At the start of this drama, Becky Vardy told me, through tears, that arguing with Coleen was like taking on a pigeon: ‘You can tell it that you are right and it is wrong but it’s still going to s*** in your hair.’
It was an apt, if bizarre, simile. For, following a spectacularly misguided legal fight she has now ended up, shall we say, with egg on her face.
Naturally, Becky is ‘devastated’ to lose her libel action against arch rival – and now sworn enemy – Coleen Rooney. Devastated and surprised.
In her statement yesterday, Mrs Vardy said she believes the judge ‘got it wrong, and this is something I cannot accept.’
Coleen Rooney (pictured at court on May 17) is mulling a new TV series about the court case
I can reveal that her legal team is already combing the judgment with the view to lodging an appeal – meaning that the Wagatha wars could continue.
‘If there is something there in the judgment which will allow an appeal, they will do it,’ I’m told.
Mrs Vardy was ‘shocked’ that, in almost every instance, the judge believed Coleen, and not her, and had expected a different result.
The Rooneys, however, were always quietly confident of victory. Wayne flew back from Washington, where he now manages DC United, to be with his wife, and they went out for an early celebratory meal at Wing’s Chinese in Manchester on Thursday night – Wayne’s favourite restaurant in the world.
Wayne and Coleen (pictured together on May 12) even had a pre-celebratory meal together
The thought that this tawdry case could rumble on further is hard to contemplate. For despite the astronomical legal bills, big shoulder pads, designer sunglasses and attention-grabbing headlines, this was only ever a petty argument between two former friends, yet became a cultural touchstone; a court case which said so much about the skewed values of celebrity.
For now, Becky Vardy is retreating from the public eye with a plea for an end to the vile online abuse which has come her way since that day in the autumn of 2019. Her view is that Coleen was always the aggressor – making the now notorious post on Instagram about ‘Becky Vardy’s account’ without warning her.
The behaviour of Mrs Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne during the trial was also ‘shocking’ to many in her camp who felt that he attempted to ‘humiliate, belittle and bully’ her in court.
Certainly Becky was seen in tears more than once during those extraordinary ten days in May.
And while the victor Coleen has enough class not to be planning a public party to celebrate, I can reveal that there is much more ordure coming Becky’s way.
For Coleen, 36, is well advanced in telling her story in a high-profile documentary series made by Lorton films, who crafted an earlier offering about husband Wayne. The show – not yet sold to a broadcaster – will feature many hours of her candid reflections about the court case.
Coleen will tell the story of how betrayed she felt when she wrote that 260-word post in October 2019, accusing ‘… Becky Vardy’s account’ of being behind the leaked stories based on her private Instagram, which started the Wagatha Christie affair.
Coleen will lay bare her many efforts to settle the matter out of court, and her alarm at the rising bills which are said to stand at £3million (and will now have to be paid by Becky Vardy.)
Rebekah Vardy (pictured on May 13) said she was ‘devastated’ and surprised by the verdict
Above all, her theme will be that this was a fight brought by Becky Vardy. ‘She started it, and I finished it,’ she will say.
The experience of being once again flayed in public will surely be torture for Vardy, 40, effectively branded a liar in a scorching judgment which found that, along with her agent and friend Caroline Watt, she cheerfully sold stories on her fellow Wag and others, and resorted to dirty tricks in the pursuit of fame and public profile.
But Coleen apparently isn’t in the mood to show mercy.
The moral of the Scousetrap is that you are what you tweet, and that an excruciating public downfall awaits those who truffle for the tabloids in the private Instagram of other celebrities.
I’m told: ‘Coleen has a great sense of right and wrong, of what is moral, and this has become a crusade with her. Now that the court case is over, she is going to take the chance to really tell her full story.’
Naturally, I am pleased that the judge has found in my favour with her judgment today.
It was not a case I ever sought or wanted. I never believed it should have gone to court at such expense in times of hardship for so many people when the money could have been far better spent helping others.
Both before and after my social media posts in October 2019, I made every effort to avoid the need for such a drawn out and public court case. All my attempts to do so were knocked back by Mrs (Rebekah) Vardy.
This left me with no alternative but to go through with the case to defend myself and to end the repeated leaking of my private information to The Sun.
These leaks from my private Instagram account began in 2017. They continued for almost two years, intruding on my privacy and that of my family. Although I bear Mrs Vardy no ill will, today’s judgment makes clear that I was right in what I said in my posts of October 2019.
Finally, I would like to thank all of my legal team, my family, friends and everyone who supported me, including the public, through this difficult and stressful time.
For even greater impact, Coleen has allowed cameras inside her giant new Cheshire mansion – the one that gets unkindly compared to a Morrisons supermarket.
It will include, for the first time an account from husband Wayne, describing how the stress affected him and the family.
Global sales are expected for the documentary, and megabucks too, although the money will be incidental for the Rooneys who are worth around £120million.
A potential deal with Netflix is being mulled but it’s now looking more as if it will be snapped up by Prime Video or Apple+ TV, and will go out later this year.
Despite their marital ups and downs, the Rooneys are a formidable, united force and are said to be ‘closer than ever’. Wayne was at Coleen’s side every day throughout the hearing, in an ill-fitting suit, and carried her handbags into court.
The couple have known each other since they were a couple of 12-year-old kids at St John Bosco school in Liverpool, and they have been an item since they were 15.
They have sons Kai, 12, Klay, nine, Kit, six, and Cass, four, and some have the view that Wayne is simply the biggest of the boys Coleen has to manage.
His latest indiscretion was getting caught drink driving with a girl he had picked up in a bar.
A source says: ‘Wayne was amazing in court. He was with her for every minute and gave clear and truthful evidence. He was proud to stand with her and to go under oath – unlike Jamie Vardy who didn’t give evidence and then accused Wayne of lying on the steps of court. This lawsuit should never have been brought, Coleen is clear about that, and it should never have got to court.
‘She is delighted to be vindicated of course. She told the truth steadily and kept faith in the process. She has always known she was right on this. She had this hanging over her for nearly three years and she is fully entitled to tell her side of the story now.
‘In some ways, it’s not her style, as she doesn’t court media attention. However, after what she has gone through she wants to have her say, so she will do that.’
In the end, perhaps, this case boiled down to aspirations, and the extent to which they were realised. Both women, married to successful sportsmen, aspired to create picture-perfect lives with a brood of adorable children apiece, matching flashy mansions and fabulous holidays, taken in seemingly endless succession.
But Coleen, the adored daughter of a respectable, God-fearing couple and the head girl at her secondary school, was the more established Wag. The life she was leading with Wayne was just a moneyed version of the loving family in which she was raised.
By contrast, Becky’s beginnings were painfully chaotic. Aged 12, Becky was sexually abused by someone she trusted. By the time she was 15 she had already taken an overdose of pills and vodka. She was homeless in her teens – her relationship with her mother broke down. There were disastrous romances and marriages. Her first marriage lasted just six months. Then came Peter Andre and the ‘chipolata’ kiss and tell in the News of the World. Not long afterwards she fell pregnant with daughter Megan. She has never publicly named the father and it wasn’t her second husband, who she married when pregnant and left after a year. She went on to have a six-year relationship with football player Luke Foster and they had a son Taylor.
But the romance ended acrimoniously, with Luke claiming Becky had only dumped him after ‘upgrading’ with premiership player Jamie. She has always denied that the relationships overlapped.
Jamie Vardy was already dad to Ella, by ex Emma Daggett. The couple had daughter Sofia in 2014 and the following year married at Peckforton Castle. Son Finlay was born in 2017 followed by Olivia Grace, born in 2019.
All the while, Becky was building a brand. She was brave and funny in the jungle on I’m A Celebrity… She had some hopes of becoming a lifestyle influencer via her website.
Even when the court case was on the horizon, she was trying to make her way, releasing a children’s book, Cedric The Little Sloth With A Big Dream. One suspects there won’t be more books. Those supporters who sing: ‘Jamie Vardy, you wife’s a grass’ will continue. And, even though the world has moved on, Becky Vardy will still be searching for a way to clear her name and make the trolls stop.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk