After an explosive seven-day trial, Rebekah Vardy’s libel case against Coleen Rooney reached its climax last week. Now Coleen, 36, and Rebekah, 40, may have to wait weeks before the judge’s verdict following the £3 million trial, held at London’s High Court.
During an intense week of questioning, Coleen’s lawyer deployed an arsenal of damning evidence, which he claimed proves Rebekah, wife of footballer Jamie Vardy, was behind the leaking of stories from Coleen’s private Instagram. Whether Rebekah wins or loses her case, popular-culture expert Nick Ede believes the real cost will be to the reputations of the duo. He believes Becky, wife of Leicester City footballer Jamie Vardy, has become “villain number one” in the eyes of the public, while they have “fallen in love with Coleen all over again”.
Here, Closer looks at what may be next for the warring WAGs...
‘It’s a disaster for Becky – her career’s ruined’
Following Coleen’s “sting operation” on Twitter back in 2019, the court heard a series of damning evidence against Rebekah, which Coleen’s legal team claimed proved she was responsible for a series of stories leaked to the press.
Her 2004 kiss and tell of her one-night stand with Peter Andre was brought up against her, as well as WhatsApp messages exchanged between Rebekah and her agent Caroline Watt, which are thought to reveal they had collaborated on attempting to leak stories on footballer Danny Drinkwater, and fellow WAG Danielle Lloyd.
And whatever the judge’s verdict, Nick says the trial has been “a complete disaster on all levels” for Rebekah, and that her career as a media personality is ruined.
He says, “Don’t get me wrong, people have bounced back in the past after scandal or bad PR. But this trial has been a total disaster for Rebekah. She’s come across as a nasty person who cannot be trusted and, right now, we live in a culture where kindness is king, and the public won’t stand for that any more. Her brand is very badly tarnished and she’s totally unrelatable. She’s shot herself in the foot by bringing this case. It shows an insane amount of ego and has created a media circus which was completely unnecessary and caused a lot of personal heartache.
“I don’t think that will stop her trying though. I imagine she’s already thinking of ways to reinvent herself, or tell her side of the story. I can see a tell-all interview being planned, something like Kate Garraway’s Life Stories, for example.
“Becky’s made a name for herself on reality TV, and she did quite well on I’m A Celebrity! and Dancing On Ice. I think if something like Celebrity Big Brother was offered, she’d do that, to try to show a more likeable side. I suppose people will be interested in her motives behind bringing the trial to court, and about her behaviour in the past. But the truth is, it’s going to be very difficult for her to claw back because of how badly she’s come across.”
‘The trial will take years to heal from’
Closer’s psychologist Emma Kenny says, “The fact that the whole thing has come to a trial and court case of this nature has been a total disaster for both of them. I don’t think either party could have imagined how intense and intimate it would be. The intrusion was astonishingly deep and could take years to process. It leaves no winners, because whatever the outcome, there is now so much personal information out in the public domain. And they will never be able to recover the time and and money that they have lost.
“The case has been traumatic and, for both of them, there’ll be a long-lasting fear around how others perceive them. There will also have been trauma for them, their husbands and their families, and a sense of guilt within the women for how it’s affected their loved ones.
“I’d advise the women to have therapy, even if they may not think they need it now, the consequences will be far-reaching for both of them.”