In a dramatic new twist in her high-profile legal battle with Coleen Rooney, Rebekah Vardy last week appeared to accept her agent had leaked stories about Coleen’s private life, according to her rival’s lawyer.
Ever since Coleen accused “Rebekah Vardy’s account” of being the source of stories sold to a tabloid newspaper in October 2019, Becky – wife of Leicester City player Jamie – has always denied responsibility and said she had no idea who was to blame.
But as their trial date – in which Becky, 40, is suing Coleen, 36, for libel – looms, Coleen’s lawyer, David Sherborne, claimed that Becky believes Caroline Watt may have been the source of the stories.
In written submissions to the High Court, Mr Sherborne said that Becky’s new statement, “suggests Ms Watt was the source of the leak”, but claims that Becky “did not authorise or condone her” and that it appears Becky “believes that Ms Watt is the source.”
In his written arguments, Becky’s lawyer, Hugh Tomlinson, said there had “been important developments that have occurred” since Becky gave her first written statement, but did not explain what they were.
He continued, “These are all matters that are relevant to the proceedings and the issues that the court will need to determine. These developments are very recent. They were completely unexpected and outside the claimant’s control... it has taken her time to process and consider the new information.”
At pre-trial hearings in February, messages between Becky and Caroline were revealed, in which Becky – who branded Coleen a “nasty b_**_” who “needed to get over herself” – claimed that she “would love” to sell stories on her. And in another message, Becky told Caroline to try to sell a story on one of Jamie’s former teammates, Danny Drinkwater, after he had been arrested for drink driving.
But the new admission from Becky has been welcomed by Coleen’s legal team, who now claim Becky’s case had “collapsed” after she was “forced to come clean”.
A statement read, “The collapse of Ms Vardy’s case over the last day has been remarkable. As of the evening of 27 April 2022, in an abrupt change of position to her pleaded case since the outset, Mrs Vardy appears now to accept Mrs Rooney’s case: that Caroline Watt, Ms Vardy’s close friend and PR, was the conduit by which stories from the Defendant’s Private Instagram Account were leaked to The Sun through her access via Rebekah Vardy’s account (@ beckyvardy)... It is only now-over two weeks later and on the eve of trial that Mrs Vardy has been forced to come clean.”
Coleen’s lawyer also told the court, “It has become undeniably obvious that Ms Watt is the source and Mrs Vardy, true to form, says “it wasn’t me, I didn’t realise and I didn’t know anything about what was going on’.”
However, Becky’s lawyer told the court that his client’s new witness statement did not contain “any change whatever in the pleaded case”.
He later said, “We simply don’t know what the true position is in relation to Ms Watt. She’s not communicating with anybody. She’s not communicating with anybody on our side and we don’t know what her position is.”
Coleen – who is married to former England captain Wayne Rooney, father of her four sons – accused Becky’s Instagram account of leaking stories about her after information she had put on her private account appeared in The Sun newspaper. She claims she prevented her followers from seeing her stories – apart from Becky. And after three such stories were published, she took to her social media accounts to announce her findings, leading to her being nicknamed “Wagatha Christie”.
Becky was pregnant with her fifth child at the time and claimed she had nothing to do with it and released a statement saying that other people had access to her account and that she would never do anything like that because “I don’t need the money”.
After she sued, Coleen had tried to settle out of court before it got to trial, but it seemed the warring WAGs were unable to reach an agreement.
Coleen’s lawyers had asked for some potentially crucial messages between Becky and Caroline to be handed over, but most of them were lost when Caroline accidentally dropped her phone in to the North Sea – while Becky’s WhatsApp messages were deleted by mistake and the laptop she used in that period stopped working.
It is thought both women have already spent over £500,000 in legal fees, but despite both sides agreeing the figure is “embarrassing” – as Closer went to press – neither Becky nor Coleen were willing to back down.