Coleen Rooney accepts Rebekah Vardy post is defamatory but denies harm

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Rebekah Vardy's lawyer has told the Royal Courts of Justice that Coleen Rooney accepts her bombshell social media statement was defamatory.

Rooney, 36, sensationally claimed in October 2019 that after a "sting operation" she believed Rebekah's Instagram account was responsible for leaking stories to the British media.

The pair are currently embroiled in a high profile libel case after Jamie Vardy's wife strenuously denied ever leaking stories but has recently claimed her former agent, Caroline Watt may have been responsible.

In his skeleton argument, Hugh Tomlinson QC for Vardy said: "Although Mrs Rooney knew that Mrs Vardy was heavily pregnant she did not give her any advance notice that the Post was going to be published.

"She chose instead to publicly reveal Mrs Vardy as the culprit in a dramatic Post, crafted in the style of a 'whodunnit'."

He added: "Mrs Vardy made strenuous but unsuccessful attempts to settle the case but the Post was not taken down.

"As a result, Mrs Vardy had no choice but to bring this libel action to establish her innocence and vindicate her reputation.

"Her reputation has been very seriously damaged by this false and defamatory allegation which was designed to achieve maximum impact and succeeded in its aim."

While Coleen has previously told a hearing on April 29, 2022, the leaked information was "low-value gossip", Vardy's legal team claim the impact has been "far from trivial" due to the millions of people who can access it.

Hugh Tomlinson continued: "It has been and continues to be, deeply upsetting in circumstances where she was not the person who leaked information about Mrs Rooney, Mrs Vardy needs to clear her name in order to ever be given a chance to move on from this horrendous episode.

"Mrs Rooney accepts that her Post is defamatory of Mrs Vardy, remarkably, she continues to deny that the Post caused 'serious harm' to Mrs Vardy's reputation.

"But there can be no serious doubt about this: it is obvious that the Post caused such harm, it is also obvious that Mrs Vardy has suffered, and continues to suffer, enormous distress and upset as a result of its publication."

Meanwhile, Coleen's legal representative, David Sherborne, said in their skeleton statement: "Given her suspicions about the identity of the source of these leaks by that time, the Defendant had deliberately limited the accessibility to this one private account, and the Sting Operation stories, to just one of her followers, namely the Claimant's account, '@beckyvardy'.

"The fact that these Sting Operation stories also then appeared in The Sun, after access to her private account was limited to just the @beckyvardy account, is the reason why the Defendant published the Post which is the subject of this claim.

"She waited until after the third one had appeared in this newspaper so that she had more than one post to rely on as confirming her suspicion."

The trial continues.

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