Rebekah Vardy attempted to sell a story about her husband’s former teammate drink-driving to the Sun, the High Court heard.
The model and wife of Jamie Vardy is alleged to have tried to leak the story about Chelsea star Danny Drinkwater’s arrest after he was caught driving under the influence.
The footballer, and former teammate of Mrs Vardy’s husband, crashed his Range Rover while intoxicated in 2019.
Before the incident was made public, Mrs Vardy allegedly messaged her agent via WhatsApp and instructed her to sell the story The Guardian reports.
The 40-year-old is alleged to have told her agent, Caroline Watt: “Story … Danny Drinkwater arrested […] Crashed his car drunk with two girls in it… both in hospital one with broken ribs x.” After clarifying a few details about the car and the location, Vardy added: “I want paying for this x.”
Within two minutes Ms Watt said she sent the story to Sun journalist Andy Halls, who she said “replied immediately” saying the tabloid already knew because “someone leaked it from police station”.
Drinkwater was later banned from driving for almost two years, according to the Liverpool Echo.
These messages are the latest in a series of texts made public as part of the ongoing legal case between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney, which is due to go to a week-long trial at the start of May.
Mrs Rooney argues Mrs Vardy leaked information to the Sun and had extensive contact with its journalists.
The libel case will hinge on if Mrs Rooney can prove Mrs Vardy was personally responsible for leaking any stories from her private Instagram.
In a ruling on Thursday, Mrs Justice Steyn handed a partial victory to Mrs Vardy’s legal team, ordering the removal of certain elements of Mrs Rooney’s evidence.
Among the claims deleted from Mrs Rooney’s witness statement was a section that alleged Mrs Vardy “was also actively participating in leaking private information about other individuals to the Sun”.
The judge also turned down a request by Mrs Rooney’s lawyers to search the phones of a number of Sun journalists for potential communications with Mrs Vardy and Mr Watt.
She branded this a “fishing expedition” but made an exception for details of messages with Mr Halls, who was involved in some of the disputed stories.
The court heard that in 2019 Mr Halls declared Mrs Vardy “has never provided any story or information to me”.
WhatsApp messages disclosed as part of the legal filings suggest Mrs Vardy and Ms Watt regularly discussed journalists at the Sun. At one point Mrs Vardy says she was concerned that Mrs Rooney blocked her on Instagram after stories appeared in the media.
In response, the agent says “I wouldn’t tell anyone but the Sun”, and Mrs Rooney can’t “f***ing prove anything though and if she wants to think that then f**k her”.
Ms Watt said she had been in touch with Mr Halls about the incident: “I messaged him and he said absolutely not and he would never say what his source was.”
In November 2018, Ms Watt also told Mrs Vardy to look out for Sun celebrity journalist Amy Brookbanks at an event and “make a point of saying hello” because the reporter “always writes nice stories, does whatever I ask her and gets stories changed that she hasn’t even written”.
Mrs Vardy no longer intends to call Ms Watt as a witness at the trial, saying the agent is suffering from ill health.
Despite this, Ms Watt has still received substantial attention after it was disclosed in a pre-trial hearing that she accidentally dropped her phone in the North Sea after a request was made to search for it.
Mrs Vardy has also struggled to access her own WhatsApp messages after her IT expert lost the password to her backup files.
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