The latest round of Rebekah Vardy’s libel battle against Coleen Rooney for allegedly leaking stories to the media is set to be heard by the UK High Court.
Mrs Rooney, 34, accused Mrs Vardy, 39, of leaking “false stories” about her private life in October 2019 after carrying out a months-long “sting operation” which saw her dubbed “Wagatha Christie”.
The wife of former England star Wayne Rooney claimed fellow footballer’s wife Mrs Vardy shared fake stories she had posted on her personal Instagram account with The Sun newspaper.
Mrs Rooney said she planted three stories about her travelling to Mexico to “see what this gender selection is all about”, returning to TV and the basement flooding in her new house.
She then wrote on Instagram and Twitter: “For a few years now someone who I trusted to follow me on my personal Instagram account has been consistently informing The Sun newspaper of my private posts and stories.
“I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them. It’s… Rebekah Vardy’s account.”
Mrs Vardy, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, denies the accusations and is suing Mrs Rooney for damages for libel.
In January, the High Court ruled the post “clearly” identified Mrs Vardy as “being guilty of the serious and consistent breach of trust” Mrs Rooney alleges.
The court heard Mrs Vardy and Mrs Rooney had agreed for a “stay” of the proceedings until February so there could be “one final attempt to resolve the matter without the need for a full trial”.
On Tuesday, another preliminary hearing will deal with the timetable to a possible trial and any disputes over the parties’ legal costs.
Mrs Vardy sued Mrs Rooney last June, claiming she “suffered extreme distress, hurt, anxiety and embarrassment as a result of the publication of the post and the events which followed”.
In her written case against Mrs Rooney, Mrs Vardy’s lawyers said the abuse she received made her “feel suicidal”, adding: “She suffered from severe panic attacks and anxiety which manifested in being scared to leave her house.”
Mrs Vardy claimed her husband Jamie was targeted during football matches, with opposition fans chanting “your wife is a grass” for up to five minutes at a time.
But Mrs Rooney’s lawyers said the post was “entirely legitimate and justified” and referred to Mrs Vardy’s “exceptionally close relationship” with The Sun and some of its journalists.
The hearing on Tuesday is due to start at 11.30am.