Wagatha Christie Case: Who Are The Key Witnesses And People Involved As The Libel Trial Starts

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As a libel battle is set to begin between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney today, we look at who’s who in the much-anticipated case.

The high-profile libel battle between Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy is taking place at the High Court.

It comes more than two and half years after Rooney – wife of former England football star Wayne – accused Vardy of leaking “false stories” about her private life to the media, in a social media post that went viral.

Rooney claimed that Vardy – who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy – had shared with The Sun newspaper three fake stories that Rooney posted on her personal Instagram account.

Vardy denies the accusations and is suing Rooney for libel. The full trial is expected to begin at London’s Royal Courts of Justice on Tuesday, following months of preliminary hearings.

Here we look at who the key witnesses are and who is involved in the case, which is set to last for seven days.

Rebekah Vardy

Vardy met her husband in 2014 while acting as the party planner for his 27th birthday in Sheffield. The couple married in 2016, the same year the family were thrust into the limelight after her husband helped Leicester City to an unlikely Premier League win.

The model and TV personality, 40, appeared on I’m A Celebrity in 2017 and Dancing On Ice last year, as well as making appearances on Loose Women.

The mother of five also recently wrote a children’s book with her husband, entitled Cedric The Little Sloth With A Big Dream, about a sloth who hopes to become a footballer.

Coleen Rooney

The Rooneys are childhood sweethearts and attended the same school in Liverpool. Coleen was thrust into the limelight and often pictured in tabloids, when then 17-year-old Wayne began playing for England. They married in 2008 and have four sons together – Kai, Klay, Kit and Cass.

Having enjoyed a varied career in her own right, including TV presenting, writing and fronting an exercise DVD, Rooney, 36, is perhaps now better known as “Wagatha Christie”.

Wayne Rooney

Bursting onto the footballing scene as a prodigious teenager playing for Everton in 2002, Rooney went onto become England’s most-capped outfield player and record goal-scorer.

He retired as a player last year and was appointed permanent manager at recently relegated Championship side Derby County.

Having remained mostly silent about the case, he said in a Sunday Times column ahead of last year’s Euros that he would have drafted Jamie Vardy into the England squad. “Some people may be surprised at this, especially with the legal case between my wife and Jamie’s wife,” he added.

He is expected to be called as a witness where he may be questioned under oath over how much he knew about his wife’s Instagram investigation.

Who else is involved?

Caroline Watt

Vardy’s friend and agent Caroline Watt has been mentioned in preliminary hearings in the case, including when the court was told her phone had fallen into the North Sea. The event formed part of what Rooney’s lawyers have called a “series of unfortunate events” about the disclosure in the case.

WhatsApp messages between Vardy and Watt have been discussed in several preliminary hearings, including one in which Vardy called someone a “nasty bitch”.

Further messages were unable to be examined after Watt’s phone fell into the North Sea after a boat she was on hit a wave.

At a final preliminary hearing at the end of last month, Rooney’s lawyers claimed that a new witness statement from Vardy “suggests Watt was the source of the leak but claims that [Vardy] ‘did not authorise or condone her’”.

But lawyers for Vardy told the court that the witness statement did not contain “any change whatever in the pleaded case”.

Watt has been deemed “not fit” to give oral evidence in the trial and was described in written evidence as being in a “fragile state”.

Jamie Vardy

Vardy’s career as a striker has seen him rise from non-league clubs to the top of the English game with Leicester City.

His 24 goals helped drive the Foxes to their unlikely Premier League triumph six years ago, and he was also part of the squad that secured the FA Cup in May last year.

Foxes fans coined the chant “Jamie Vardy’s having a party” amid his goal-scoring exploits.

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