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The world was glued to the fallout between Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy from the moment Coleen's tell-all Instagram accused her former friend of leaking stories about her to the press back in 2019.
But when the case hit the courts this summer, the full extent of the nation's Wagatha obsession was fully unleashed.
We heard how the wife of former England striker Rooney executed an elaborate sting to snare her rival by seeding fake stories on her private Instagram page, visible to only Vardy's account, to see if they'd make their way into The Sun.
Her now-infamous 'reveal post’ pointed the finger squarely at Vardy as tipping off details of Rooney’s marriage and family life to the tabloid.
Vardy has always firmly denied the accusations, even after she lost her case, with the judge ruling Coleen's claims were 'substantially true' and putting an end to the social media feud.
Now, the full judge's summary has revealed the full inside track of the war of the WAGs - and it's fair to say there are a few revelations along the way...
Throughout the trial, Rebekah Vardy claimed her publicist Caroline Watt was most likely behind the leaks, having had access to her accounts. However, due to ill health Ms Watt was never called to give her account of events, which the judge highlighted as significant. In the full judicial report, he wrote: “Ms Watt is a vital witness to the matters in issue, whose absence is striking.”
The messages between the pair would later form much of the court materials, and point to Vardy being eager to push information to the press including The Sun.
After Vardy learned her libel case was going to court, she was reportedly told by her legal team that she needed to preserve her messages and devices to be investigated.
However, when asked to upload her WhatsApp messages Vardy ran into issues. She could share the texts, but no images or media - which would have given context to many extracts - were available.
Vardy insisted that tech issues gad prevented her from sharing the full information: “I have no idea what went wrong when I did the data transfer."
She added: “This is extremely frustrating for me because I have absolutely nothing to hide in terms of the missing media. On the contrary, I believe that the missing images would support my case.”
The judicial report also revealed that Vardy’s agent, Caroline Watt, lost her phone in 2021 after she knew it would be needed for evidence. She states it was lost overboard whilst out on a boat in choppy waters, which has been received with scepticism. The judge appeared doubtful in his review, commenting: “The timing is striking. In my judgment, even taking this evidence on its own, the likelihood that the loss Ms Watt describes was accidental is slim.”
As the case was heard in court, the text messages shared included an exchange between Rebekah and her husband ex-England footballer Jamie.
In 2016, Vardy took up her position as a WAG for the Euros but also told her side in a diary style column for The Sun titled ‘Becky Vardy’s Euro Diary’. This didn’t go down well with FA bosses and England Manager Roy Hodgson, who allegedly felt it was detracting attention from the game.
Wayne Rooney was reportedly asked to speak to Jamie to urge his wife to step back from the media and keep ‘a lower profile’. The reports made it to the press including the Independent, causing outrage from Rebekah to her husband as the report reveals she sent a link to the Independent article with the message “Seriously?”, to which he responded, “No not at all babes”.
One of the details noted by the judge was conflicting dates and timelines, something which Rebekah appeared to change regularly.
Vardy claimed she only gave access to her social media accounts to Caroline Watt when she went into the jungle for I’m A Celebrity in December 2017. However, the technology reports contradicted her claims.
The report reveals: “The login data shows access to Ms Vardy’s Instagram account on 29 July 2017 using an iPhone 5s. The data shows that the IP address and geolocation from which Ms Vardy’s Instagram account was accessed on 29 July 2017 was used on multiple further occasions from 31 October 2017 to 24 March 2020.”
It added: “The only regular users were Ms Vardy and Ms Watt. As Ms Vardy did not use an iPhone 5s, it is probable that the login on 29 July 2017 was by Ms Watt.”
While the infamous ‘Reveal Post’ on Coleen Rooney’s Instagram and social media didn’t appear until October 2019, the footballer’s wife was convinced there was 'a snitch' on her account as early as 2017. The judge's summary tells how Rooney wrote on her Instagram stories: “The GRASS strikes again!!! ….. I put that picture on wondering if it would appear in that HORRIBLE newspaper ….. [You're] accepted as one of my friends if you really needed the money that bad you could have always asked instead of being SLY!!!”
Another juicy point revealed in the case is that when Rooney suspected she had an informant on her account, Rebekah Vardy reached out to offer some ‘friendly’ support; despite knowing she was sending the details out.
In a WhatsApp message to Rooney, Vardy said: “That is so bad! And The Sun of all people as well! Have you been through all your followers? No one with any celeb mag links? What about being hacked? I would be chomping if that was me! Not on at all.”
Coleen responded: “Yeh been through all but can't remember in point anyone. Got a few people onto it trying to source but if there getting the info there not going to tell. Had things like this in the past and never got to find out. Xx”.
Before Rooney outed Vardy to the world as her suspected leak, Vardy and her agent Caroline Watt had noticed that Rooney might be growing suspicious. In texts revealed in court, Watt first spotted Coleen Rooney had unfollowed Vardy, to which Vardy called Rooney 'a c***'. She later added: “That c*** needs to get over herself!”
Vardy also told Watt: “Not having her bad mouth me to anyone if she’s doing that my god she will be sorry x”.
The judge also hit out at Vardy, describing some of her messages to Rooney as 'deflecting suspicion' from herself. He wrote: “A few minutes later, Ms Vardy initiated an exchange with Ms Rooney, expressing sympathy and annoyance that 'someone close to your is clearly selling you out'. Ms Vardy’s messages were clearly sent to deflect suspicion from herself.”
Once the 'reveal post' had been shared, Watt and Vardy discussed next steps with Watt advising Vardy to speak directly to Coleen. She even drafted a response for Vardy to send, writing: “As I have just said to you on the phone, I wish you had called me if you thought this. I never speak to anyone about you as various journalists who have asked me to over the years can vouch for.
“If you thought this was happening you could have told me & I could have changed my passwords to see if it stopped. Over the years various people have had access to my insta & just this week I found I was following people I didn’t know and have never followed myself.
“I’m not being funny but I don’t need the money, what would I gain from selling stories on you? I liked you a lot Coleen & I’m so upset that you have chosen to do this, especially when I’m heavily pregnant. I’m disgusted that I’m even having to deny this. You should have called me the first time this happened [broken heart emoji]”.
While the details in court have kept many of us on tenterhooks and we keenly awaited the final verdict, it might never have made it to court in the first place.
Addressing the issue between Rooney and Vardy is another point the judge mentions in his final summary, as he comments: “I also accept that Ms Rooney believed, having given several warnings on her Private Instagram Account, as well as a public warning, that it was in the public interest to publish the Reveal Post.”
However, she also adds: “I do not accept that the belief was reasonable in all the circumstances. In particular, it was not reasonable to believe that it was in the public interest to publish the Reveal Post without taking any steps to put the allegation to Ms Vardy and give her an opportunity to respond.”