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Sunday, May 22, 2022

‘Vagatha Christie’ defamation battle a detective story, High Court told

Rebekah Vardy and Colleen Rooney’s libel fight is an “espionage story” and “essentially about betrayal”, the High Court has heard.

In a viral social media post in October 2019, Mrs Rooney, 36, said she had conducted a “sting operation” and accused Mrs Vardy, 40, of leaking “false stories” about her personal life to the press.

The wife of former England star Wayne Rooney was dubbed “Vagatha Christie” when she publicly claimed that an account of Mrs Vardy was behind three fake stories posted on her personal Instagram account with The Sun newspaper. Was.

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Colleen Rooney arrives at the Royal Court of Justice (Ian West/PA)

Mrs Vardy, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, denies leaked media stories and is suing her fellow footballer’s wife for defamation, while Mrs Rooney is defending the claim on the grounds that His post was “largely true”.

The two women arrived at the Royal Court of Justice in London on Tuesday, the first day of a seven-day trial of legal action in which Mrs Vardy appeared with security, while Mrs Rooney arrived at 36 with her husband, who also plays for Everton. and manages Manchester United and now Derby County.

Outlining Mrs Rooney’s defense case on Tuesday afternoon, her barrister David Sherborne told Mrs Justice Stan, who is hearing the trial: “In short, this is a detective story, and like any good detective story “You never find a person standing on top of a body with a smoking gun.”

He said that was “conjecture”, telling Mrs Justice Stan: “You need not be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt, you simply have to conclude that it is highly unlikely that Mrs Vardy was responsible, either directly or Via Ms. (Caroline. – Mrs. Verdi’s friend and agent) Watt.”

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Wayne and Colleen Rooney (Ian West/PA)

Mr Sherborne continued: “If (Rebekah Vardy) gave Ms Watts a gun and bullets, told her where to aim, told her what was happening and when, it would have been the same as the person pulling the trigger.” makes you responsible.

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“To use an analogy, it’s like hiring a hitman or woman.”

He said that in the text message exchange between Mrs Vardy and Ms Watts, there were instances of the couple discussing leaking other people’s personal information.

He continued: “Mrs. Vardy is equally responsible for leaking information that no one else wants to share with the press, even if she doesn’t pull the trigger and send it herself.

“Of course, let’s say the same is true of the leaks from Mrs. Rooney’s personal Instagram account.”

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Rebekah Vardy arrives at the Royal Court of Justice (Ian West/PA)

Mr Sherborne said there were “only two real suspects” and that someone may have hacked into Mrs Rooney’s account any suggestion to access her personal information, “wild speculation, wild theory, as to support it”. There is no evidence for it”.

He continued: “There is a lot of evidence, conjecture and circumstance that we say, that Mrs. Vardy knew and approved of Ms. Watt’s (private information leak).”

The barrister said the text exchange showed Mrs Vardy and her “PR, agent and close friend” worked “hand-in-hand” together.

The wives of both football players were seated on the court just steps away from their barristers, Mrs. Vardy in a smart navy dress and Mrs. Rooney, with her husband, in a black suit with a navy top to the left. Was wearing a moon boot. Foot.

Mr Sherborne told the court that Mrs Rooney was appearing at trial “not because she wants to, she is here because she has to be”.

“He has been brought here because of what he has written,” he said. She didn’t want to have to write any more than she wanted to be here.”

In his written submission, Mr Sherborne said the case had caused “extensive and significant destruction or loss of evidence”, which notably included the loss of Ms Watt’s phone in the North Sea.

“To borrow from Wilde, to lose an important set of documents may be construed as misfortune, to lose two, recklessness, but to lose 10? That must be hidden,” he wrote.

Mr Sherborne later argued that Mrs Rooney had proved her case “despite the willful destruction of evidence” by Mrs Vardy and Ms Watts.

The barrister continued his written arguments: “Despite the lies of both the claimant and Ms. Watt, it is clear that what is necessary, at least on the balance of probabilities, has arisen from the habit and established practice of leaks. Claimant: Leaking information about people she knew through Ms. Watt to The Sun and others.

“It was a continuing betrayal of the defendant’s trust.”

However, Mrs Vardy’s barrister, Hugh Tomlinson QC, said the suggestion that Mrs Vardy and Ms Watts were involved in a “conspiracy” and a “removal operation” in relation to the evidence in the case is “completely baseless”.

Earlier on Tuesday, Mr Tomlinson told the court that it was not suggested that “Mrs. Vardy was anywhere near the North Sea at the time” that Ms. Watt’s phone fell overboard, nor that she “should have done anything about it”. Knew it too”.

He said there was a “credible, generic, boring explanation” behind Mrs Vardy’s media files being no longer available on WhatsApp.

“It is a very well known and common feature in everyone’s life that from time to time electronic documents get lost due to all kinds of reasons,” he said: “It is something that happens to all of us that sometimes- Sometimes documents get lost.”

Mr Tomlinson claimed the issue affected Mrs Rooney as well, telling the court that her PR’s email account was deleted in February 2020 and as a result “an important email about an article has gone away”.

Mr Tomlinson also said Mrs Vardy had to bring a defamation claim to “justify her reputation”.

He said in a written submission: “The allegation in the post was and remains false: Mrs Vardy did not leak information about Mrs Rooney or her friends and family from her personal Instagram account to the Sun newspaper.

“Mrs Rooney did not have the ‘infallible’ evidence she claimed: her so-called ‘careful investigation’ was nothing.

“If someone was leaking information from Mrs. Rooney’s private Instagram, it was not done with Mrs. Vardy’s knowledge or approval.”

The barrister also said that Mrs Rooney’s alleged investigation into the leak “was actually a premeditated blinker operation aimed at ‘taking out’ Mrs Vardy.”

Mrs. Rooney is defending the claim on grounds of truth and public interest.

Rooney put up fake stories on her Instagram during the sting operation, including her trip to Mexico for a “gender selection” process, her plans to return to TV, and the basement of her home being flooded.

In a now infamous post on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, she wrote: “I’ve saved and screenshotted all the original stories, which clearly show that only one person has seen them.

“Its ………. Rebekah Verdi’s account.”

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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