Rebekah Vardy ordered to pay Coleen Rooney huge settlement after Wagatha Christie court loss

Rebekah Vardy has been ordered to pay. Credit: PA

Rebekah Vardy will have to pay a substantial figure towards Coleen Rooney’s legal costs after losing the “Wagatha Christie” High Court case she brought against fellow footballer’s wife.

Mrs Vardy, 40, lost her high-profile libel claim against Mrs Rooney, 36, in July when Mrs Justice Steyn ruled that Mrs Rooney’s viral social media post accusing Mrs Vardy of leaking her private information to the press was “substantially true”.

In an order made public on Tuesday, the judge ruled that Mrs Vardy should pay 90% of Mrs Rooney’s costs.

Mrs Justice Steyn said there were certain issues which arose during the week-long trial which justified the reduction of 10% in the amount Mrs Vardy has to pay, including Mrs Rooney’s allegation that Mrs Vardy was one of the people behind The Sun’s “Secret Wag” gossip column.

Mrs Vardy had argued for a reduction to 80% while Mrs Rooney contended there should be no reduction at all.

The final figure of costs Mrs Vardy has to pay may be reduced further if she does not agree to pay the total incurred by Mrs Rooney and, at a later date, a court considers some of those costs to have been unreasonable.

Mrs Rooney incurred total costs of more than £2 million, but £350,000 of those had already been racked up before the trial in May, so those were removed to produce a final figure of £1,667,860.

Paul Lunt, partner and head of litigation at law firm Brabners, who represented Coleen Rooney, said: “The High Court has today decided that Rebekah Vardy must pay Coleen Rooney’s legal costs on an indemnity basis – the highest basis that the court could order.

Rebekah and Jamie Vardy leaving the Royal Courts Of Justice during the court case in May Credit: PA

“The reasoning given for this decision is that there was a finding at trial that Rebekah Vardy had deliberately deleted or destroyed evidence."

“That behaviour falls outside the ordinary and reasonable conduct expected of a party in legal proceedings."

Mrs Vardy was ordered to pay £800,000 of the costs bill by 4pm on November 15. She will also have to pay costs incurred by seven journalists who were potential witnesses but did not give evidence, apart from a portion of their costs which Mrs Rooney has already been ordered to pay.

The judge ruled on various issues relating to Mrs Rooney’s costs after receiving written legal arguments on behalf of both women.

Mrs Justice Steyn said Mrs Rooney has not yet produced a final total costs bill, and therefore the figures in the order were taken from a breakdown of her costs given in a statement from her solicitor.

The total amount of Mrs Vardy’s legal costs is not known, but is expected to be of a similar level to those incurred by Mrs Rooney.

Mrs Rooney publicly claimed Mrs Vardy’s account was the source behind three stories in The Sun newspaper featuring fake details she had posted on her private Instagram profile – featuring her travelling to Mexico for a “gender selection” procedure, her planning to return to TV, and the basement flooding at her home.

One of two posts from Coleen Rooney's private instagram made on the day of her viral public post accusing "Rebekah Vardy's account". Credit: AP

Following the high-profile trial, Mrs Justice Steyn ruled in Mrs Rooney’s favour, finding it was “likely” that Ms Watt had passed information to The Sun and that Mrs Vardy “knew of and condoned this behaviour”.

The judge added that Mrs Vardy had “actively” engaged, “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”.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know