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‘Wagatha Christie’ trial: Rebekah Vardy denies being prepared ‘to lie under oath’

  • Rebekah Vardy tells libel trial she had no knowledge her agent might be ‘constantly monitoring’ Coleen Rooney’s Instagram
  • Ms Vardy questioned today about messages between her and agent, Caroline Watt, about an affair between a ‘well-known celebrity’, and the allegation she told her agent to leak the story
  • The footballer’s wife claims she was ‘just gossiping’ and that it was ‘wrong’

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Wayne and Coleen Rooney leave the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney finally goes to trial. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Wayne and Coleen Rooney leave the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney finally goes to trial. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Rebekah Vardy arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney enters its second day. Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Rebekah Vardy arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney enters its second day. Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Wayne Rooney arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and his wife Coleen Rooney enters its second day. Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Wayne Rooney arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and his wife Coleen Rooney enters its second day. Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

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Wayne and Coleen Rooney leave the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney finally goes to trial. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Rebekah Vardy has denied being prepared "to lie under oath" when she said conversations with her agent about leaking information and receiving payment were "never serious", the High Court has heard.

The mother-of-five, giving evidence on the second day of the "Wagatha Christie" libel trial, claimed she had no knowledge that her agent Caroline Watt might be "constantly monitoring" Coleen Rooney's Instagram account.

In a viral social media post in October 2019, Coleen 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.

Mrs Vardy, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, denies leaking stories to the media and is suing her fellow footballer's wife for libel, while Mrs Rooney is defending the claim on the basis her post was "substantially true".

On Wednesday, Mrs Vardy was questioned by Mrs Rooney's barrister David Sherborne about what he suggested were inconsistencies between her evidence in court and her witness statement.

In her written statement, Mrs Vardy said: "I have sometimes been caught up in the heat of the moment during conversations with Caroline where I have talked about 'leaks' and payment, but these conversations were never serious, and Caroline would have understood that.

"I have never been paid for private information about anybody apart from myself or my family."

The court earlier heard Mrs Vardy told her agent she "wanted paying" for information about then-Chelsea player Danny Drinkwater leaving police custody after crashing his car in 2019.

Drinkwater was banned from the roads for 20 months and ordered to do 70 hours of community service after pleading guilty to drink driving.

Mr Sherborne asked Mrs Vardy whether she still stood by witness statement evidence, to which she replied: "Yes, apart from the Danny Drinkwater one."

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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 enters its second day. Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Coleen Rooney arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney enters its second day. Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Coleen Rooney arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney enters its second day. Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

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Mr Sherborne said: "So, there's an exception."

The barrister said: "I put it to you that when you say in that witness statement that these conversations were never serious and Caroline would have understood that, that's completely untrue isn't it?"

"No, it's not," she replied.

He continued: "What this shows, Mrs Vardy, is that you are prepared to lie under oath."

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She replied: "No."

Mrs Vardy conceded in court that it was "undeniable" that her agent had seen something on Mrs Rooney's Instagram account but said she had no knowledge of Ms Watt "monitoring" it.

Mr Sherborne highlighted that on the first day of the trial, Mrs Vardy had agreed it would have been "wrong" if Ms Watt was looking at people's private Instagram accounts through the use of Mrs Vardy's account.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mrs Vardy told the court that she was "just joking" when questioned about an allegation she told Ms Watt to leak a story about a celebrity having an affair with a footballer.

Mr Sherborne told the court Mrs Vardy had texted her agent: "Omg have you seen how badly Mrs F is behaving x ... I'm actually disgusted by her x" followed by a message "leak the story about her shagging G behind H's back".

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Rebekah Vardy leaves the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney finally goes to trial. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Rebekah Vardy leaves the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney finally goes to trial. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Rebekah Vardy leaves the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney finally goes to trial. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Asked about the messages, Mrs Vardy said: "I was just joking when I said this comment."

"Ms Watt doesn't think you're just joking when you say that," Mr Sherborne replied.

Mrs Vardy later denied a suggestion that it was "standard practice" for her to leak private information to The Sun newspaper via Ms Watt.

Earlier the court heard that Mrs Vardy directed Ms Watt to look at Mrs Rooney’s private Instagram posts after she was involved in a car crash.

The court was told how in a January 2019 exchange, Ms Watt asked Mrs Vardy: “Am I imagining this or did you say yesterday that Coleen had crashed her Honda?” the court heard.

“She defo has ... Go in the Instagram,” Ms Vardy replied, according to court documents.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mrs Vardy told the court: "Ms Watt and I have been friends for a long time, sometimes our WhatsApps were outrageous.

"These are conversations between friends gossiping ... They don't read very well but there is always an explanation."

Mrs Vardy also said that she was "just gossiping" when asked about messages sent to her agent about the failure of one of her husband's then-teammates to come to training in 2018.

Mr Sherborne read a message from Mrs Vardy to Ms Watt about then-Leicester City footballer Riyad Mahrez not coming to training, telling Ms Watt "the lads are fuming".

Mrs Vardy said: "It was speculation of just bits of information that I had heard and overheard, and also read in the press before."

She added: "Yes, it doesn't look good there, I was gossiping about things that were already in the public domain. I was just gossiping."

She denied an accusation her agent passed information to The Sun about fellow Leicester players' reaction to Mr Mahrez missing training.

When asked if Ms Watt had told the newspaper other players were "fuming" about the incident, she said: "That's absolutely not true."

Mrs Vardy later denied a suggestion that it was "standard practice" for her to leak private information to The Sun newspaper via Ms Watt.


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