Coleen Rooney sent a chilling message to Rebekah Vardy shortly before her infamous ‘Wagatha Christie’ post, saying ‘If you play games with me, I will play them harder’, according to new court documents.
The claim came as Rebekah’s legal team lodged a robust reply to Coleen’s defence, and launched a scathing attack on her ‘investigation’, making it sound more Clouseau than Christie.
In the latest legal salvo in the pair’s High Court legal battle, Ms Vardy’s lawyers say that rather than the ‘months’ claimed by Ms Rooney, the sting operation took only five weeks and a day.
And they claim that Coleen failed to mention many other fake posts placed on her private Instagram account which did not lead to any stories in The Sun.
Rebekah, 38, claims that ‘third parties’ in the shape of assistants also enjoy access to the private Instagram account where Coleen left the fake posts as ‘bait’ in her cunning trap.
But Rebekah’s reply, lodged at the High Court, even suggests the leak might lie closer to home with an associate of Coleen or her husband, former Manchester United and England Captain Wayne Rooney.
Coleen Rooney (pictured) sent a chilling message to Rebekah Vardy shortly before her infamous ‘Wagatha Christie’ post, saying ‘If you play games with me, I will play them harder’, according to new court documents
The claim came as Rebekah’s (pictured) legal team lodged a robust reply to Coleen’s defence, and launched a scathing attack on her ‘investigation’, making it sound more Clouseau than Christie
Mrs Rooney wrote on Instagram and Twitter: ‘I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them. It’s ……………. Rebekah Vardy’s account.’
The 57-page document will do little to calm the raging storm between the two women as they attempt to settle their differences through mediation, as per Mr Justice Warby’s order, to try and avoid a full-blown libel trial.
According to the reply: ‘The Claimant [Vardy] will also rely on a post she recalls the defendant [Rooney] made on her private Instagram account shortly before the words complained of were published, which said words to the effect of ‘If you play games with me, I will play them harder’.
The dispute between Coleen and Rebekah, wife of former England star Jamie Vardy in October 2019.
Coleen claimed fake stories she posted about herself and her family were leaked after only being seen by Vardy’s Instagram account.
In July, Rebekah filed a £1m lawsuit for defamation, saying she had been falsely accused.
She categorically denies being the source of stories about the Rooneys, or being the mystery source of The Sun’s ‘Secret Wag’ column.
But Rebekah’s reply, lodged at the High Court, even suggests the leak might lie closer to home with an associate of Coleen or her husband, former Manchester United and England Captain Wayne Rooney (the pair pictured together in 2017)
The 57-page document will do little to calm the raging storm between the two women (pictured: Rebekah Vardy is the wife of Leicester star Jamie Vardy) as they attempt to settle their differences through mediation, as per Mr Justice Warby’s order, to try and avoid a full-blown libel trial
Mother-of-four boys Coleen, 34, had written of how she set a trap to discovered who she thought had been leaking stories to The Sun.
She made up a series of bogus posts on her private Instagram account to see if their content appeared in the tabloid, and said she blocked out all her followers from seeing them — except Rebekah’s account.
The fake posts included stories about Coleen resuming her television career, going to Mexico for gender selection of a child, and a flood in the basement of her new home.
Mother-of-four boys Coleen, 34, had written of how she set a trap to discovered who she thought had been leaking stories to The Sun
But Ms Vardy’s legal team say the private Instagram account was accessible to 367 others at the time of the leak, including friends, journalists and gossip column writers.
Others who follow the account include glamour model Danielle Lloyd, 36, and Real Housewives of Cheshire star Dawn Ward, 47, the court paper says, though Ms Vardy does not in any way suggest that either were behind the leaks.
Instead, the document says Ms Vardy does not know the identity of the person behind the leaks.
The document is also contemptuous of Ms Rooney’s supposed private eye skills, stating: ‘The so-called “careful investigation” lasted for 5 weeks and 1 day, not the ‘5 months’ referred to in the Post.
‘The Defendant concealed from her followers the fact that she had posted a number of other “fake stories” that did not appear in the press despite being posted in order to be viewed by the Claimant.
‘As a result, the Defendant created the false impression that every false post had resulted in a false story.
‘The Defendant did not investigate whether the “leaks” of the Private Instagram Posts could be related to the numerous other “leaks” of information about her and her husband which had appeared in the press in 2019.’
The new paper claims that much of the granular detail set out in Coleen’s defence document about how she came to point the finger at Rebekah is actually her lawyers’ work.
Rebekah’s team state: ‘It is obvious that most of the contents of this paragraph [setting out the fake posts] are the product of subsequent investigations by the Defendant’s solicitors and did not form part of the Defendant’s decision to publish.
‘The Defendant has admitted through her Solicitors that, prior to publication, she had not carried out any investigation into whether other leaks had come from the Claimant.
‘The Defendant has not alleged that, prior to publication she carried out any investigation into whether the leaks could have come from her own ‘entourage’ or that of her husband.’
Rebekah’s lawyers claim that as Rooney’s ‘J’accuse’ post came immediately after the flooded basement article was published, it must have been prepared in advance, adding: ‘The Claimant infers that the Defendant had already reached a (false) conclusion asto responsibility based on a flawed “investigation” and rushed to publication without properly considering the evidence or making any further inquiry.’
They suggest Coleen released the post simultaneously on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to create ‘maximum publicity’ and they suggest she had assistance from third parties and that various drafts were prepared in advance.
Rebekah Vardy (top) and Coleen Rooney watch England v Wales during Euro 2016 at Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens, France. Mrs Rooney, 34, accused Mrs Vardy, 38, of giving the press ‘false stories’ about her private life last October after carrying out a months-long ‘sting operation’ which saw her dubbed ‘Wagatha Christie’
The new High Court (pictured) paper claims that much of the granular detail set out in Coleen’s defence document about how she came to point the finger at Rebekah is actually her lawyers’ work
They add: ‘The Defendant has continued to publish the Post on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, despite the Claimant having made it clear that she had not leaked the Defendant’s information and that third parties had access to the Claimant’s Instagram account.
‘It is to be inferred that the Defendant carried out no further investigation following this statement by the Claimant.’
Rebekah repeatedly denied being the source of any of the stories Coleen has highlighted, and also denied being ‘close friends’ with The Sun’s showbiz editor Simon Boyle or any other Sun journalists.
She rejects the suggestion that she courted publicity from the paper, adding: ‘The Claimant has not received positive coverage in The Sun or The Sun on Sunday “as a result of” providing information about the Defendant.
‘The press are independently interested in the Claimant and she is married to a famous footballer.
‘She does not need to generate interest by trading the Defendant’s or others’ private information.’
She said that several stories about her in 2016 were linked with Jamie’s team Leicester City winning the Premiership that season.
She adds: ‘The retirement of the Claimant’s husband, Jamie Vardy, from the England team did not lead to any reduction in the Claimant’s public profile. She continued to be in demand and very busy.’
The paper also includes a rebuttal of claims that Ms Vardy ‘endorsed abuse’ she received over the Wagatha Christie post – and accuses Ms Rooney of ‘victim blaming’.
The document says Ms Vardy’s Twitter post “It’s ……Jamie Vardy #9” and her ‘liking of similar posts were attempts to deflect and deal with the abuse she was receiving as a result of Ms Rooney’s post.