Rebekah Vardy has insisted the judge “got it wrong” after losing her bitter court case against fellow football WAG Coleen Rooney.
Vardy went head-to-head in an explosive $5 million showdown with Rooney after she was accused of leaking stories to the press, The Sun reports.
She was slammed by the judge after Rooney won the landmark libel case – bringing an end to the three-year saga.
“I am extremely sad and disappointed at the decision that the judge has reached,” Vardy, 40, said in a statement after her defeat.
“It is not the result that I had expected, nor believe was just. I brought this action to vindicate my reputation and am devastated by the judge’s finding.
“The judge accepted that publication of Coleen’s post was not in the ‘public interest’ and she also rejected her claim that I was the ‘Secret Wag’.
“But as for the rest of her judgment, she got it wrong and this is something I cannot accept.”
Rooney said she was “pleased” with the ruling, but said she “never believed” the case 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”.
Rooney told how she was left with “no alternative” but to go through with the case to “defend” herself and end the leaking of stories about her.
“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,” she added.
“All my attempts to do so were knocked back by Mrs Vardy.
“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.”
In her judgment, Justice Karen Steyn said Rooney’s viral “reveal” post was “substantially true” and in the public interest.
She also said Vardy “knew of, condoned and was actively engaged” in leaks to the media by her agent Caroline Watts.
The judge found Vardy “deliberately withheld evidence” during the trial and that the deletion of WhatsApp messages central to the case was “deliberate rather than accidental”.
Justice Steyn also said Vardy’s evidence was “manifestly inconsistent” with other evidence on “many occasions”.
Vardy was “generally unwilling to make factual concessions” while on the stand, the judgment read.
Justice Steyn said: “It was evident that Mrs Vardy found the process of giving evidence stressful and, at times, distressing.
“Nevertheless, I find that it is, unfortunately, necessary to treat Mrs Vardy’s evidence with very considerable caution.
“There were many occasions when her evidence was manifestly inconsistent with the contemporaneous documentary evidence, e.g. in relation to the World Cup 2018 and the photoshopped pictures, and others where she was evasive.”
The judge also pointed out that Vardy “frequently abused her status as a trusted follower” of Rooney’s private Instagram account.
She added: “I also accept that Mrs Rooney believed, having given several warnings on her private Instagram account, as well as a public warning, that it was in the public interest to publish the reveal post.”
Vardy will now be forced to cough up and pay her rival’s multimillion pound legal costs.
‘Wagatha Christie’ bombshell
Rooney can now celebrate her win with her husband, footballer Wayne Rooney, after he flew back from his new job at the American club DC United.
The row erupted back in October 2019 when Rooney, 36, turned detective and accused Vardy of sharing stories from her personal Instagram account.
In the infamous post, Rooney said she posted a string of false stories via her Instagram account with restricted access to see whether they would appear in the media, which they subsequently did.
She then said the fake stories had only been viewed by one person, and ended dramatically: “It’s … Rebekah Vardy’s account.”
In return, Vardy declared war and accused Rooney of destroying her reputation as she brought the libel case to court.
The bombshell trial kicked off in stunning fashion in May as Vardy broke down three times while giving evidence.
She said she was forced to endure “hurtful and upsetting” abuse from trolls after the Wagatha post went viral.
Vardy sobbed as she told how her baby was born in December 2019 – just two months after Rooney’s post.
Her tears continued as she was accused of lying after she denied setting up paparazzi to take pics of WAGs during the 2018 World Cup.
She became flustered as she was grilled about tipping journalists off about ex-England player Danny Drinkwater’s 2019 drink driving arrest.
To add to the mountain of drama, it emerged that Vardy had given the full story to her agent Caroline Watt before demanding: “I want paying for this.”
It appeared no one was off limits to Vardy, who also tried to “do the dirty” and spill the beans on unrest in the Leicester FC dressing room after star player Riyad Mahrez went “on strike”.
As her time in the witness box unravelled, she found herself at the centre of some of the most bizarre moments to ever happen in the High Court.
Vardy told how she was “distracted” by Gemma Collins “faceplanting” on Dancing on Ice when Ms Watt admitted in texts she’d tipped off the press about Coleen Rooney’s 2019 car crash in Washington.
Vardy was then left totally lost when Coleen’s barrister David Sherborne asked about Miss Watt losing her phone in the North Sea days after she was ordered to turn it over.
The lawyer, who had branded Vardy an “unreliable witness”, said: “We know that Miss Watt’s phone is now in Davy Jones’ Locker, don’t we, Mrs Vardy?”
Vardy, who was clearly baffled, then replied: “I’m sorry, I don’t know who Davy Jones is.”
As people in the room burst out laughing, the judge explained it was an idiom for the bottom of the sea.
WAGs at war
It was then Rooney’s turn to take to the stand and get her side of the torrid tale across.
After previously remaining tight-lipped throughout the drama, the mum-of-four tore into Vardy – branding her rival “an evil, fame-hungry liar”.
She also slammed “evil” texts referring to her a “nasty b***h” and a “c***”.
Rooney said the foul-mouthed messages between Vardy and her agent, Ms Watt, were “uncalled for”.
She added: “I’m totally the opposite of what they described.
“I’m not a bad person. It’s not true. I have never done anything to them for them to call me … monitor me or stalk me.”
Rooney also dropped another bombshell when she admitted her 14-year marriage to Wayne Rooney hadn’t always been plain sailing.
The notoriously private WAG candidly opened up about her marriage “crises” as she told how she’d endured “quite a few scandals”.
Rooney admitted her sting operation was so secret that even Wayne was unaware it was happening.
Wayne Vs Jamie
After the Wags faced off, it was time for their husbands to wade in – sparking an incredible war of words between the former teammates.
In one of the more sensational claims, Wayne Rooney said he was asked to speak to Jamie Vardy about his wife back at the 2016 Euros in France.
He said there had been “negative media coverage” and “issues” surrounding Rebekah Vardy that were “causing problems and distractions”.
But Jamie Vardy was quick to rubbish the claims in a hasty statement given outside court.
He said: “Wayne is talking nonsense.
“He must be confused because he never spoke to me about issues concerning Becky’s media work at Euro 2016.
“There was nothing to speak about, I know this because I discuss everything with Becky.”
For the first time, it was also revealed how the Wagatha affair unfolded, as Vardy appeared to go into damage control just moments after Rooney’s infamous post went live.
The fuming reality star declared, “Wow … that’s war,” with an angry face emoji to agent Caroline Watt.
She also wrote, “Jesus Christ I hope she’s happy now,” after she began getting bombarded with abuse on social media.
The mum-of-five added: “I can’t just sit back and let her get away with this.
“I’m getting so much abuse, people who I thought were my friends are turning on me Megs is getting s*** at school, this is not just a ignore and move on for me.”
Rooney later revealed how Vardy messaged her afterwards, asking: “WTF is this?”
She also admitted in evidence she had “suspicions” that Vardy’s Instagram account was responsible for leaking stories.
Rooney claimed her post was a “last resort” and told the court she was “surprised” by how much it exploded.
She also revealed she tried three times “in vain” to settle the multimillion pound case before it reached trial.
Rooney said: “I’ve been silent … I don’t want to be here … it’s Mrs Vardy who has brought me here”.
This article originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced to here permission.
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