After failing to come to an agreement last week following reports of tense Zoom talks, it looks more likely than ever that the “WAGatha Christie” case involving Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney will move to a High Court trial this summer.
The warring WAGs had until last week to reach a consensus and avoid a costly and highly public five-day High Court trial. However, as Closer went to press, reports suggested the pair were still at loggerheads after failing to find a resolution.
One report claimed mediation will continue, with Coleen, 34, being urged by her friends to call a truce. She allegedly offered Rebekah a deal to “agree to disagree” and donate money to charity rather than go to trial, which would cost an estimated £1million.
But a conflicting report insisted Coleen has “no interest” in mediation, and refused the Dancing On Ice star’s demand of a public apology for accusing her of selling stories on her.
A source added, “Nothing’s changed. There’s been no progress, no chink of light at the end of the tunnel – and, at the moment, no prospect of avoiding court.”
With the feud expected to rumble on – 15 months after Coleen spectacularly accused Rebekah’s Instagram account of leaking information on her, with Rebekah, 38, then countersuing her former pal for libel – fans, as well as friends, are now urging the pair to put their dispute to bed.
Racking up thousands of likes, one fan wrote online, “Agree to disagree and move on and stop wasting your money and give it to charity instead and grow up the pair of you.” Another agreed, “The lawyers must be laughing all the way to the bank with this nonsense”.
The case has already hit both women emotionally and financially. Back in November, a preliminary hearing ruled in Becky’s favour leaving Coleen forced to pay £22,913 in costs, while Rebekah, who’s married to Leicester City footballer Jamie Vardy, said she felt “suicidal” in the wake of the drama after allegedly being bombarded with messages from sick trolls.
A libel case is likely to heap more stress on the pair, as they could be forced to reveal intimate details about their private and family lives in a court of law.
And Coleen’s pal, Leanne Brown – who’s married to retired Manchester United footballer, Wes Brown, and is often seen on nights out and on holiday with Coleen – believes it’s time for the women to move on, as she knows all too well the emotional impact that comes with having a legal dispute with a rival WAG.
She says, “It’s not nice to fall out with anyone. It’s all negative energy. And it’s very difficult being in the public eye – I think this has been dragged out long enough now.”
In 2017, the Real Housewives Of Cheshire star, 43, made headlines after falling out with co-star Dawn Ward, 47, in a spat over a £500k loan that Dawn and her husband, ex-Barnsley footballer Ashley, had allegedly not repaid.
Dawn denied the accusations and lawyers were called in to resolve the dispute. In 2019, Leanne decided to walk away from the argument and quit the reality show, admitting the row “drove her to the point of a nervous breakdown.”
She previously told Closer, “I left RHOC because it had driven me to the point of a nervous breakdown, so it really was the right decision to go. I’d had enough. There was too much drama in my life and I just couldn’t cope with being in the same environment as Dawn.”
With Coleen and Becky failing to draw a line under their dramatic fallout, Leanne – who turned to therapy and spiritual healing as part of her recovery to get passed her argument with Dawn – now warns they may have left it too late to protect themselves from the damage this case could do to them.
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“These arguments can have an impact [on your family life], because you’re under the microscope, you’re putting yourself out there to be scrutinised,” she says. “Everyone has an opinion. It’s hard and it can be difficult. But you grow a thick skin and you have to learn to not let those things affect your inner peace.
“You’ve got to protect your own wellbeing. I’m a great believer in focusing on yourself and doing things to protect your mental health.”
Leanne’s husband Wes played alongside Coleen’s husband Wayne at Manchester United, and she says the wives of the club’s footballers all still “support” each other and “have each other’s backs” – although they also have their own set of friends so as to not get consumed in that world.
She says, “[Fellow WAG] Tanya Bardsley had my back [during her feud] and I was grateful for that. And I’m still in touch with the girls from Manchester United, and we’re all there to support each other when it matters.
“You’re more inclined to think the people in that circle will understand you more, because they’re in the same environment. But we’re all concerned about things getting leaked, and my fallout has made me more aware of who I let in. I was very naive for a long time. I still wear my heart on my sleeve, but I’ve become better at sussing people out. I’ve had to remove toxic people from my life.”
Drawing from her own experiences, Leanne – who hasn’t built bridges with Dawn after their fallout – thinks it will be difficult for Rebekah and Coleen to ever be friends again after their dispute.
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The former friends had been close enough to follow each other’s personal accounts, had sat close together as they watched their husbands play for England in 2016, while in the aftermath of the scandal, Rebekah had told Coleen,“I had really liked you.”
Leanne, who is often seen holidaying with the Rooneys, says, “I don’t think [Coleen and Rebekah] are besties or anything. But as girls, when you have a bond, you should have each other’s back – but if the trust is broken, from my own personal experience, it won’t ever go back to the relationship it once was.
“You just have to concentrate on the people you care about. Coleen is a gorgeous person, she’s dead down to earth, and has lots of friends and family around her who she can trust.”
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