A judge in London’s High Court has ruled against Rebekah Vardy in her libel case against Coleen Rooney, in a trial that has become known as ‘Wagatha Christie’.
In a tweet, Rooney had accused Vardy of leaking information about her and her family to The Sun newspaper. Vardy subsequently sued Rooney for libel.
The High Court found that Rooney had succeeded in establishing that the essence of the libel was substantially true.
Vardy evidence ‘manifestly inconsistent’
In her ruling, Mrs Justice Steyn said it was "likely" that Vardy's then-agent, Caroline Watt, "undertook the direct act" of passing information to the newspaper.
"Nonetheless, the evidence... clearly shows, in my view, that Mrs Vardy knew of and condoned this behaviour, actively engaging in it by directing Ms Watt to the private Instagram account, sending her screenshots of Mrs Rooney's posts, drawing attention to items of potential interest to the press, and answering additional queries raised by the press via Ms Watt," the judge added.
She also found that Rebekah Vardy's evidence in the trial was "manifestly inconsistent" with other evidence on "many occasions".
Mrs Justice Steyn described the information disclosed about Rooney as “not deeply confidential”, and “trivial”, but added that it did not need to be confidential or important to show that “the essential sting of the libel” had been true.
In her ruling, the judge also said that Rebekah Vardy had faced "vile abuse" from members of the public following Coleen Rooney's post.
"Nothing of which Mrs Vardy has been accused, nor any of the findings in this judgment, provide any justification or excuse for subjecting her or her family, or any other person involved in this case, to such vitriol," the judge stated.
Reports say that Vardy, who is married to footballer Jamie Vardy, could be facing a legal bill of up to Stg £2 million as a result of the case.