Rebekah Vardy is expected to have to cover astronomical legal costs after losing her High Court libel trial against Coleen Rooney on Friday, 29 July.
During the trial, the two women each gave evidence, as did Wayne Rooney, 36, who played for Everton and Manchester United as well as England.
Referring to Mrs Rooney’s viral 'reveal' post at the end of the trial, her barrister David Sherborne told the court: “It is what she believed at the time… and it is what she believes even more so now that we have got to the end of the case.”
Mr Sherborne argued that Mrs Vardy had a 'habitual and established practice' of leaking information about those she knew – through Ms Watt – to The Sun newspaper.
Following the week-long trial, Mrs Justice Steyn ruled this Friday (29 July) that Rooney's accusation was 'substantially true'.
Announcing her verdict, she stated: "In my judgment, the conclusions that I have reached as to the extent to which the claimant engaged in disclosing to The Sun information to which she only had access as a permitted follower of an Instagram account which she knew, and Mrs Rooney repeatedly asserted, was private, suffice to show the single meaning is substantially true."
The judge said it was 'likely' that Mrs Vardy’s agent at the time, Caroline Watt, 'undertook the direct act' of passing the information to The Sun.
But she added: “Nonetheless, the evidence … clearly shows, in my view, that Mrs Vardy knew of and condoned this behaviour, actively engaging in it by directing Ms Watt to the private Instagram account, sending her screenshots of Mrs Rooney’s posts, drawing attention to items of potential interest to the press, and answering additional queries raised by the press via Ms Watt.”
The total amount that Rebekah Vardy will be expected to pay has not been confirmed, but it is estimated that total legal costs of the case will be in the region of £3 million, most of which will now be borne by Mrs Vardy.
In October 2019, Coleen Rooney famously revealed that she had been carrying out a 'sting operation' to uncover who had been leaking false stories private life about her to The Sun newspaper.
After detailing that she had fabricated three stories for her private Instagram account, which were eventually leaked to the press, Rooney claimed that the leaks had come from 'Rebekah Vardy's account'.
Rebekah outright denied Coleen's accusation, leading to this trial.