Coleen Rooney’s attempt to bring High Court claim against Rebekah Vardy’s agent is quashed


Coleen Rooney’s attempt to bring a High Court claim against Rebekah Vardy’s agent as part of their ongoing legal battle has been quashed.

The two WAGs have been battling ever since Coleen accused Rebekah of sharing her private page information with the press after setting up her own sting operation.

Rebekah in return is suing Mrs Rooney for libel over the Instagram post she made in October 2019 where she claimed Rebekah’s account was behind stories which had appeared in The Sun.

Coleen had hoped the High Court would allow her to add Rebekah’s PR agent, Caroline Watt, to the case, for misuse of private information and a breach of data protection laws after messages between Rebekah and Caroline came to light.

After Coleen, 35, posted her car was damaged on her private Instagram, Rebekah, 39 messaged Caroline: “She’s a nasty b****h” and “would love to leak those stories,” claimed Mrs Rooney’s legal team.

However, Rebekah’s barrister, Hugh Tomlinson QC, claimed the “nasty b***h” comment was not about Coleen.

Although Coleen’s legal team tried to add Mrs Vardy’s PR agent, Caroline Watt, to the case, so she could make a claim against her for misuse of private information and a breach of data protection laws the application was denied. Coleen was also instructed to pay £65,000 towards Caroline’s legal costs.

Mrs Justice Steyn said: “It seems to me that is a reasonable and proportionate sum.”

She continued: “It is fair to say that a considerable period of time would have been needed given the standing-start the respondent had for what is, for the respondent, quite a substantial application.”

Coleen has however been told she can amend her defense case, to include an allegation that Rebekah, through Caroline, provided information to The Sun about an unnamed professional footballer.

She has also given the green light for disclosure of WhatsApp messages between Rebekah and Caroline during the relevant period.

Rebekah Vardy is currently battling it out in the High Court with Coleen Rooney

And she has allowed Coleen’s application for an order that both parties make a joint request for information to Instagram.

She refused other disclosure applications made by both Coleen and Rebekah.

Coleen alleges that Caroline leaked information on Rebekah’s instruction or her approval. Both Rebekah and Caroline have fought the application.

Rebekah’s barrister alleges that Caroline’s phone fell into the sea, shortly after it was ruled by the court that the phone should be searched.

It was also alleged that media files from Rebekah’s WhatsApp conversation with Caroline disappeared, along with the backups, whilst it was being exported to solicitors.

Rebekah vehemently denies sharing the private information and insists a number of people could access her Instagram page.

In one WhatsApp chat given to the court, Rebekah and Caroline discuss Coleen’s tweet relating to the private Instagram story where her car was damaged.

Rebekah asks Caroline if she’s seen the tweet, and Caroline replies: “Such a victim. Poor Coleen… And it wasn’t someone she trusted. It was me.”

Mr Sherbourne claimed Rebekah and Caroline “concocted” a plan in case Coleen discovered they had been leaking the messages, planning to say it was an unknown user, and other people have access to her passwords.

It was also alleged that when Coleen’s infamous post blaming Rebekah’s account was published, Rebekah messaged her publicist, saying: “That’s war.”

Last Monday, Hugh Tomlinson, representing Rebekah, said Coleen has relied on “selective and incomplete WhatsApp messages” to support her argument, while ignoring the messages which demonstrate Rebekah was not responsible.

He brought up a chat on February 6, where she’s shocked that Coleen suspects her of leaking stories.

Rebekah messaged Caroline: “She thinks it’s me that’s been doing stories on her! Of all the people on her Instagram ffs!”

She also said: “That c**t needs to get over herself! X” and adds: “Someone on her Instagram regularly sells stories on her though x.”

Mr Tomlinson said: “If one reads these messages in full, what one sees is that Mrs Vardy expresses shock at being accused and she is here communicating with the person that Mr Sherborne says is her co-conspirator.

“These are obviously candid personal messages, and if she was really concerned – ‘Oh, this is terrible, we have been found out’ – then it would have been completely different.”

Talking about the lost phone on Wednesday, Mr Tomlinson said: “That is what happened. Mrs Vardy was not present when that happened. She (Ms Watt) was on holiday, she lost her phone.”

Ian Helme, representing Caroline Watt, said her denials are “clear and consistent.”

He asked for the court to reject the claim bought against her, but added if it was to be heard it must be separately as it would not be fair on Ms Watt or realistic for the trial to take place in May.

Mr Sherbourne said Rebekah had the means, opportunity and motive to leak stories about Coleen.

He told the High Court: “Mrs Vardy and her sidekick Ms Watt had a clear hostility or animus towards Mrs Rooney.

“They had the means to leak the stories, they had the access to Mrs Rooney’s private Instagram account, indeed at times they were the only people that did.”

It’s an expensive process as the two day hearing last week has cost Mrs Rooney £163,926 with Rebekah facing similar costs.

At the end of today’s hearing, Rebekah Vardy’s barrister Hugh Tomlinson QC thanked the judge for “battling through Covid to produce a very comprehensive judgment”.

The date for the pre-trial review has not changed and is expected in April. The trial is due to take place in May, but may be delayed.




www.dailyrecord.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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