Rebekah Vardy tells court she was ‘just joking’ amid claim she leaked 'affair' story
Correspondent Martha Fairlie has the main take-aways from Wednesday's hearing
On the second day of a high-profile libel battle with Coleen Rooney, Ms Vardy was interrogated about leaks, WhatsApp messages and her alleged relationship with The Sun.
But what sparked the spat between the footballer's wives? And what have we learnt on day two of the trial?
Why are Ms Vardy and Ms Rooney in court?
In a viral social media post in October 2019, Ms Rooney, 36, said she had carried out a “sting operation” and accused Ms Vardy, 40, of leaking “false stories” about her private life to the press.
Ms 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 Ms Rooney is defending the claim on the basis her post was “substantially true”.
What happened during Wednesday's hearing?
Giving evidence on the second day of the trial, Ms Vardy was questioned about messages between her and agent Caroline Watt. The correspondence centred on an affair between a “well-known celebrity” known only as Mrs F and a footballer referred to as Mr G.
Ms Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne told the court Ms 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”.
Asked about the messages, Ms Vardy said: “I was just joking when I said this comment.”
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The court was also told that Ms 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.
Reading texts between her and Ms Watt, Mr Sherborne said: “You say ‘he’s only just been let out of the cells last night’ and then said you wanted paying for this.
“To which she said ‘which police station? They will need to confirm with the police station before they write it’.
“The ‘they’ she’s referring to is The Sun, isn’t it?”
Ms Vardy confirmed “they” referred to The Sun, but, explaining the comment about being paid for information, she said: “It was a fleeting thought and one I didn’t consider any more than when I wrote it.”
She said she apologised and that the “messages were not good”.
When questioned about some of the abuse she and her family have received since Ms Rooney made her viral post, Ms Vardy began to cry.
Earlier on Wednesday, Ms 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.”
Ms 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 Ms Vardy to Ms Watt about then-Leicester City footballer Riyad Mahrez not coming to training, telling Ms Watt “the lads are fuming”.
Ms 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.”
What happened on day one?
On Tuesday, Ms Vardy repeatedly denied leaking information to newspapers, telling the court: “I have been called a leaker and it’s not nice.”
Shortly after questioning whether Mrs Vardy respected people’s privacy, Ms Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne then asked Ms Vardy about an interview she gave her about a purported sexual encounter with singer Peter Andre.
Mr Sherborne showed Ms Vardy an article with a headline about the size of Mr Andre's genitals.
But Ms Vardy said that she was “forced into a situation by my ex-husband” to do the interview.