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High Court judge due to rule on ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel trial

Rebekah and Jamie Vardy arrive at the Royal Courts Of Justice (PA)
Rebekah and Jamie Vardy arrive at the Royal Courts Of Justice (PA)

Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney are due to find out who has won their High Court libel battle in the “Wagatha Christie” case.

In a viral social media post in October 2019, Mrs Rooney, 36, said she had carried out a “sting operation” and accused Mrs Vardy, 40, of leaking “false stories” about her private life to the press.

The wife of former England star Wayne Rooney publicly claimed Mrs Vardy’s account was the source behind three fake stories she had posted on her private Instagram account.

‘Wagatha Christie’ trial
Rebekah Vardy leaves the Royal Courts Of Justice, London (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Mrs Vardy, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, denied leaking the stories and sued her fellow footballer’s wife for libel, while Mrs Rooney defended the claim on the basis her post was “substantially true”.

After a highly-publicised libel trial in May, judge Mrs Justice Steyn is now due to publish her ruling on Friday.

Over seven days in courtroom number 13 at the Royal Courts of Justice, the two footballers’ wives each gave evidence as revelations from the case made daily headlines across the British press.

During the trial, Mrs Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne argued that Mrs Vardy had a “habitual and established practice” of leaking information about those she knew – through her friend and former agent Caroline Watt – to The Sun newspaper.

Discussing Mrs Rooney’s viral “reveal” post, her barrister added: “It is what she believed at the time… and it is what she believes even more so now that we have got to the end of the case.”

‘Wagatha Christie’ trial
Coleen and Wayne Rooney leaving the Royal Courts Of Justice, London (Yui Mok/PA)

However, Hugh Tomlinson QC, for Mrs Vardy, said Mrs Rooney had “failed to produce any evidence” that Mrs Vardy had “regularly and frequently abused her status as a trusted follower” of her private Instagram account by passing on information from it to The Sun.

Mr Tomlinson said the libel battle was a “very simple case” when “one clears away the conspiracy theories”.

He added: “Mrs Vardy’s case is and always has been that she did not leak the information nor did she authorise anyone else to leak.

“She does not know to this day what happened. She does not know where this information came from.”

The barrister added that Mrs Vardy suffered “very serious harm to her reputation” as a result of Mrs Rooney’s post.

The judgment is due to be handed down by Mrs Justice Steyn at 12pm on Friday.