Ever since the “Wagatha Christie” detective drama first captured the public’s imagination in 2019, Rebekah Vardy faced accusations of leaking stories about her close friend Coleen Rooney to the tabloid media.
But as she took to the stand on Wednesday in her second day of evidence in the highly anticipated libel trial, the wife of Jamie Vardy, the footballer, was grilled on a string of other stories she allegedly leaked to the press – including gossip from the Leicester City changing room and salacious details about the affairs of other footballer’s wives.
Raising eyebrows in Court 13 of the High Court, Mrs Vardy admitted that she spoke of leaking a story about Danny Drinkwater after he crashed his car whilst drunk, saying she was “fuming” that someone got there first.
The court heard that in April 2019, Mrs Vardy messaged Caroline Watt, her agent, with details of the story involving Mr Drinkwater and that she wanted “paying for this”.
The court was told that Ms Watt informed Mrs Vardy that someone had already leaked the story, to which Mrs Vardy responded: “I’m fuming I didn’t give it to you earlier.”
Ms Watt replied: “Me too, that would have been a fortune.”
David Sherborne, for Mrs Rooney, suggested Mrs Vardy was angry about “the fact that you’re not going to get your money”.
“No, that’s not true,” she replied.
Mr Sherborne asked Mrs Vardy whether she stood by her witness statement, where she claimed she had “never been paid for private information about anybody apart from myself or my family”. She replied: “Yes, apart from the Danny Drinkwater one.”
The claim was one of several put to Mrs Vardy by Mrs Rooney’s lawyers during increasingly tense proceedings, in which she was accused of lying under oath.
Mr Sherborne accused Mrs Vardy of “making it up as she went along” and that she was “prepared to lie under oath”, an accusation the mother of five denied.
The court also heard details about how Mrs Vardy encouraged Ms Watt to leak a story about a “well-known celebrity”, referred to only as Mrs F, and her footballer husband, Mr H, telling Ms Watt she should “leak the story about her s—-ing G behind Mr H’s back”.
Mrs Vardy denied the allegation, telling the court she was “just joking about that one”.
The court heard details of another story which Mrs Vardy is alleged to have leaked, about how Riyad Mahrez did not turn up for training when he played alongside Mrs Vardy’s husband at Leicester City.
Mrs Vardy told Ms Watt that “the lads are fuming”, but told her that “she didn’t want it coming back to me”. Ms Watt suggested leaking the information to the media for her, the court heard.
Mr Sherbourne said to Mrs Vardy that the “ever obliging and dutiful Ms Watt” was “prepared to do your dirty work for you”.
Later, when Mrs Vardy was defending allegations that she was the source of leaks about Danielle Lloyd, the glamour model, Mr Sherborne said: “You are just making this up, aren’t you Mrs Vardy?”
To which she responded: “I am absolutely not, no.”
Mrs Vardy conceded in court that she had directed her agent to look at Mrs Rooney’s private Instagram in relation to a post she made on a car crash.
In a January 2019 exchange, Ms Watt asked her: “Am I imagining this or did you say yesterday that Coleen had crashed her Honda?” the court heard.
“She defo has … Go in the Instagram,” Mrs Vardy replied, according to court documents.
Mrs Vardy, who is expected to finish giving evidence on Thursday, became emotional on the stand and wiped away tears as she was asked about the online abuse her daughter had received, including rape threats.
The court previously heard that both women have spent “hundreds of thousands of pounds” on the case so far, with the total costs of the case expected to be at least £2 million.
The hearing, before Mrs Justice Steyn, continues.