Rebekah Vardy has ‘nothing to hide’ ahead of ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel trial, court hears | Ents & Arts News
Rebekah Vardy has “nothing to hide” ahead of her libel trial against Coleen Rooney, a court has heard.
Mrs Vardy is suing after Mrs Rooney publicly accused her of leaking “false stories” about her private life to The Sun in 2019.
The wife of ex-England footballer Wayne Rooney was dubbed ‘Wagatha Christie’ after claiming to have worked out who had shared details from her private Instagram.
Mrs Vardy, married to Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy, denies being the source.
At a preliminary High Court hearing on Wednesday, Mrs Rooney’s lawyer asked for documents from The Sun’s publisher to be disclosed.
David Sherborne said they related to communications between nine Sun journalists, Mrs Vardy, and her agent Caroline Watt, in which the pair were allegedly “passing on stories or information relating to other parties”.
He said the attempt to get information from The Sun was a “last resort” due to a “series of unfortunate events”.
Mr Sherborne said this included Mrs Vardy’s expert downloading her data but forgetting the password he used to encrypt it.
Rebekah Vardy’s lawyer, Sara Mansoori QC, said there had been a “corruption issue” with the password.
The bid to get disclosure from The Sun journalists was labelled a “fishing expedition” by Adam Wolanski QC, the barrister for News Group Newspapers.
Mrs Vardy was “critically neutral” on the request for the documents, said another of her lawyers, Hugh Tomlinson QC.
“Rebekah Vardy has nothing to hide,” he said.
The judge granted the request for the documents – but only those relating to communications between Mrs Vardy, her agent, and Sun journalist Andrew Halls.
The court has heard the agent, Caroline Watt, is not fit to give evidence in person at the trial – due to start next month.
Mrs Rooney’s lawyers have previously claimed information was leaked either directly by Mrs Vardy, or through Ms Watt “acting on her instruction or with her knowing approval”.
However, she is in “a fragile state” with “serious concerns about giving evidence”, according to a written argument submitted on Wednesday by Mr Tomlinson.
He said a forensic psychiatrist had concluded she is not fit to be cross-examined at the trial.
But Mrs Rooney’s barrister said Ms Watt was a “key witness” with “critical” evidence.
“The defendant’s position is that Ms Watt’s concern about giving evidence is because of the realisation that her evidence is untrue and therefore she is scared of being tested upon it,” Mr Sherbourne said in his own written evidence.
An earlier hearing heard about WhatsApp messages between Mrs Vardy and her agent in which she called someone a “nasty b**ch”.
However, Mrs Vardy’s lawyer said the messages were “selective” and that it was a “passage about someone else” rather than Mrs Rooney.