LONDON | False stories on Instagram, accusations of press leaks, lawsuits for defamation… The incredible trial between Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy, two influencers first known as the wives of English footballers, opened in London on Tuesday.
The case is attracting such interest in the UK that it has a nickname of its own Wagatha Christie – WAG (Wives and Girlfriends) is an acronym used to refer to the companions of famous athletes.
Dozens of photographers gathered outside the High Court in London and the entrance of the two women was filmed for a documentary. Inside, reporters were crammed into a courtroom to watch the case, and the court also set up video streaming in the basement for those unable to seat.
In the trial, scheduled to last until May 18, Rebekah Vardy is suing Coleen Rooney for defamation after she accused her of leaking information to the English tabloid.
It all started in October 2019 when Coleen Rooney, wife of former England soccer star Wayne Rooney, accused Rebekah Vardy, who was married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, of broadcasting to the tabloid The sun “fake stories” about them.
In a posting on Instagram and Twitter, which was widely shared and ridiculed by netizens, Ms Rooney explained that she realized what she posted on her private account was published regularly in the newspaper, which at the time had a section on the wives of soccer players.
suspected mme Vardy, she said she investigated by “blocking every one of my stories but ONE account” and posted fake stories about her life — including a trip to Mexico to select her child’s gender — to see if she was in the tabloids had landed what they did.
“I took screenshots that clearly show that only one person saw the stories,” she said. “It’s… Rebekah Vardy’s account.”
Mme Vardy had denied it and decided to attack Mme Rooney was sued for defamation. Under UK law, it is now up to Mme Rooney to prove the truth of the allegations made.
“I didn’t give any information to the newspapers,” assured Mme Vardy in court on Tuesday.
“The allegations in the Post were and remain false,” added his famous attorney, Hugh Tomlinson, in his brief.
The PR agent of M.me Vardy, who had access to her client’s Instagram account, is suspected of being behind the leaks. But according to Mr.me Rooney, David Sherborne, “There is much evidence that Mme Vardy knew and approved of the leaks.
“Yes [Mme Vardy] given [à son agente] the gun and the bullets, telling her where to aim, what’s going on and when, that makes her just as responsible as the person pulling the trigger,” Sherborne said.
“I didn’t know this was going on,” said Mrs.me Vardy.
The case had already ended up in court in November 2020. At that time, the judge concluded that Mme Rooney “Conclusively Identified” Mme Vardy found guilty, paving the way for the defamation trial.
While Coleen Rooney, 36, and Rebekah Vardy, 40, have become public figures because of their relationships with footballers, they have been for years People full. Followed by hundreds of thousands of subscribers on Instagram, they regularly share photos of their respective children.