Rebekah Vardy obtains partial victory in latest round of Coleen Rooney libel case

Coleen Rooney claimed Vardy had leaked false stories about her to The Sun newspaper in 2019.

Coleen Rooney accused Vardy of leaking false personal stories to The Sun in 2019.
Coleen Rooney accused Vardy of leaking false personal stories to The Sun in 2019.

Rebekah Vardy has scored a partial victory in her libel battle with Coleen Rooney after a High Court judge threw out parts of the latter’s defence.

Vardy, 39, was accused by Rooney, 35, of leaking “false stories” about her private life in 2019 after Rooney carried out a much-publicised “sting operation” which saw her dubbed “Wagatha Christie”.

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At a glance: 5 key points

- Coleen Rooney, wife of footballer Wayne Rooney accused Rebekah Vardy, wife of footballer Jamie Vardy, of leaking false stories about her private life in 2019.

- Rooney made the allegations in a much-publicised Instagram post.

- Vardy denied the allegations and subsequently sued Rooney for libel.

- At a hearing in June, Vardy’s lawyers asked the High Court to throw out parts of Rooney’s defence which they claimed were “irrelevant”, including accusations that Vardy was leaking details of the libel case itself.

- The judge dismissed part of Rooney’s defence but kept some. The case continues.

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What’s been said

Throwing out the allegation that Vardy was leaking details of the libel case to The Sun, Mrs Justice Steyn said:

“While this is an allegation of leaking confidential information to The Sun, the nature of it is very different to what was alleged in the post.

“Notably, the defendant has pleaded it in support of the contention that there is a close relationship between the claimant and The Sun, rather than as an instance of the claimant disclosing another person’s private information.”

However, Justice Steyn didn’t throw out the alleged close relationship between Vardy and The Sun, saying this was one of the “building blocks” of Rooney’s inferential case.

She said: “I accept that an exceptionally close relationship between the claimant and the newspaper or journalists to whom the defendant’s posts are alleged to have been disclosed is probative of the plea of truth, albeit on its own it would not take the defendant far.”

Background

Rooney caused a sensation on the internet in 2019 when she posted on Instagram claiming Vardy had been leaking false stories about her to The Sun newspaper.

Rooney said she came to this conclusion after posting fake stories on her Instagram account and seeing which ended up in The Sun.

She wrote in the post: “For a few years now someone who I trusted to follow me on my personal Instagram account has been consistently informing The Sun newspaper of my private posts and stories.

“I have saved and screenshotted [sic] all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them.

“It’s……….. Rebekah Vardy’s account,” she revealed.