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Wagatha Christie: Rooney lawyer says vital Vardy evidence ‘lost or destroyed’ - The Athletic

Rebekah Vardy has said she “didn’t leak anything to anyone” on the first day of the so-called “Wagatha Christie” case, while Coleen Rooney’s barrister has...

  • Posted on 10th May, 2022 20:35 PM
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Wagatha Christie: Rooney lawyer says vital Vardy evidence ‘lost or destroyed’ - The Athletic Image

Rebekah Vardy has said she “didn’t leak anything to anyone” on the first day of the so-called “Wagatha Christie” case, while Coleen Rooney’s barrister has told the High Court there has been a “widespread and significant destruction or loss of evidence”.

The wife of Derby County manager and ex-footballer Wayne Rooney is being sued for libel after claiming Mrs Vardy, the wife of Leicester City striker Jamie, leaked her private information.

Mrs Rooney was dubbed “Wagatha Christie” when she publicly claimed an Instagram account that leaked three fake stories about her belonged to Mrs Vardy.

The fake stories posted by Mrs Rooney included planning her return to TV, travelling to Mexico for a “gender selection” procedure and her basement flooding.

On Tuesday Mrs Vardy faced questions from Rooney’s legal team, led by David Sherborne, and was challenged on her respect for other people’s privacy centring on an interview she gave to the News of the World in 2004.

The interview came in the wake of Mrs Vardy revealing she had slept with pop star Peter Andre, entitled “Peter's hung like a small chipolata”, as Mrs Rooney’s legal team sought to establish links between the 40-year-old and journalists at The Sun as well as question her respect for privacy.

Mrs Vardy said: “I was forced into this story by my ex husband and it is something I deeply regret. It’s in my past. I went through a terrible, terrible relationship. It was horrible, it was abusive and I was forced into doing this interview with the newspaper.”

She was also asked to explain the meaning of “FFS” to judge Mrs Justice Steyn, based on a WhatsApp message exchange with her former agent Caroline Watt.

Mrs Vardy also strenuously denied being the source of the leaks and said a number of people had access to her accounts.

But the loss of several documents important to the case was described by Sherbourne as “concealment”.

The High Court heard that Mrs Vardy's agent, Caroline Watt, lost her phone in the North Sea before Mrs Rooney’s team could see WhatsApp messages that could potentially have been relevant to her case.

Mr Sherborne told the court this amounted to “a concerted effort to ensure highly relevant and incriminating” documents were not seen by Mrs Rooney and her legal team.

Mr Sherbourne added that there were “only two real suspects” and that any suggestion someone may have hacked into Mrs Rooney's Instagram account to leak the stories in question was “wild speculation, wild theory, because there is no evidence whatsoever to support it”.

He added: “There is plenty of evidence, inference and circumstance we say, that Mrs Vardy knew and approved of Ms Watt (leaking private information).”

Hugh Tomlinson, representing Mrs Vardy, argued that it had not been suggested “that Mrs Vardy was anywhere near the North Sea at the time” nor that she “knew anything about it”.

He said there was a “credible, ordinary, boring explanation” behind media files on Mrs Vardy’s WhatsApp account no longer being available.

Both women sat just feet apart in the High Court. Mrs Vardy wore a navy dress while Mrs Rooney, accompanied by Wayne, wore a black suit with blue top. Mrs Rooney also wore a protective boot around her left foot.

The civil trial will be decided by a judge, not a jury, and is set to run for seven days.

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