Savage WhatsApp messages that exposed Rebekah Vardy’s libel claim in Wagatha hearing

Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy return to court for trial

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Rebekah Vardy was accused of leaking information from Coleen Rooney’s private Instagram account to the press in October 2019. The WAG, 40, took legal action against Rooney, 36, in May for libel but today, Vardy lost the case at the High Court of Justice in London. 

In her judgment today, Mrs Justice Steyn wrote: “I have found that Ms Vardy was party to the disclosure to The Sun of the Marriage, Birthday, Halloween, Pyjamas, Car Crash, Gender Selection, Babysitting and Flooded Basement Posts.

“It is likely that Ms Watt undertook the direct act, in relation to each post, of passing the information to a journalist at The Sun.

“Nonetheless, the evidence analysed above clearly shows, in my view, that Ms Vardy knew of and condoned this behaviour, actively engaging in it by directing Ms Watt to the Private Instagram Account, sending her screenshots of Ms Rooney’s posts, drawing attention to items of potential interest to the press, and answering additional queries raised by the press via Ms Watt.”

We look back at nine key exchanges between Rebekah Vardy and her agent Caroline Watt.

The ‘Photoshop girl’

Giving evidence, Vardy was asked about the so-called ‘Photoshop girl’ conversation with Caroline where they discuss edited photos.

An image appears to have been sent to Caroline by Vardy, but the trial heard that, due to issues with uploading Whatsapp data, all the image files have been lost.

Vardy says to Watt that the pictures “made her fume” as the editing software Photoshop can make you look “five sizes smaller”.

Giving evidence, Vardy said that, when she told Caroline to “leak a story”, she was talking about a report on “body positivity”.

‘Lads are fuming’

The court saw messages between Vardy and Caroline in which they discuss Jamie Vardy’s former Leicester City team mate Riyad Mahrez “not turning up to training”.

Vardy tells Watt: “Lads are fuming”.

An article in The Sun was later published stating Mahrez’s teammates had “turned on him” which David Sherborne, for Rooney, said no other media outlet had. 

Vardy said this had nothing to do with her.

She told the court the story was based on information already in the public domain.

World Cup WAG dinner 

A photograph of a number of WAGs at a restaurant in Russia during the 2018 World Cup was discussed at the trial.

In a Whatsapp exchange between Caroline and Vardy, the pair discuss how Vardy is getting to the restaurant and having a photographer get a “good pic of us walking down”.

Vardy later messages Watt: “F*** I made everyone go outside for a pic and the pap was there. Looks like I tipped him off now”.

After the photo is taken, Caroline tells Vardy she cannot identify all the girls in the picture to which Vardy replies: “Fern, Millie, Gemma, Annabel, Shannon, Megan, Annie”.

Giving evidence, Vardy said she had arranged with Caroline for a photographer to take photographs of her as she was walking down for dinner and not with the other women. 

Asked if Caroline was coming up with excuses for her to give to the other WAGs to ‘buy time’ so the photographer could send his pictures to the press, Vardy said: “Well it reads like that but I don’t remember it like that and to be honest I had been drinking quite a lot that day.” 

The ‘affair’ story

A redacted version of a conversation between Caroline and Vardy was shown to the court as alleged evidence of them leaking a story about other parties to The Sun.

Vardy tells Caroline: “Omg have you seen how badly F is behaving x

“Leak the story about her s******* G behind H’s back x”

The court heard the pair are referring to a female celebrity who had cheated on her husband with a footballer.

Giving evidence, Vardy said: “I was just joking about that one.” 

Coleen’s Honda

The court heard a story appeared in The Sun about a car crash Rooney was alleged to have had while in America in January 2019.

On January 23, Caroline messaged Vardy asking her client to confirm whether, on the previous day, she had told her that Rooney had crashed her Honda. Vardy replies: “She defo has”.

On January 25, Caroline then tells Vardy a journalist at The Sun is trying to do a story on the crash and she had told him she is “100% confident”.

Later that day, Caroline sends a picture to Vardy and asks if it is the picture Rooney posted, to which Vardy replies: “Yeah that’s it! Different pic though x”.

The Instagram picture which made Vardy believe Rooney had a crash was shown to the court.

Rooney told the court she had not had a crash but that a lorry had scraped the side of her car.

In court, Mr Sherborne said: “What Ms Watt is doing is passing on the information to him, which he knows is coming from you.”

Vardy said: “Mr Halls, as far as I know, already had the information, he already had the picture. I confirmed she had definitely crashed it.” 

On January 27, the pair are discussing a post on Rooney’s Twitter in which she talks about the story being leaked from her Instagram, to which Caroline tells Vardy: “And it wasn’t someone she trusted. It was me”.

Coleen ‘unfollows’ Rebekah

The court heard Rooney unfollowed Vardy in February 2019 after becoming more suspicious that she was leaking information from her Instagram account.

In a series of Whatsapp messages, Caroline told Vardy to message Rooney in “a few weeks” to ask her why.

Vardy tells Caroline: “That c*** needs to get over herself! X” and “That’s falling out material x”

She also says she is “offended” Rooney suspects her of leaking stories, adding: “I mean ffs Dawn f****** ward is still on there x”. Rooney later told the court that she had ruled out Dawn Ward, star of Real Housewives of Cheshire, as being responsible for the leaks as she had known her for years.

The pair also discuss how to message Rooney and ask why she had unfollowed her, including suggesting a booker at Loose Women asked if she wanted to come on the show.  

Giving evidence, Rooney said it “knocked me sick” when she saw Vardy had mentioned her sister Rosie, who suffered from Rett Syndrome, who died aged 14 in 2013.

Vardy denied using the anniversary of Rosie’s death as ‘the peg’ to message Rooney about the unfollowing.

The ‘Gender Selection’ post

Rooney said she posted a fake story to her Instagram in April 2019 suggesting she was looking into gender selection.

After the story was posted Vardy messaged Caroline: “Coleen’s Instagram. Wonder if they are going for baby 5 x”

She then follows up to say: “Maybe she’s just put it to see if anyone gives it to the media x”

In cross-examination, Mr Sherborne asked Vardy: “You knew Caroline was looking through Mrs Rooney’s account to see what Mrs Rooney was putting up there, yes or no?”

Vardy said: “Yes. Of course she saw something on her Instagram, that’s undeniable because it says it there, but she has never said once that she is stalking or monitoring her account.”

Danny Drinkwater arrest

Another story Vardy is accused of leaking to the press is regarding the arrest of Chelsea player Danny Drinkwater for drink-driving in April 2019.

Vardy tells Caroline: “Story… Danny Drinkwater arrest x”

She then goes on to tell Caroline he “crashed his car drunk with 2 girls in it” and that he had “only just been let out the cells”.

Caroline then informs Vardy “Just sent it to Andy Halls” but then, a few seconds later, said someone had “leaked it from the police station”.

Asked about the messages in court, Vardy said the information was already on social media and the message about payment was “fleeting” and “not a serious comment”. 

She said: “It was something I felt was dangerous and at the time I didn’t care if the information came out or not. And it was rightly something he should have to deal with.”

Mr Sherborne asked her: “Why are you fuming that you didn’t give it to Caroline earlier?”

Vardy said: “I don’t know why I was fuming I didn’t give it to Caroline earlier. It wasn’t because The Sun already had it for their front page.” 

The reveal tweet

Messages between Vardy and Caroline minutes after Coleen posted her allegations that Vardy had been leaking stories from her private Instagram account were shown to the court.

In them, Caroline tells her: “Message her now and ask what the f*** this is x” and Vardy says: “Wow that’s war”.

Caroline then suggests what to say to Coleen and, after around 20 minutes, sends Vardy a message that she will eventually post on her social media channels in reply to Coleen.

Later that day, Vardy sends Caroline a number of images and says: “Jesus Christ I hope she’s f***ing happy now x”.

She later adds: “I can’t just sit back and let her get away with this.”

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