Rebekah Vardy was accused of betraying her husband’s friends and teammates yesterday as she was grilled over WhatsApp messages in the ‘WAGatha Christie’ defamation lawsuit.
During five hours of grueling cross-examination, which at one point left her in tears, Ms Vardy denied encouraging her agent to ‘stalk’ Coleen Rooney’s private Instagram and leak stories about her and other WAGs.
Ms Vardy, 40, was confronted with posts in which she talked about leaking and selling stories, and faced repeated accusations that she was lying in court to protect the ‘last shred’ of her case from Mrs Rooney.
She dismissed accusations that she revealed “juicy information” to settle scores with rival WAGs, while courting positive publicity by arranging staged photographs and interviews to promote her image.
Ms Vardy, a mother of five, broke down in tears when confronted with one such interview, in which she recounted how vile online trolls had threatened to rape her daughter.
The A$5million libel suit heard extraordinary details about life inside the WAG bubble, including grim allegations of extramarital affairs, bitter rivalries and stabbings in the back.
The case revolves around a 2019 social media post by Ms Rooney in which she said she planted false stories on her private Instagram account and accused Ms Vardy of leaking them to The Sun newspaper.
Ms Vardy denied the claim and launched a defamation case when Ms Rooney refused to take down the post.
“I WANT TO PAY FOR THIS”
Ms Vardy, who is married to Leicester City star Jamie, admitted she was willing to divulge a story about team-mate Danny Drinkwater’s arrest for drunk driving.
The court heard a series of WhatsApp exchanges between her and her agent Caroline Watt, in which Ms Vardy said: “History…Danny Drinkwater arrested…crashed his car drunk with (two) girls in it. . .I want to pay for it.
Ms Watt said she had contacted The Sun but the paper already knew about the arrest, and Ms Vardy replied: “Holy shit…I’m pissed I didn’t give you this sooner .
Ms Watt said: ‘Me too, it would have been a fortune.
Asked yesterday if she had wanted to be paid for leaking information to The Sun, Ms Vardy said it was a ‘fleeting thought’ and denied it was part of a regular pattern in which she asked Ms Watt to leak stories for a fee.
She insisted that the episode of Mr Drinkwater was unique because she found drunk driving abhorrent.
The player later admitted driving while intoxicated and received a driving ban.
Solicitor David Sherborne, for Ms Rooney, said: ‘Although he is one of your inner circle, were you willing to pass on private information about him?’ Ms Vardy replied: “Yes, on this occasion, because of his behaviour.”
Ms Rooney, who was wearing a patterned AUD 60 Zara dress and Chanel shoes, watched Ms Vardy testify intently and scribbled notes in a notepad.
Ms Vardy opted for an AU$3,200 Prada black dress, an AU$2,200 McQueen jacket and an AU$3,000 Givenchy handbag.
‘GO TO INSTAGRAM’
She was asked about her messages with Ms Watt over an Instagram story involving damage to Ms Rooney’s car.
Ms Watt messaged her on WhatsApp, asking if Ms Rooney had crashed her Honda.
Ms Vardy replied: “She has defo. . .Go to Instagram.
She denied actually telling her agent to access Ms Rooney’s private Instagram, which she was able to view using Ms Vardy’s account.
Ms Watt again sent a message saying: ‘I would have tried to make a story about Coleen but the evidence has been suppressed.’
Mr Sherborne said Ms Vardy and her agent maintained a ‘constant comment’ on Ms Rooney’s posts and claimed they were monitoring her Instagram for leaks.
Ms Vardy denied doing so, saying she and Ms Watt were just old friends who liked to chat.
The Sun then ran a story about Ms Rooney’s car, and she blocked Ms Vardy on her Instagram, suspecting someone was leaking information about her.
WhatsApp messages showed Ms Vardy wondering why Ms Rooney had blocked her, saying: ‘She thinks it was me who made a fuss about her!’. . . This **** has to get over itself.
Ms Vardy denied disclosing any information about Ms Rooney, or asked Ms Watt to do so.
But she was asked about a series of WhatsApp exchanges with Ms Watt in which they appeared to discuss information leaks.
Mr Sherborne said she wanted to ‘do the dirty’ on her husband’s Leicester City team-mate Riyad Mahrez when he refused to train with the club.
She contacted Ms Watt and the agent suggested she speak to a Sky Sports reporter.
Ms Vardy replied: ‘I don’t want it to come back to me.’
Ms. Watt then offered to contact the journalist.
Ms Vardy denied that she or Ms Watt were behind stories about Mr Mahrez.
Ms Vardy encouraged her agent to leak a story about a celebrity, called ‘Mrs F’, having an affair with a footballer, called ‘G’, Mr Sherborne suggested.
She messaged Ms Watt in 2018 saying, “OMG have you seen how misbehaved Ms F is. I am absolutely disgusted by her. Flee the story of her fucking G behind (her husband’s) back.
Ms Vardy told the court that her words did not constitute an instruction to tell the story, but that she had been “joking”.
Ms Vardy denied wanting to release any information about Danielle Lloyd, ex-wife of former Tottenham player Jamie O’Hara, because the couple had an “Instagram spat”.
A WhatsApp message from Ms Vardy read: ‘She’s gone and made it now leak the Maldives x stuff’.
Ms Vardy said she was referring to an interview Miss Lloyd had given in which she talked about going on honeymoon to the Maldives and then having a miscarriage.
She insisted she was ‘not aware of any information’ about Ms Lloyd.
“DON’T GIVE HER THE MR X STUFF”
The court heard Ms Watt asked Ms Vardy why she had been blocked on Instagram and whether she thought Ms Rooney suspected she was the source of the stories.
Ms Vardy replied: “I just don’t know how she could find out unless (Sun reporter Andy) Halls leaked it, in which case please don’t give her the stuff. MX”
Ms Watt said: “I messaged him (Halls) and he said absolutely not and he would never say what his source was.”
The court heard that Mr X was a married footballer who fathered a child with another woman.
Ms Vardy denied asking Ms Watt to withhold information ‘until you are sure Mr Halls has not informed you’, saying: ‘It’s my way of communicating with her not to give information to journalists.
She denied that she habitually gave information to her agent to pass on to The Sun.
The case continues.