Wagatha Christie returns to court as a third woman in Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney battle WON’T give evidence


Rebekah Vardy’s agent is not fit to give oral evidence in her upcoming libel trial against Coleen Rooney, the High Court has been told. Mrs Rooney, the wife of former England star Wayne Rooney, accused Mrs Vardy of leaking “false stories” about her personal life from her to the media after carrying out a months-long “sting operation”.

Mrs Rooney was dubbed “Wagatha Christie” in 2019 when she publicly claimed Mrs Vardy, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, shared fake stories she had posted on her personal Instagram. Mrs Vardy denies the accusations and is suing Mrs Rooney for libel, reports Cheshire Live.

Mrs Rooney’s lawyers previously claimed Mrs Vardy had leaked information to The Sun newspaper. This was said to have been done either directly or through her friend and agent of her, Caroline Watt, “acting on her instruction of her or with her knowing approval of her”. At an earlier hearing the High Court in London heard that WhatsApp messages between Mrs Vardy and Ms Watt had been disclosed.

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Texts heard in court included Mrs Vardy referring to someone, whose identity is disputed, as a “nasty b****”. David Sherborne, for Mrs Rooney, previously argued Ms Watt texted Mrs Vardy “it wasn’t someone she trusted. It was me”, when the pair were discussing a complaint by Mrs Rooney about leaked stories.

Mr Sherborne also previously told the court that Ms Watt’s phone had “regrettably” fallen into the North Sea before further information could be extracted from it for the case. At a hearing on Wednesday (April 13) ahead of the full trial expected next month, Hugh Tomlinson QC, for Mrs Vardy, said that Ms Watt could not give oral evidence.

In written arguments, Mr Tomlinson said: “The claimant served a witness statement of Caroline Watt with the intention of calling Ms Watt to give oral evidence at the trial. The claimant’s solicitors were, however, aware that Ms Watt was in a fragile state and had been expressing serious concerns about giving evidence.”



He added that a consultant forensic psychiatrist produced a report which concluded Ms Watt is not fit to provide oral evidence at the High Court trial. “In these circumstances, it is clear that Ms Watt cannot be called to give evidence,” he concluded.

Mr Sherborne argued Ms Watt is a “key witness” for the trial with “critical” evidence. In written arguments, Mr Sherborne said: “The defendant has serious concerns about the lack of any opportunity to cross-examine Ms Watt on her statement given the real concerns about its truthfulness and reliability and the central importance of her role in the complained of.”

He added: “Ms Watt is now saying that she is too ill to attend court to be cross-examined on the events and allegations concerning her, although she was and is able to provide a lengthy witness statement about them, provided she is not questioned about it. The defendant’s position is that Ms Watt’s concern about giving evidence is because of the realization that her evidence of her is untrue and therefore she is scared of being tested upon it.

Mrs Rooney had previously asked for permission to bring an “additional claim” against Ms Watt for misuse of private information and wanted it to be heard alongside the libel case. However in a judgment in February, Mrs Justice Steyn rejected her bid for her, finding it was brought too late and that previous opportunities to make the claim had not been taken.

Wednesday’s hearing is also expected to cover issues of expert evidence and what information should be given to the court by journalists at The Sun. The hearing before Mrs Justice Steyn continues.




www.manchestereveningnews.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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