The last time I wrote about the complete disaster the Wagatha Christie trial has become for Rebekah Vardy, a punchy defence from the lady herself arrived in my Instagram inbox faster than I could ask: Did your agent REALLY drop her phone to the bottom of the North Sea by accident?
Becky, a woman whom I have always liked and respected for her feisty working-class spirit, was adamant taking Coleen Rooney to court for claiming stories were being leaked from her private Instagram account to The Sun newspaper remained the right decision.
Sure, some of the expletive-laden and downright nasty text messages didn’t make her look great, she admitted, but she had been bullied, manipulated and trolled beyond belief while heavily pregnant over something she claims she didn’t do – and the media coverage had been unfairly stacked against her.
Sadly, today’s devastating verdict proves she was so very wrong to pursue a legal defence of her damaged reputation.
Wagatha Christie will go down as the biggest self-inflicted celebrity court defeat in history.
DAN WOOTTON: The last time I wrote about the complete disaster the Wagatha Christie trial has become for Rebekah Vardy, a punchy defence from the lady herself arrived in my Instagram inbox faster than I could ask: Did your agent REALLY drop her phone to the bottom of the North Sea by accident?
Given what emerged during the nine-day farcical trial, it’s sometimes hard to comprehend that it was the Vardys who insisted on the whole charade going to court, when the Rooneys attempted numerous times to settle.
I read the 75-page judgement in full, feeling increasing horror as the Judge Justice Steyn fairly and coolly dismantled Rebekah’s evidence, with an understated acknowledgement the entire trial has been a £3 million chronic waste of time and money for all involved.
Describing parts of her evidence as ‘not credible’, she admits Rebekah is ‘genuinely offended’ by Coleen’s accusation, before damningly concluding: ‘However, that is not because she was not involved in disclosing information from the private Instagram account: I have found that she was.
‘Rather, her indignation at the accusation flows, in my judgment, from a combination of factors.
‘Ms Vardy’s part in disclosing information to The Sun was, it seems to me, unthinking rather than part of a considered and concerted business practice.’
In what could be an extract from a psych evaluation rather than a court judgement, she adds: ‘There has been a degree of self-deception on her part regarding the extent to which she was involved, as well as a degree of justified resentment at the exaggerated way in which her role has at times been presented during the litigation.’
Becky, a woman whom I have always liked and respected for her feisty working-class spirit, was adamant taking Coleen Rooney (pictured) to court for claiming stories were being leaked from her private Instagram account to The Sun newspaper remained the right decision
The latter point is certainly fair.
The media portrayal of Coleen as Cinderella and Rebekah as the ugly stepsister is as simplistic as it is nasty.
As the showbiz columnist at The Sun for many years, I saw first-hand how the Rooneys would manipulate the media themselves with briefings and secret deals over stories, usually to try and save Wayne further blushes.
It was especially outrageous that Rooney’s legal team tried to drag me, along with a number of other past and present Sun journalists, to court and force us to disclose details of private communications with sources.
That would have had a chilling impact on freedom of the Press in the UK, which is already under attack.
When it comes to social media, Coleen has been more than a little naïve to believe a bunch of fame-hungry WAGs were ever going to keep her posts to so-called ‘close friends’ a secret.
To this day, Rebekah and her agent Caroline Watt remain convinced there were other famous folk with access to the information selling stories of a far more damaging nature about the Rooneys.
When it comes to social media, Coleen (pictured with husband Wayne) has been more than a little naïve to believe a bunch of fame-hungry WAGs were ever going to keep her posts to so-called ‘close friends’ a secret
In her judgement, Justice Steyn did concede: ‘The information disclosed was not deeply confidential, and it can fairly be described as trivial, but it does not need to be confidential or important to meet the sting of the libel.
‘It was information derived from private posts that Ms Rooney did not want made public.’
I would add that, in future, if Coleen genuinely wants her trials and tribulations to be kept secret then she’d best not to post every detail of her life to a group of 300 people on Instagram, some of whom are more than likely to share the posts with others.
All of that said, those heady days of 2019 when Coleen first unveiled her Wagatha Christie handywork feel like much simpler and happier times.
Dan Wootton: Wagatha Christie proves to me is that celebrities with more money than sense should be kept away from the libel courts
Covid-19 was still contained in a Wuhan lab, Volodymyr Zelenskyy was still known as that comedian who became President, and millions of Brits weren’t being forced to contemplate how to stay afloat thanks to an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis.
As Coleen said 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.’
I repeat, that was a mistake by the Vardys that they will in time no doubt regret.
Rather than considering an appeal, Rebekah should accept the judgement (which was actually pretty kind to her given the circumstances), move on and start to rebuild her career.
But what’s going to be interesting now is to see the Be Kind brigade in action trying to destroy Rebekah, with vicious trolling and declarations her career is finished and her reputation is destroyed forever more.
Er, no it’s not!
She’s a multi-millionaire with a stupidly successful footballer husband who loves her very much and a lovely family who happened to leak a few stories to a newspaper, just like virtually every celebrity has done at some point.
What Wagatha Christie proves to me is that celebrities with more money than sense should be kept away from the libel courts at any cost.
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