In an October 2019 Twitter post, Coleen Rooney, who is married to Wayne Rooney, accused Vardy, the wife of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, of leaking stories about her private life after carrying out a months-long “sting operation”.
Rooney claimed Vardy had shared fake stories she had posted on her personal Instagram account with The Sun newspaper however Vardy denies the allegations and is suing Rooney for libel.
After Rooney made her Twitter post on 9th October 2019, Vardy sent a message to Watt, stating: “That’s war.”
According to Rooney’s written case, messages were exchanged between Vardy and Watt in January 2019. The messages show the pair discussing a post Rooney made on her private Instagram in which she revealed her car had been damaged.
Vardy told her friend Watt she “would love to leak those stories x”.
Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne said Watt was later responsible for the leak of the story to the newspaper with Vardy’s approval.
Days after the story was published, Rooney tweeted it was “sad” someone who followed her was “betraying” her.
According to written submissions to the court, Vardy and Watt discussed the tween in a private WhatsApp conversation. Watt told Vardy: “It wasn’t someone she trusted. It was me”. The message was accompanied by a laughing emoji.
In written arguments, Rooney’s barrister Sherborne said: “From the outset, Mrs Vardy has always claimed that neither she nor Ms Watt were involved in the leaking of private information from Mrs Rooney’s Instagram account.
“The recent disclosure has shown that this is emphatically not the case.”
At the hearing on Tuesday, Sherborne said Rooney had brought a claim against Watt for misuse of private information, which Watt denies.
The barrister later claimed Vardy had “animosity” towards Rooney which showed “clear motivation for Mrs Vardy to leak private information about Mrs Rooney to the newspaper, with repeated bad-mouthing of her in a way which is clearly consistent with and linked to the desire to leak private information about her”.
In other WhatsApp messages shown in written submissions, Vardy refers to Rooney as a “nasty b*tch” and “such a d*ck”.
Sherborne later said in written arguments that a plan was “hatched” between Vardy and Watt over the leaks, which the barrister described as a “classic smoking gun”.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Rooney’s lawyers applied for further information, including from Watt and Vardy’s messages.
Hugh Tomlinson QC, for Mrs Vardy, said the denied allegations have caused her “huge damage and distress”.
In written arguments, the barrister said the information and messages disclosed “provides no evidence that the claimant leaked the three fake posts”.
He added that Rooney “relies upon selective and incomplete WhatsApp exchanges…conveniently ignoring the messages which demonstrate beyond doubt that the claimant was not responsible for leaking the defendant’s private information to The Sun.”
In further WhatsApp messages between her and Watt, Vardy said she had supported Rooney and suggested it was Rooney’s own PR who had leaked stories.
“What a joke! All I’ve ever been is nice to her though! Even when Wayne was being a c*** x,” Vardy wrote.
She later added: “Bet it’s their PR again has to be x… I really can’t see anyone being that ars*d with selling stories on her.”
The trial is due to begin in early May 2022 but this date may change. The hearing before Mrs Justice Steyn is due to finish on Wednesday.