Rooney says message between Vardy and her agent referencing deceased sister 'knocked me sick'
It was finally the turn of Coleen Rooney to tell her side of the many stories we have heard, as Reporter Chloe Keedy reports
Coleen Rooney has told the High Court a message between Rebekah Vardy and her agent referencing her deceased sister “knocked me sick” when it was disclosed.
The footballer's wife is giving evidence in the libel claim brought against her by Mrs Vardy after the former's viral post accusing “Rebekah Vardy’s account” of leaking her private information to The Sun.
Mrs Vardy, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, denies leaking stories to the media - Rooney is defending the claim on the basis her post was “substantially true”.
Mrs Rooney wrote in her witness statement: “While they were discussing her messaging me in order to cover her tracks, Becky says to Caroline Watt ‘maybe I should say something about Rosie’.
“Rosie is a reference to my sister who suffered with Rett Syndrome and passed away in 2013 at the age of just 14.
“The mere fact that Becky would suggest seeking to use Rosie’s name in conversation with me in order to put me off the scent of suspecting Becky as the person responsible for leaking my private information to The Sun is really low and sad.
“It actually knocked me sick when I read that message from Becky to Caroline.”
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The 36-year-old also told the court the viral post was a "last resort" after, she says, giving out multiple warnings.
Asked what she set out to achieve with the widely shared post, Mrs Rooney replied: “I wasn’t achieving anything, what I wanted was to stop the person who was leaking my private information to The Sun.”
Mrs Rooney added she had given out warnings “many times”, but “it didn’t stop”.
“This was my last resort,” she continued.
Mr Tomlinson suggested that Mrs Rooney must have known that the social media post would have led to abuse of Mrs Vardy, to which she replied: “No, that was not my intention at all, not at all,” adding: “It’s not in my nature to.”
The footballer’s wife was watched as she gave evidence by her husband Wayne, with Mrs Vardy sitting on the other side of the courtroom.
Mrs Rooney’s post was widely shared and heavily parodied on social media at the time, including by the Twitter account of Jeremy Corbyn, then-leader of the Labour Party.
She told the court she was surprised by “how much interest” her social media post caused.
“Obviously it was going to get picked up by the media,” she said, explaining that her life had been covered by the media for the last 20 years “no matter how big or small” something was.
Asked by Mr Tomlinson if she had a “large loyal following” on social media, Mrs Rooney replied: “I have a large following, yes – loyal, I’m not too sure about.”
Mrs Rooney is defending the libel claim brought by Mrs Vardy on the basis of truth and public interest.
The libel battle comes after Mrs Rooney publicly claimed an account behind three fake stories in The Sun that she had posted on her personal Instagram account was Mrs Vardy’s.
The fake stories Mrs Rooney planted on her Instagram during the sting operation featured her travelling to Mexico for a “gender selection” procedure, her planning to return to TV, and the basement flooding at her home.
In the post on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, she wrote: “I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them. “It’s ………. Rebekah Vardy’s account.”