Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney ((c) Reuters)
How much? First estimates have come in at around the £2 million mark. The action, brought after Ms Rooney suggested that Ms Vardy was the one who was passing personal information to the Murdoch Sun, became known as the Wagatha Christie case, or alternatively The Scousetrap. It showed that the paper was effectively using Ms Vardy as a source of cheap copy. A lot.
What led the two WAGs to court was put directly by the Guardian: “[Ms Rooney] wrote that for several years she suspected someone of selling stories from her private Instagram account to the Sun … she posted fake stories on Instagram - she was looking into gender selection for her next baby; the family’s basement had flooded - and alternately blocked and unblocked her followers, restricting access to the fake stories until there was only one account viewing these stories, which then appeared in the Sun”.
She then revealed whose account that was: “It’s.......... Rebekah Vardy’s account”. Ms Vardy denied that she sold stories: “I’m not being funny but I don’t need the money”. But the steady drip-drip of evidence suggested otherwise. Her agent, only days after being ordered to disclose messages to the court, “dropped her phone in the North Sea while filming the coastline”.
Also, “many of Vardy’s messages mysteriously vanished when she was trying to send them to her lawyers”. And then there was “the 2018 World Cup in Russia, when Vardy and several other Wags were photographed together, which, according to Rooney’s lawyer, Vardy secretly set up with the paparazzi without telling the other women”. These revelations had one result.
They had a most unfortunate effect on Ms Vardy’s reputation. The same reputation that she had brought the case in order to defend. The Guardian piece noted that “Vardy enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with the Sun: she posed for paparazzi shots and gave interviews, and they ran puff pieces with her and referred to her as ‘Queen of the Wags’”.
However, “By contrast, the Rooneys, being Liverpudlian and more private by nature anyway, never talk to the Sun and are frequently trashed in that paper”. They did, though, whisper it quietly, come out of the trial process with their reputations considerably enhanced: Wayne, the supportive husband and straight-down-the-line witness, Coleen someone who knows who her friends are and sticks by them. They are what Scousers would simply call Sound.
That cannot be said for the Murdoch Sun, which took a highly partisan view of the trial, with headlines like “Coleen Rooney slapped with £250k court bill as she’s forced to pay Rebekah Vardy’s legal costs in Wagatha battle” allied to claims such as “COLEEN Rooney has suffered another huge blow in her battle with Becky Vardy”. The paper suggested Ms Vardy might win the case.
Hence claims such as “I will donate every penny to charity if I win my bitter court battle with Coleen Rooney, vows Becky Vardy” (for which the paper claimed an “exclusive”, merely fuelling claims that Ms Vardy was passing them stories). Even when the verdict was revealed, readers were told that “DEFEATED Rebekah Vardy today insisted the judge ‘got it wrong’ after she lost her epic Wagatha Christie case against Coleen Rooney”.
One look at the Sun’s hoard of Goss from Ms Vardy tells you how beneficial the relationship between the two has been. All of which begs the question: they used her to get stories about the England football team, and much more - so when are the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker going to open their wallets and contribute the odd million to Ms Vardy’s legal costs?
Those could be £2 million. They could be as high as £3 million. The Super Soaraway Currant Bun would have had to shell out a significant percentage of that amount to bring in the stories, had they not had Ms Vardy and her agent doing the work for them. One Rebekah helping another, perhaps.
The Sun could redeem itself here. But the possibility of that? None at all.
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