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Shock accusation gave me palpitations while heavily pregnant, Vardy tells trial

Rivals face each other across courtroom as libel case against Coleen Rooney begins

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Rebekah Vardy

Rebekah Vardy

PA

Rebekah Vardy

Rebekah Vardy says she suffered palpitations while seven months pregnant when she was publicly accused of leaking stories to the media about Coleen Rooney.

Vardy (40) started giving evidence on Tuesday in the ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel battle with Rooney (36), and issued a flat denial that she was the source of leaks.

“I didn’t give any information to a newspaper”, she said. “I’ve been called a leak and it’s not nice. I didn’t leak anything to anyone.”

The bombshell accusation was made in October 2019, when Rooney revealed she had been secretly investigating who had been passing information from her private Instagram account to The Sun newspaper.

She had whittled her followers down to just Vardy’s account, and posted a series of fake updates in a bid to see if they appeared in the news.

Vardy, who started her evidence on late Tuesday afternoon with Rooney watching her closely from the front row of the courtroom, accepted leaks were “wrong” but insisted she had not done it herself and was not aware if her agent Caroline Watt was responsible.

In her written evidence, Vardy said Rooney’s bombshell “came as a great shock to me” while she was holidaying in Dubai.

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“I was seven months pregnant with my youngest daughter,” she said.

“I had slept badly the night before because of my late stage of pregnancy and because I was suffering badly from sciatica nerve pain.

“I slept for some of the morning and did yoga stretches to help with my back pain.”

Vardy said she was on her way to lunch with friends when Ms Watt sent her the accusatory post.

“I did not even understand what it was”, she said. “I had not been leaking any stories about Coleen and the first time I read it I did not even understand who it was about.

“Caroline explained that Coleen had posted it on her Twitter account.”

Vardy said she “could not believe that Coleen had not called me before posting this accusation to the world”, and described her physical reaction.

She said in her statement that "within minutes" of Mrs Rooney making her allegations there "was a torrent of insults calling me a snake, a grass and a rat".

"I received threats, and death threats, including to my unborn baby," she added.

"It was totally horrifying and made me feel really frightened."

She said she “I started to get really hot and suffered from strange palpitations”.

“Loads of messages started coming through on my mobile phone and I was seeing these messages on Instagram calling me names: “f***ing rat”, “f***ing bitch”, “who sells their friends out,” she said.

“This abuse has continued. I was in such a heightened state of emotion because I was heavily pregnant and it felt like the whole world was caving in on me.

“I must have been in shock. I remember getting out of the car and I was shaking and thought I was going to be sick. I felt extremely paranoid and like everyone in the beach club was looking at me.”

Thinking she was going to pass out, Vardy said her husband, Leicester striker Jamie Vardy, took her back to the hotel while she was “almost hyperventilating”.

“I knew that I had not done anything wrong”, she added. “I had not leaked those stories.”

She alleged that Mrs Rooney posted her claims to cause her "maximum damage".

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Wayne and Coleen Rooney arrive at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London

Wayne and Coleen Rooney arrive at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London

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Wayne and Coleen Rooney arrive at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London

Mrs Rooney allegedly told her "that she wanted to make me feel paranoid the way she had felt paranoid" in a phone call between the two footballers' wives on the day the accusations were posted, Mrs Vardy said.

"I still remember her tone on that telephone call really vividly.

"It was extremely calculated and cold and she showed no remorse even though I was very upset.

"I found it very chilling and quite menacing," Mrs Vardy said.

She later alleged in her statement: "I think that Coleen, and her PR advisers, have made me a scapegoat for past 'leaked' stories that have been published about her and Wayne and the state of their marriage.

"There have been large numbers of these stories which I assume have come from their own close circle.

"Rather than dealing with this they have attacked me.

"I believe that they have, in part, done this as a way of trying to change the narrative in the press about Coleen being a doormat following her husband's drink-driving charge and the multiple allegations of cheating."

Mrs Vardy concluded her statement: "I will never forgive the way in which Coleen ruined my last weeks of pregnancy and the suffering she has caused to my children and my family but I hope that this claim will mean that the whole world will know that I did not betray Coleen's trust."

In opening exchanges between lawyers, Vardy’s barrister Hugh Tomlinson QC said Vardy’s position has not changed since the 2019 allegation was first made, but she now accepts Ms Watt may have been leaking stories behind her back.

Rooney’s barrister, David Sherborne, suggested Vardy was “like a hitman or woman”, and could be held responsible for leaks if it was proved she knew about them.

“Like any good detective story, you never find the person responsible standing over the body with the smoking gun in hand,” he told Mrs Justice Steyn

.“There’s inference, there’s circumstance, probability, and likelihood, and ultimately they all add up so the finger will point to the right suspect or suspects, so it’s clearly them.”

Drawing the murder analogy to Vardy allegedly allowing Ms Watt access to her Instagram account and being complicit in leaks to The Sun, Mr Sherborne said: “It’s like hiring a hitman or woman.

“Just because you are not the person who gets their hands dirty, it doesn’t mean you aren’t responsible or equally responsible.”

Rooney and husband Wayne are both due to be witnesses in the seven-day trial, while Vardy is set to continue her evidence today.


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