets to Ms Vardy, saying: “Message her now and ask what the f*** this is x”.

“Wow that’s war x”, Ms Vardy replied.

“You will have to say that you don’t speak to anyone about her but that recently your insta has even been following people you don’t follow... Just say you allowed a company to access it for sponsored posts and a former social media agency that worked with too,” Ms Watt added.


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