Wagatha Christie case timeline as Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy verdict is reached

Rebekah Vardy has lost the ‘Wagatha Christie’ High Court libel battle she brought against Coleen Rooney over a viral social media post.

The dispute began way back in October 2019 – when 'coronavirus' was a word most people had never heard, and being in lockdown was something that only happened in films.

Within hours of 36 year old Coleen's now-infamous 'It's…. Rebekah Vardy's account' post, her fellow WAG hit back with a denial, and shared her sadness at the fact the matter had been made public.

In the months that followed, there were TV appearances, interviews and hearings aplenty.

Following today's verdict, take a look back at exactly how the action went down…


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2019: Coleen's first post

On 9 October 2019, Coleen took to Twitter to accuse Rebekah's Instagram account of leaking stories about her to The Sun. Coleen had spent five months trying to work out who the culprit was, and had eventually narrowed it down to Rebekah's account.

She wrote: "For a few years now someone who I trusted to follow me on my personal Instagram account has been consistently informing The S*n newspaper of my private posts and stories.

"There has been so much information given to them about me, my friends and my family – all without my permission or knowledge. After a long time of trying to figure out who it could be, for various reasons, I had a suspicion."

She then outlined how she'd blocked everyone from viewing her Instagram stories on her private account, except for one account. Coleen continued by posting a series of "false stories" to see "if they made their way into the newspaper" and they did.

The stories included things such as Coleen returning to TV and the basement at her house flooding, and she soon knew "for certain" which account had leaked the false stories to the press.

She finished the explosive tweet by writing: "I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them. It's…… Rebekah Vardy's account."

Rebekah hits back

Shortly after Coleen's viral tweet, Rebekah hit back and vehemently denied the accusations. She also confirmed she was taking legal action.

The 40 year old took to Instagram to issue a statement where she revealed that she'd just spoken to Coleen on the phone, and declared: "I never speak to anyone about you as various journalists who have asked me to over the years can vouch for."

Rebekah also claimed that various people have access to her Instagram account, and she told how she was "disgusted" that she had deny the allegations.

June 2020: Rebekah launches libel proceedings

On 23 June 2020, it emerged that Rebekah had launched libel proceedings against Coleen, with her lawyers claiming she “suffered extreme distress, hurt, anxiety and embarrassment as a result of the publication of the post and the events which followed”.

First hearing

On 19 November 2020, the first court hearing took place, with a judge ruling that Coleen's post "clearly identified" Rebekah as being "guilty of the serious and consistent breach of trust".

Mr Justice Warby concluded that Rebekah had “regularly and frequently abused her status as a trusted follower of Mrs Rooney’s personal Instagram account by secretly informing The Sun of Mrs Rooney’s private posts and stories”.

Messages between Rebekah and her agent are seen

In February 2022, a series of explosive messages between Rebekah and her agent, Caroline Watt, were seen at a preliminary court hearing.

Many messages containing insults were believed to be referring to Coleen, and Caroline also allegedly sent a private WhatsApp message to Rebekah shortly after the original tweet was published, saying: “It wasn’t someone she trusted. It was me," along with a laughing face emoji.

On 29 April, Rebekah appeared to accept that Caroline had leaked the stories, in a statement from Coleen's barrister David Sherbourne at the High Court. He told how a new witness statement submitted by Rebekah suggests that Caroline was the source, but Rebekah claims she "did not authorise or condone her".

May 2022: The seven-day trial

On 10 May 2022, Rebekah and Coleen's trial began at the High Court in London. The much-talked about court showdown saw both women take to the stand and share their side of the story, with each of them also handing over hundreds of documents – such as Coleen's Instagram dossier and the Vardys' WhatsApps – to the judge.

Messages sent between Rebekah and her agent were also submitted, which explosively appeared to show Rebekah using the c-word to describe Coleen, as well as discussing the leaked stories.

Coleen was joined daily at the trial by her husband Wayne, while Jamie joined Rebekah when he could as he had football commitments. Mum-of-five Rebekah was forced to leave the trial on three occasions after becoming emotional.

The Rooneys were absent from the final day, with Coleen's lawyer apologising to the judge for their absence, while explaining the couple had a family holiday that couldn't be moved when the trial overran.

July 2022: The verdict

On July 29, it was announced that Jamie Vardy's wife lost her libel claim against Coleen Rooney, which was launched after her fellow WAG's 2019 Twitter post.

In her ruling, Mrs Justice Steyn said it was “likely” that Mrs Vardy’s agent at the time, Caroline Watt, “undertook the direct act” of passing the information to The Sun.

But she added: “Nonetheless, the evidence … clearly shows, in my view, that Mrs Vardy knew of and condoned this behaviour, actively engaging in it by 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."

The judge added: “In my judgment, the conclusions that I have reached as to the extent to which the claimant engaged in disclosing to The Sun information to which she only had access as a permitted follower of an Instagram account which she knew, and Mrs Rooney repeatedly asserted, was private, suffice to show the single meaning is substantially true.”

READ MORE:

  • Nine Rebekah Vardy Whatsapp bombshells from sex scandal to 'leak the story'
  • Channel 4 to turn Rebekah Vardy v Coleen Rooney Wagatha trial into two-part drama series
  • Nicola McLean says Wagatha trial has ‘strengthened Jamie and Rebekah's marriage’
  • Coleen Rooney's Wagatha Instagram traps in pictures – gender selection to basement flood
  • Get exclusive celebrity stories and fabulous photoshoots straight to your inbox with OK!'s daily newsletter

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