The Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun love to go after Slebs, and if they have to, they will invent stories to do so. They also love to go after footballers (and invent stories accordingly). When they get a well known footballer in their sights, the level of invention can get out of hand. That is what has happened as a story about Wayne Rooney looks like it could end up with lawyers. I’ll go further: it should end up with lawyers.
The Sun said WHAT?
Rooney had been on a night out with other players from MLS side DC United, in the western Canadian city of Vancouver. The Sun has no evidence that he misbehaved, or that he was drinking alcohol. So it has made it up. The level of invention is such that the headline, “Wayne Rooney pictured getting into hotel lift with mystery woman at 5:30am after seven-hour booze session”, could prove actionable all by itself.
That’s because there is no evidence that Rooney got into a hotel lift with anyone else, or that he had been boozing. Here’s the claims: “WAYNE Rooney gets into a hotel lift with a brunette at 5.30am after seven hours’ partying … [he] was spotted downing rum and cokes with other players at a club where he was also seen cosying up to another brunette”.
And the clear purpose of the claims? “The images will not go down well with wife Coleen as she waits for him to return to England from his stint playing in America”. A little celebrity shit stirring. They’re all heart at the Murdoch press.
Now let’s see how those claims stack up. The DC United players went to a night spot, from where “A source at the club” told “He was drinking what looked like rum and cokes but did not seem drunk at any point”. As Fred Flintstone might have put it, hold it … HOLD IT! He was drinking “what looked like” rum and cokes. So no evidence for the “boozing”.
And look who repeated the smear
Now the “cosying up”: “As the evening went on, Rooney was spotted chatting intently with a brunette in high heels, a vest top and black leather trousers. During their conversation her arm was draped across the star”. Evidence? Two still photos. Oh, and “The source added: ‘After a while he seemed to stop chatting with the lads so much and was spending time with this girl, who was glamorous and in her 20s’”.
“The source” is doing an awful lot of heavy lifting. Which includes “It looked as if she knew who he was … They were putting their hands round each other a bit. It certainly seemed more than a bit of interaction with a fan who had come up to him”. It “looked as if”. It “certainly seemed”. We also get “The woman Rooney had been seen getting close to also appeared to join the player in the car”. She “appeared to join”.
This evidence free nudge-and-wink drivel is then reinforced by a comment piece from Jane Moore - you know, the apparently agreeable one who did Loose Women, and appears occasionally reviewing the papers on The Andy Marr Show™ - headlined “Coleen will forgive ‘silly fool’ Wayne Rooney again after he was pictured getting into lift with club girl”.
That’s the “getting into the lift” for which there is no evidence. Nor is there any evidence for “he was spotted knocking back rum and cokes in a Vancouver club before cosying up to a ‘mystery brunette’”. Ms Moore then asks if Rooney’s wife Colleen will forgive him. But forgive him for what? Being openly defamed by the Murdoch mafiosi?
Just how serious this matter is, and is likely to be, can be seen from a statement issued by Wayne Rooney in response to the Sun’s hatchet job, which he - ominously for the Murdoch goons - has Tweeted out with the title “The Sun - Enough is enough”.
In it, he points out “Nothing happened between me and any girl on that night in Vancouver. I did not enter the lift alone with the girl pictured in the hotel foyer … The girl pictured in the club was simply one of many who innocently asked for autographs and pictures”.
There was more. “The pictures sold to the newspaper were selected and edited to create a sensational and completely untrue story about me … The whole story was a smear against me. It is damaging to my family and not something I am prepared to put up with”.
Gary Lineker, a friend of the Rooneys who knows all too well the lengths to which our free and fearless press is prepared to go in order to flog a few more copies, Tweeted out Rooney’s statement with the comment “It’s what they do”. His first-hand knowledge of that behaviour included the Daily Mail inventing a totally untrue, and indeed defamatory, story about Lineker and his then wife Danielle taking a flight from London to Naples.
You can see the Mail’s story debunked by Zelo Street HERE. It is no use Rooney making a complaint via IPSO - he has to sue, and sue now. And looking at the last line in his statement, it looks like he has decided to do just that. Serves the Murdoch press right.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at