Coleen Rooney breaks silence on Wagatha Christie libel case against Rebekah Vardy

Coleen Rooney on the September 2023 cover of British Vogue Credit: British Vogue

Coleen Rooney has broken her silence on her time in court against Rebekah Vardy in the 'Wagatha Christie' libel case, describing it as a "horrible experience".

The 37-year-old, who won the legal battle, has spoken for the first time about the case which gripped the nation last summer and centred on a social media post-Rooney made which a High Court judge found was “substantially true”.

In the post, which went viral in October 2019, Rooney said she had carried out a months-long “sting operation” and accused Vardy, 41, of leaking “false stories” about her private life to the press.

Rooney, the wife of former Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney, was dubbed “Wagatha Christie” – in reference to the popular mystery writer – for her sleuthing campaign against the wife of Leicester City and England player Jamie Vardy.

“What I said in that post, I still stick by today,” Rooney told British Vogue for its special September issue digital cover.

She added: “I felt like everyone else has spoken about it except me… And it’s my story to tell.”

Rooney had claimed Vardy’s social media account was the source of three stories in The Sun newspaper featuring fake details she had posted on her private Instagram profile – including that she had travelled to Mexico for a “gender selection” procedure, that she was planning to return to TV, and about a basement flood at her home.

Rebekah Vardy leaves the Royal Courts Of Justice Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA

She said she was not expecting the “extreme” reaction to her post and said her “stomach turned” when she realised she could go to court.

“You see social media people calling people out in such nasty ways and I was thinking I wasn’t that nasty,” she said.

“I’ve never been in a legal case before so for me it was scary.

“What a horrible experience. The thing I was dreading the most was actually going to court.”

Rooney also detailed the courtroom experience with Vardy, which was later turned into both a stage play and a two-part Channel 4 drama.

“It was so weird that first day, actually sitting on a bench together,” Rooney said.

“It was so difficult in that courtroom, especially watching her on the stand. It was quite painful. I felt uneasy.

“Obviously she was going through it. I just thought, ‘why have you put yourself in this position?’ It was not nice to watch.”

Vardy was ordered by Mrs Justice Steyn to pay 90% of Rooney’s legal costs after losing the libel claim.

Rooney said on hearing the judgment “the relief was everything”.

She added: “You can’t go wrong if you’re telling the truth.”

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