Rebekah Vardy has arrived at the High Court as she prepares to take the stand again in the Wagatha Christie libel case after twice breaking down in tears yesterday – with her bitter rival Coleen Rooney also due to give evidence.
A smiling Coleen – dressed all in white and wearing a striking gold watch – stepped out of a silver Mercedes van alongside her husband, Wayne, who wore a navy jacket over a suit and held a leather handbag containing a file.
Rebekah, meanwhile, bore a stern expression as she walked up to the steps of the Royal Courts of Justice accompanied by her bodyguards.
She is due to finish her evidence today, with Coleen then taking her place in the witness box in Court 13 of the Royal Courts of Justice.
Rebekah has been giving evidence for around 10 hours, at times becoming emotional on Wednesday and Thursday.
The case comes after a viral social media post in October 2019, where Mrs Rooney, 36, said she had carried out a ‘sting operation’ and accused Mrs Vardy, 40, of leaking ‘false stories’ about her private life to the press.
Mrs Vardy, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, denies leaking stories to the media and is suing her fellow footballer’s wife for libel, while Mrs Rooney is defending the claim on the basis her post was ‘substantially true’ and in the public interest.
The fake stories Mrs Rooney planted on her Instagram during the sting operation featured her travelling to Mexico for a ‘gender selection’ procedure, her planning to return to TV, and the basement flooding at her home.
Coleen and Wayne Rooney walked through a crowd of photographers as they entered the Royal Courts of Justice for the fourth day of the Wagatha Christie libel trial
Rebekah, meanwhile, bore a stern expression as she walked up to the steps of the famous court accompanied by her bodyguards
Rebekah is due to finish her evidence today, with Coleen then taking her place in the witness box in Court 13 of the Royal Courts of Justice
Coleen, who wore an all-white outfit, arrived in a silver Mercedes van with her husband, who donned a blue suit for the proceedings
Coleen did not respond to calls from the press as she passed through the main entrance of the court building. Once again she wore an orthopedic boot on her right leg following an accident at home
Wagatha Day 1 to 3 RECAP: ‘Doing the dirty’ on Leicester changing room wars, social media spats… and Peter Andre’s ‘chipolata’ manhood
ACCORDING TO TEAM VARDY
- Rebekah was ‘deeply sorry’ for describing Peter Andre’s manhood as like a ‘chipolata’;
- Said she feared she would lose her baby when Coleen made her allegations and ‘will never forgive’ her for ‘ruining my pregnancy’;
- Lawyer said she ‘had no choice’ but to bring the libel claim against Coleen to ‘establish her innocence and vindicate her reputation’;
- She’s been ‘jeered and heckled at football matches’ and ‘made the butt of endless jokes’ since the allegations emerged;
- Coleen’s famous Instagram sting was ‘flawed’, rather than a ‘careful investigation’ that produced ‘irrefutable’ evidence as she suggested;
- Coleen ‘revelled’ in comparisons to Miss Marple, Agatha Christie and the Scooby-Doo gang;
- Rebekah ‘has no knowledge’ of an incident that saw agent Caroline Watt’s phone fall into the North Sea and ‘doesn’t know’ if she was a leaker;
- Claim Rebekah was involved in ‘conspiracy’ and ‘campaign of deletion’ of evidence is ‘completely baseless”;
ACCORDING TO TEAM ROONEY
- Coleen’s barrister, David Sherborne, told the court the case hinges on ‘betrayal’ – whether it was by Rebekah who betrayed Coleen by leaking information to The Sun or Coleen’s agent, Caroline Watt, who was responsible;
- Suggested that if Ms Watt leaked the stories ‘she was doing Rebekah’s dirty work like a hitman’ – and accused Rebekah of ‘lying’ for suggesting otherwise;
- Rebekah’s claim she sat behind Coleen at the 2016 Euros because they were the ‘nearest seats available’ was ‘untrue’, according to a new witness statement;
- ‘Harry Maguire’s fiancée Fern Hawkins was ‘upset and embarrassed’ by Rebekah’s WAGs paparazzi photo at 2018 World Cup’;
- Rebekah ‘had the means, motive and opportunity to leak stories about Coleen’;
- WhatsApp messages between Rebekah and her agent where Rebekah referred to Coleen as a ‘c***’ were re-read to the court.
CLAIMS MADE DURING REBEKAH’S CROSS-EXAMINATION
- Rebekah and Ms Watt worked to improve the WAG’s media coverage and plotted to leak several stories to The Sun;
- Ms Watt once ‘boasted’ that a Sun journalist ‘always writes nice stories’ about Rebekah and ‘does whatever I ask her’;
- Rebekah tried to leak model Danielle Lloyd’s miscarriage to the media following a ‘spat on Instagram’ – an allegation which she has denied;
- It was ‘standard practice’ for Rebekah to give her publicist information to pass on to journalists, and that Ms Watt would do Rebekah’s ‘dirty work’ for her;
- Jamie Vardy’s wife tried to leak news of footballer Danny Drinkwater’s drink-driving arrest to The Sun newspaper and ‘wanted paying’ for any information that reached the Press;
- She and Ms Watt discussed leaking a story about a female celebrity accused of cheating on her husband with a ‘well-known footballer’ – but the WAG insisted that she was just ‘joking’;
- Rebekah ‘tried to ‘do the dirty’ and spill the beans on unrest in the Leicester City dressing room when star player Riyad Mahrez went ‘on strike’ – but denied she had leaked the story to The Sun and had been ‘gossiping’;
- The WAG told her publicist Ms Watt to look at Coleen’s private Instagram account through her own personal account, but denied that she ordered her to ‘monitor’ the page;
- Agent ‘boasted’ that a journalist ‘always writes nice stories’ about Rebekah and ‘does whatever I ask her.;
REBEKAH’S CROSS-EXAMINATION CONTINUED…
- Rebekah denied branding herself ‘the unofficial leader of the WAGs’ in Sun interview about axing of ‘sex ban’ for England stars during Russia World Cup;
- Claimed she was too busy ‘washing her clothes in a sink’ during the 2018 World Cup to have time to speak to journalists;
- Denies leaking information about Coleen’s 2019 car crash in Washington DC to the media after seeing story on her private Instagram;
- Claimed she ‘doesn’t really watch’ television and asked ‘who’s Davy Jones?’ while being questioned about alleged leaks and her publicist’s North Sea incident;
- Rebekah accused of ‘using the anniversary of Coleen’s sister’s death as a peg to contact her after the WAG unfollowed her on Instagram’;
- Denied being behind ‘Secret Wag’ column that included lurid claims of Chelsea ‘love rats’;
- Was unable to explain what had happened to nine months of messages she exchanged with Ms Watt which have disappeared.
The mother-of-five wiped away tears yesterday as she was accused of leaking private information about Coleen, attempting to destroy incriminating evidence and pinning the blame on her agent and friend Caroline Watt.
Coleen’s lawyer David Sherborne claimed Rebekah had betrayed Mrs Watt by ‘throwing her under the bus’.
Rebekah sobbed: ‘She’s been driven to suicidal thoughts by these proceedings and the antics of the defendant [Coleen].’
The footballer’s wife was led from the court in tears twice during the hearing and at the end of the day as she struggled during cross-examination by Mr Sherborne.
She has told how she received a ‘torrent of insults’ and death threats within moments of Coleen’s social media post in 2019. She was seven months pregnant and feared she could lose her unborn baby.
Rebekah is suing Coleen – wife of former England striker Wayne Rooney – for libel over the post, which led to her being dubbed ‘Wagatha Christie’.
She accused Coleen of deliberately provoking the furore, saying: ‘She knows exactly how aggressive and nasty the social media community can be… She should have used her influence and reach to call the trolls off. She didn’t.’
In a series of tense exchanges with Mr Sherborne, Rebekah was repeatedly accused of leaking information from Coleen’s private Instagram account to The Sun and of lying in her evidence to the court.
Mr Sherborne asked: ‘Would you not agree, Rebekah, that if it looks like a leak and it sounds like a leak – and you even use the word leak – that it’s more likely than not to be a leak… That’s what you are, isn’t it, a leak?’
‘No,’ Rebekah said repeatedly, shaking her head and wiping her eyes.
The lawyer claimed she had betrayed Mrs Watt, expecting her ‘to do the dirty work’ by contacting journalists and then attempting to pin the blame on her.
He said: ‘It’s you that betrayed her by throwing her under the bus.’
Rebekah broke down, shaking her head and muttering: ‘That’s a joke.’ WhatsApp messages between Mrs Watt and Rebekah have been read to the court in which the two women discussed posts on Coleen’s private Instagram account.
Rebekah insists they were gossiping and she was joking about leaking the information, although she has admitted that Mrs Watt may have contacted journalists.
Mrs Watt, 40, was expected to be called as a witness but the court has heard she is now receiving psychiatric care and has been deemed too unwell to give evidence.
Experts were also unable to analyse her iPhone after she accidentally dropped it overboard while filming the Scottish coastline on a boat trip – days after the court ordered the mobile should be searched.
Mr Sherborne said the episode was part of a ‘catalogue of so-called unfortunate events’ which had affected the case.
The court heard that screenshots and videos sent on the WhatsApp chat between Rebekah and Mrs Watt were permanently deleted during a data transfer and Rebekah’s laptop was discarded after it stopped working.
Rebekah repeatedly denied she had deliberately deleted potentially incriminating evidence and disposed of her laptop.
She said she believed the messages would have been ‘extremely helpful’ to proving her case.
Earlier, Mr Sherborne accused her of ‘selective amnesia’ over her recollection of events.
She denied she had orchestrated a tip-off to paparazzi over a photo of her with other England Wags – wives and girlfriends – during the World Cup in Russia in 2018.
She and Mrs Watt exchanged messages in which they appeared to plan the photo, but Rebekah said it was only intended to be a picture of her.
The photo led to complaints from Wags and at least one player as English football bosses wanted media coverage focused on the team and the tournament rather than the wives and girlfriends.
In a message to Mrs Watt, Rebekah said: ‘England will do their nut.’
Asked about an article about the Wags at the World Cup, Rebekah said: ‘If I’m honest, I can’t remember that at all.’
Mr Sherborne replied: ‘Well, I would much rather you were honest because you are in a witness box under oath.’
The court also heard a message she sent to Coleen in which she suggested that her phone could have been hacked.
She denied it was an attempt to divert suspicion away from her.
In an uncomfortable exchange, she was also asked about an article which claimed the Rooneys’ marriage was over – while Coleen and Wayne sat feet away from her.
Coleen, 36, is expected to start her evidence in the £3million libel trial today.
She took copious notes throughout former friend Rebekah’s evidence and has reportedly signed a contract with Netflix to make a documentary about the trial.
The case continues.
Weeping Wag Rebekah Vardy yesterday claimed Coleen Rooney ‘weaponised’ her fans when she accused her of leaking stories to the Press
Rebekah broke down in court and the hearing had to be halted twice as she described the fall-out from Coleen’s famous ‘Wagatha Christie’ tweet
Wagatha Christie timeline: How Coleen and Rebekah’s long-running, vicious war unfolded before the eyes of the world
September 2017 to October 2019 – The Sun runs a number of articles about Coleen, including that she travelled to Mexico to look into baby ‘gender selection’ treatment, her plan to revive her TV career and the flooding of her basement.
October 9, 2019 – Coleen uses social media to accuse Rebekah of selling stories from her private Instagram account to the tabloids.
Coleen says she spent five months attempting to work out who was sharing information about her and her family based on posts she had made on her personal social media page.
After sharing a series of ‘false’ stories and using a process of elimination, Coleen claims they were viewed by one Instagram account, belonging to Rebekah.
Rebekah, then pregnant with her fifth child, denies the allegations and says various people had access to her Instagram over the years.
She claims to be ‘so upset’ by Coleen’s accusation, later adding: ‘I thought she was my friend but she completely annihilated me.’
The public dispute makes headlines around the world, with the hashtag #WagathaChristie trending.
How it all began: On October 9, 2019, Coleen Rooney, now 36, accused Rebekah Vardy, 40, of leaking ‘false stories’ about her to the press in an Instagram post (above)
Shortly after Coleen’s public accusation, Rebekah – who was pregnant and on holiday in Dubai at the time – denied any involvement (above)
February 13, 2020 – In a tearful appearance on ITV’s Loose Women, Rebekah says the stress of the dispute caused her to have severe anxiety attacks and she ‘ended up in hospital three times’. Coleen says in a statement that she does not want to ‘engage in further public debate’.
June 23, 2020 – It emerges that Rebekah has launched libel proceedings against Coleen.
Rebekah’s lawyers allege she ‘suffered extreme distress, hurt, anxiety and embarrassment as a result of the publication of the post and the events which followed’.
November 19-20, 2020 – The libel battle has its first High Court hearing in London. A judge rules that Coleen’s October 2019 post ‘clearly identified’ Rebekah as being ‘guilty of the serious and consistent breach of trust’.
Mr Justice Warby concludes that the ‘natural and ordinary’ meaning of the posts was that Rebekah had ‘regularly and frequently abused her status as a trusted follower of Coleen’s personal Instagram account by secretly informing The Sun of Coleen’s private posts and stories’.
February 8-9, 2022 – A series of explosive messages between Rebekah and her agent Caroline Watt – which Coleen’s lawyers allege were about her – are revealed at a preliminary court hearing.
The court is told Rebekah was not referring to Coleen when she called someone a ‘nasty bitch’ in one exchange with Ms Watt.
Coleen’s lawyers seek further information from the WhatsApp messages, but the court is told that Ms Watt’s phone fell into the North Sea after a boat she was on hit a wave, before further information could be extracted from it.
February 14 – Coleen is refused permission to bring a High Court claim against Ms Watt for misuse of private information to be heard alongside the libel battle. A High Court judge, Mrs Justice Steyn, says the bid was brought too late and previous opportunities to make the claim had not been taken.
April 13 – Ms Watt is not fit to give oral evidence at the upcoming libel trial, the High Court is told as the case returns for another hearing.
The agent revokes permission for her witness statement to be used, and withdraws her waiver which would have allowed Sun journalists to say whether she was a source of the allegedly leaked stories.
April 29 – Rebekah ‘appears to accept’ that her agent was the source of allegedly leaked stories, Coleen’s barrister David Sherborne tells the High Court. He argues that a new witness statement submitted by Rebekah suggests Ms Watt was the source but Rebekah claims she ‘did not authorise or condone her’.
Rebekah’s lawyer Hugh Tomlinson says the statement did not contain ‘any change whatever in the pleaded case’, with her legal team having no communication with Ms Watt.
May 10 onwards – The trial begins.
Team Rooney vs Team Vardy! Rebekah is supported by crisis manager who’s an expert in online reputation and a VERY burly bodyguard in Jamie’s absence – while Coleen has Hollywood’s favourite barrister
By Bridie Pearson-Jones for MailOnline
Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy have enlisted some of the country’s finest media experts and legal minds as they go head to head in the celebrity trial of the decade.
Yesterday was the second instalment of the £3million ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel trial between the two footballer’s wives which featured a tearful appearance in the witness box, Whatsapp ‘gossip’ about a mystery celebrity affair and yet more foul-mouthed text messages – all brought to an end by a fittingly dramatic fire alarm.
Coleen publicly ‘outed’ her fellow WAG when she accused her of sharing three fake stories she had posted on her personal Instagram with The Sun as part of what she described as a social media ‘sting’ operation. Rebekah vehemently denied the allegation – leading her to launch the pricey legal action which saw its second day on Wednesday.
While Tuesday’s hearing dredged up Peter Andre’s alleged ‘chipolata’ manhood, yesterday focused on Rebekah’s relationship with her agent Caroline Watt.
In the Vardy corner is Hacked Off founder Hugh Tomlinson QC – as well as two glamorous members of the legal team, including one who was once named one of the ‘sexiest lawyers’ in the UK, and another who is a crisis manager who’s experienced in online reputation.
Vardy has also appeared alongside a security guard – whereas Coleen doesn’t appear to have any bodyguard by her when entering court.
Meanwhile, Coleen has been joined in court by her football superstar husband Wayne as well as Hollywood’s favourite lawyer David Sherborne and rising legal mind Ben Hamer.
Here, FEMAIL reveals who’s who at the trial that’s kept the nation gripped…
Dr Rosa Malley
In Rebekah’s legal team is Dr Rosa Malley, 37, an Associate in the Dispute Resolution team at top law firm Kingsley Napley.
Rosa was a part of the Hacked Off campaign and specialises in reputation and media matters, according to her online bio.
She previously worked as a paralegal at top city law firm Mishcon de Reya, who led the High Court bid to stop Boris Johnson triggering Brexit.
One of their barristers, Anthony Julius, acted for Princess Diana in her divorce from Prince Charles.
In Rebekah’s legal team is Dr Rosa Malley, 37, an Associate in the Dispute Resolution team at top law firm Kingsley Napley
Rebekah Vardy, wife of Leicester City soccer player Jamie Vardy, leaves the Royal Courts of Justice in London
The firm also represented Heather Mills in her divorce case against Beatles star Paul McCartney, before separating ‘amicably’ from their client.
The company also acted for former Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister Chris Huhne when he faced allegations of perverting the course of justice by ‘swapping’ speeding points with his wife. Mr Huhne was later sentenced to eight months in prison.
Rosa got her PhD studying the Representation of Women in British Politics at University of Bristol in 2011.
She works in pre and post-publication for broadcast media, and has also worked in crisis management with politicians, sportspeople, celebrities and high profile criminal defendants.
Before her legal career, Rosa worked in politics, as a researcher at the ThinkTank Institute for Government and as a Special Projects Manager for the Hacked Off campaign. She also taught British Politics at Birkbeck, University of London.
Fittingly for the case in question, Rosa has experience in online reputation and abuse on social media.
Like Rosa, Charlotte Harris, 44, worked at Hacked Off and for eminent law firm Mishcon de Reya.
Described as ‘one of the most sought out privacy lawyers in the land’ she boasts a client base of ‘MPs, celebrities, PR experts, sports agents, sports people’.
In 2013, she married investment banker James Burr, with a very star-studded guest list including Hugh Grant, MP Tom Watson, MP Chris Huhne, and Max Clifford.
Like Rosa, Charlotte Harris (pictured), 44, worked at Hacked Off and for eminent law firm Mishcon de Reya
At the wedding millionaire former Energy Secretary Chris Huhne enjoyed his last night of liberty before he was sentenced the next day at Southwark crown court to eight months’ imprisonment.
Writing in the Diary column for the New Stateman at the time, Mr Watson said he ‘entertained’ the gathering of celebrities, MPs, bankers and highly remunerated senior Mishcon staff with a karaoke rendition of the new wave anthem Teenage Kicks.
Clearly beauty and brains, she was named one of the country’s sexiest lawyers in 2015 in a list put together by the website Legal Cheek.
Charlotte has appeared before Parliamentary Select Committees throughout her career, including the Leveson Inquiry and was described as a ‘force of nature and always ready for a fight’ by Chambers and Partners High Net Worth Guide in 2020.
Hugh Tomlinson QC
Hugh Tomlinson QC, who is representing Ms Vardy, is a top-flight privacy silk who has launched dozen of battles with the press in his four decade career.
The Leeds-born, Oxford-educated lawyer last year advocated successfully in a claim against a journalist and author after she made false allegations that Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea FC on Vladimir Putin’s orders.
He was one of several lawyers representing Russian oligarchs whose ethics were questioned in parliament by the Conservative MP Bob Seely following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Hugh Tomlinson QC, who is representing Ms Vardy, is a top-flight privacy silk who has launched dozen of battles with the press in his four decade career
The lawyer was on the side of Jeremy Clarkson’s ex-wife Alex Hall when he tried to – but dropped – efforts to stop her claiming they had an affair during his later marriage.
He also successfully represented Prince Charles as the royal sought to stop the publishing of his Hong Kong travel diaries, saying public interest justifications were ‘far-fetched’.
And in an earlier case, he won substantial damages for Christopher Jefferies after press coverage incorrectly associated him with the murder of his tenant Joanna Yeates in 2010.
A year later he co-founded Hacked Off, the group campaigning for tighter media regulation, which he now chairs, and which has backers such as Hugh Grant and Steve Coogan.
Tomlinson was born in Woodhouse in Leeds where he went to Leeds Grammar School and then Balliol College, Oxford, leaving with the top first in PPE.
He then took up philosophical studies at Sussex University before going to the University of Paris in 1977. In 2000 he was a founding member of Matrix Chambers in London.
Who else is supporting Rebekah?
Rebekah has also been seen going into court accompanied by a burly security guard – whereas Coleen doesn’t appear to have any bodyguard alongside her.
She’s previously discussed how security is important to her and added that she’s faced threats since her feud with Coleen went public.
She told OK! magazine ahead of the 2018 World Cup that she and her family were bringing their own security to the games.
Rebekah has also been seen going into court accompanied by a burly security guard.
Fellow WAG Nicola McLean has seemingly thrown her support behind Mrs Vardy several times – once stating that Mrs Rooney is ‘not as private’ as she is considered while also insisting Mrs Vardy is not interested in the fame game.
Nicola is married to Tom Williams, who now plays for Hashtag United of the Essex Senior League. Tom is a defender and midfielder and made nearly 300 appearances in the Football League playing for numerous clubs, including QPR and West Ham.
The I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here star, who has been married to Tom since 2009, told Closer Magazine in 2020: ‘I’ve had different experiences at different clubs but the WAG world can be a b****y mean girls like existence…
‘There can be rivalry and unfriendliness with someone in the group and the top dog and there can be a lot of drama. It isn’t just amazing holidays and designer clothes there can be a lot of behind-the-scenes politics between the girls.’
On some of the most famous WAGS, she went on: ‘A lot of women want to emulate Victoria Beckham, Alex Gerrard, Elen Rivas – they dine out on the fact they’re a WAG and it can consume you.’
Nicola then pointed out that it is not all it seems with Mrs Vardy and Mrs Rooney: ‘I know some WAGs will only be interested in the hierarchy, fame and drama but I don’t believe Rebekah is like that. She’s not fussed about the press or limelight.
‘Everyone thinks Coleen is really private – but remember she’s done countless interviews, books and even her own TV show.’
Mrs Vardy’s friend and agent, Ms Watt has featured in some of the preliminary hearings, despite not being a party to the claim or giving evidence at the trial.
She is a former Virgin Atlantic air hostess who has been Rebekah’s agent for the past seven years, helping to build her profile in the national media.
Reports that she no longer represents her following the current controversy engulfing the two have been dismissed as inaccurate with Ms Watt remaining close to Ms Vardy both professionally and personally.
Ms Watt, 39, is married to former footballer Steve Watt, who played briefly for Chelsea, making one Premier League appearance for two minutes in 2005 and Swansea City. He is currently manager of Kent non-league side Hythe Town and they have two children.
After leaving the airline industry, Ms Watt began working as an agent in the world of entertainment, quickly developing a reputation for her communication skills and ability to network.
She was formerly employed by talent agency The Frontrow Partnership but left in 2019 to go it alone and took her main client and close friend, Ms Vardy with her.
Ms Watt has been credited with building Ms Vardy’s public profile by ensuring that she regularly featured in the national media and also brokered the deal for her to appear on the hit reality TV show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2018.
Ms Watt started representing the high-profile WAG in 2015, when her husband, Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy shot to fame.
She is a regular visitor to the Vardy’s Lincolnshire home and also socialises with Ms Vardy, attending glitzy parties and bars.
Her other clients include the former Page 3 girl Nicola McLean but it is Ms Vardy that has been the biggest asset in her career as an agent.
Unlike Rebekah, Coleen arrived at court with just her husband and not an entourage of lawyers.
However, her legal team is just as impressive and versed in the world of celebrity as her fellow WAG’s.
David Sherborne, 53, who has been dubbed one of Hollywood’s favourite lawyers, is acting for Mrs Rooney.
He was lead counsel for victims of press intrusion in the Leveson inquiry, and represented Johnny Depp in his libel suit against The Sun. In November 2020, the High Court ruled that Depp had lost his case.
In September 2020, Sherborne was dropped from the Duchess of Sussex’s legal team in her case against The Mail on Sunday following an early setback.
Sherborne’s previous clients also include Princess Diana, Melania Trump, Sir Paul McCartney, Sienna Miller, Kate Moss and Harry Styles.
His father was a QC, but while he comes from a legal family, he is seen as a ‘rebel’ in many ways due to his apparent fondness for the limelight.
A former colleague told The Times: ‘He likes to present a fun, outgoing persona and is very limelight-seeking. All the other barristers in chambers were hyper-critical of him breaking the rules.’
While he’s known for rubbing shoulders with A-listers, Tattler and Evening Standard both commented he is ‘so handsome’ he could be a celebrity himself.
The twice-married barrister was revealed to be having an affair with a member of Lord Leveson’s junior counsel, Carine Patry Hoskins in 2013-.
Ms Hoskins, dubbed the ‘thinking man’s Pippa Middleton’ -was Lord Leveson’s number two, while Mr Sherborne was defending Hugh Grant and other hacking victims.
There was a rare moment of light relief amidst the morning’s fierce cross-examination when Mr Sherborne mentioned that his junior, Ben Hamer, 29, was ‘very adept at searching online through social media on his phone.’
Rebekah shot back, without smiling: ‘I know, Mr Hamer follows me on Twitter’ to laughter in the court.
But this isn’t Ben’s first celebrity case. He’s previously Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard and acted for the claimant in Blackledge v Person(s) Unknown where libel and harassment damages of £70,000 were awarded against the Defendant.
The Durham University graduate was first called to the Bar in 2017 at Lincoln’s Inn, where he was a Lord Bowen and Lord Denning scholar.
Very accomplished at a young age, he’s previously was presented with the Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize for his work on free speech and fake news.
He now provides pre-publication advice to various publications such as The Times and The Sunday Times as well as HarperCollins and Bloomsbury publishers. He is security cleared to SC level.
Ben began as a tenant at 5RB after successful completion of pupillage at Chambers. His supervisors were Adam Wolanski QC, Jonathan Barnes QC, Richard Munden and Adam Speker QC.
Ben was called to the Bar in 2017 at Lincoln’s Inn, where he was a Lord Bowen and Lord Denning scholar.
In 2017, Ben was presented with the Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize, run in conjunction with the Daily Telegraph, for his writing on free speech, social media and ‘fake news’. As an undergraduate, he edited Palatinate, where he won the Hunter Davies Prize for Student Journalism.
Mrs Justice Steyn
The High Court judge overseeing the case, Mrs Justice Steyn (pictured right) was appointed in 2019 and sits in the Queen’s Bench Division – the part of the High Court which deals with defamation, personal injury and breach of contract claims.
As well as overseeing the ‘Wagatha Christie’ claim, other prominent cases she has heard include Arron Banks’ libel claim against journalist Carole Cadwalladr and the FDA union’s unsuccessful legal challenge over Boris Johnson’s decision to support Priti Patel following bullying accusations.
The daughter of former Law Lord Lord Steyn, Mrs Justice Steyn covered a variety of cases as a barrister, including a case over the expansion of Heathrow airport.
Who else is on Team Coleen?
Coleen has been joined in court by supportive husband Wayne, with whom she shares four children, while Jamie Vardy is yet to be pictured in court.
Wayne, who has been with Coleen since the age of 16, last played with Jamie for England in 2016.
Both husbands have kept mostly quiet on the clash, however Wayne did note in his Sunday Times column before last year’s European championships that he would have drafted Jamie Vardy into the England team.
He added: ‘Some people may be surprised at this, especially with the legal case between my wife and Jamie’s wife.’
The former Premier League and England striker will take to the witness stand at London’s High Court where he will be questioned under oath over how much he knew about his wife’s ‘Wagatha Christie’ investigation.
Coleen has been joined in court by supportive husband Wayne, with whom she shares four children, while Jamie Vardy is yet to be pictured in court.
A source close to the case told MailOnline: ‘Wayne is 100 per cent going into the witness box and this is just going to add to the drama of the whole occasion. Hugh Tomlinson is a very experienced barrister, and this could be one of the toughest opponents Wayne has ever faced.
‘Rebekah’s lawyers are adamant that he should be cross examined under oath about how much he knew about what Coleen was getting up to and that the truth will emerge.’
Ms Rooney has always maintained that nobody was aware of her ‘sting operation’ when she decided to post a number of fake Instagram stories and eventually limit who could see them to just Ms Vardy. Three of these were later published in The Sun and are at the centre of the sensational libel battle.
But Ms Vardy’s lawyers insist that several people could have been the source of the leaks and that Ms Rooney told Wayne and others about what she was getting up to while also sharing details of the false posts with them.
In addition to giving evidence, Wayne, the former Manchester United striker who is currently manager of Derby County, is also expected to accompany his wife when she attends the High Court for the trial, which is expected to last a week.
Meanwhile, when Rebekah furiously denied the allegation in a lengthy Twitter statement, her husband showed his support by liking her post.
Mrs Rooney thanked her fans and said there ‘are a lot of really good people’ in the world in an Instagram story in February 2022.
And along with her devoted fans, the WAG has also been publicly supported by Danielle Lloyd, who came forth with similar claims about Mrs Vardy leading to a row between the duo on social media in 2019.
Mrs Lloyd made a thinly-veiled dig at Mrs Vardy after weighing in on the Mrs Rooney row during an episode of This Morning.
Mrs Rooney thanked her fans and said there ‘are a lot of really good people’ in the world in an Instagram story in February 2022. And along with her devoted fans, the WAG has also been publicly supported by Danielle Lloyd, who came forth with similar claims about Mrs Vardy leading to a row between the duo on social media in 2019.
The TV personality detailed her ‘similar run-ins’ with the footballer’s wife, before Mrs Vardy claimed Mrs Lloyd was only upset because she didn’t ‘recruit’ one of Jamie’s footballer pals for her after her divorce from Jamie O’Hara
This came amid reports that many of the WAGs had distanced themselves from Mrs Vardy at the time and were busy ‘scrutinising’ past conversations with her, following the fallout from her feud with Mrs Rooney.
Following Mrs Lloyd’s appearance on This Morning, Mrs Vardy was quick to retaliate, as she took to Twitter to claim that the TV personality’s admission was ‘utter b******s’ and their feud was sparked by her refusal to try and find Mrs Lloyd a man following her split from Jamie [O’Hara].
She wrote: ‘Danielle Lloyd making false claims on @thismorning that we have had ‘similar run-ins’ is utter b****cks. She is just fuming that I ‘didn’t get Jamie recruiting’ for her like she asked me to…’