Wagatha: What we learned from Wayne Rooney's evidence in Rebekah Vardy's libel claim

Credit: PA

Both the Rooneys and the Vardys were in attendance today for day six of the 'Wagatha Christie' libel trial.

Footballer Jamie Vardy made his first appearance at the High Court in London, alongside wife Rebekah, as she sues Coleen Rooney for libel.

The legal action all stems from a now infamous post on Twitter and Instagram, in which Ms Rooney accused Mrs Vardy (or someone with access to her personal Instagram account) of leaking stories about her private life to the media.

Former England captain Wayne Rooney entered the witness box on Tuesday. Here's what we learned.

  • Rooney spoke to Jamie Vardy to ask Rebekah Vardy to 'calm down' during Euros 2016

Mr Rooney, who was England captain at the time, was asked by the coaching team to speak to Mr Vardy about his wife's behaviour, the court heard.

England's Jamie Vardy, Joe Hart and Wayne Rooney share a joke at the Stade Felix Bollaert-Delelis during the Euros 2016. Credit: PA

Then manager Roy Hodgson and assistant manager Gary Neville asked "would I be able to speak to Mr Vardy on issues regarding his wife and I think we all knew that it was an awkward subject," Mr Rooney said.

"I’d need to speak to Mr Vardy and ask him to speak to his wife and ask him to ask his wife to calm down."

Mrs Vardy legal representative, Hugh Tomlinson QC, quizzed Mr Rooney: "Ask his wife to calm down? She wasn’t dancing on tables."

The court was shown stories Coleen Rooney posted to her Instagram account. Rebekah Vardy's account can be seen as having seen them. Credit: PA

Mr Rooney said "she wasn't" as far as he was aware but mentioned negative media coverage, adding: "It was an awkward situation for me and I’m sure it was an awkward situation for Mr Vardy, but I felt it was in the best interests of the team."

He said he "100%” spoke to Mr Vardy (recalling the pair going into a games room with Mr Vardy having a can of red bull and Mr Rooney a coffee) but did not know if Mr Vardy then spoke to his wife.

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Mr Rooney said Mrs Vardy was "almost there with the team" during "down time" at the Euros due to the amount of time she was allegedly on FaceTime to her husband throughout.

In a statement issued by Mr Vardy’s representatives outside the hearing, the Leicester City player said: "Wayne is talking nonsense. He must be confused because he never spoke to me about issues concerning Becky’s media work at Euro 2016.

"There was nothing to speak about, I know this because I discuss everything with Becky."

  • Rooney didn't know about 'it’s ……….Rebekah Vardy’s account' post until it was on Instagram

Mr Rooney said he had no idea about his wife’s sting operation to find the person behind leaks from her Instagram until after she published the now infamous post in which she claimed it was Mrs Vardy’s account.

In his witness statement, Mr Rooney said he “didn’t want to get involved” when his wife became “frustrated” at alleged leaks of her information to The Sun.

"My wife is an independent woman who does her own thing and I didn’t want to get involved in what the situation was," he told the court.

"Coleen keeps a lot to herself and I just didn’t pay much attention to the matter at all."

Mr Rooney told the court that the period after his wife’s “reveal” post had been “very traumatic” for her. Credit: PA
  • Rooney 'didn't pay a massive amount of attention' to wife's suspicions about leaks

But Mr Rooney said his wife did tell him she suspected Mrs Vardy in the months before the reveal post recalling in January 2019: "I remember she [Coleen] uploaded something on Twitter to make it clear that she was aware of what was happening and that she was unhappy about it."

He continued: "I think it was around this time that Coleen had mentioned to me that she thought it could be Becky.

"Again, being the person that I am, I didn’t pay a massive amount of attention to it but I hoped that the leaks would stop now that Coleen had gone public and that would be the end of the matter.

"I didn’t speak to anyone else about the fact that Coleen suspected it was Becky."

Jamie Vardy appeared at the High Court for his wife's libel trial for the first time on Tuesday. Credit: PA

He said at the time of the infamous accusing post he was in the US and "four or five hours behind the UK".

Mr Rooney told the court: "Had I known what Coleen was up to in terms of trying to catch Becky out and making it all public then, irrespective of whether it would have changed her mind, I would have spoken with Paul Stretford (Mr Rooney’s adviser) about it to get his view.

"The fact that I never spoke to Paul about the matter demonstrates my very limited knowledge and involvement."