Rebekah Vardy admits directing agent to Coleen Rooney’s private Instagram
Rebekah Vardy has conceded that she directed her agent to look at Coleen Rooney’s private Instagram account to obtain information about a car crash.
Mrs Vardy was giving evidence at the High Court on the second day of her libel case against Mrs Rooney.
Mrs Rooney is being sued for libel after claiming Mrs Vardy leaked private information she obtained on Instagram.
The court heard Mrs Rooney’s barrister, David Sherborne, read exchanges between Mrs Vardy and her agent Caroline Watt.
In one exchange from January 2019, the court heard that Ms Watt asked Mrs Vardy: “Am I imagining this or did you say yesterday that Coleen had crashed her Honda?”
“She defo has… Go in the Instagram,” Mrs Vardy replied, according to court documents, referring to Mrs Rooney’s private Instagram account, which Mrs Vardy could access from her own account because the pair followed each other.
Mr Sherborne noted that, on the first day of the trial, Mrs Vardy had agreed it would have been “wrong” if Ms Watt was looking at people’s private Instagram posts through the use of Mrs Vardy’s own account.
On Wednesday, he put it to Mrs Vardy that, in this instance, she was directing her agent to Mrs Rooney’s Instagram. “Yes, I am,” Mrs Vardy replied.
The car crash story appeared in The Sun newspaper but Mrs Vardy denied having been the source.
Mrs Vardy said it was “undeniable” that her agent had seen something on Mrs Rooney’s Instagram account, but said she had no knowledge of Ms Watt “monitoring” it.
“If she had been monitoring Mrs Rooney’s Instagram, I had no knowledge of her monitoring it and I didn’t ask her for that,” she told the court.
Mrs Vardy also denied it was “standard practice” for her to pass private information to The Sun via her agent.
Earlier on Wednesday, the High Court heard that Mrs Vardy had told Ms Watt that she “wanted paying” for information about a footballer leaving police custody after crashing his car.
Mr Sherborne read out texts between Mrs Vardy and Ms Watt about her husband Jamie’s former Leicester City team-mate Danny Drinkwater.
Mrs Vardy confirmed the texts also referred to The Sun writing a story but, with regard to wanting payment, said that “wasn’t a serious comment”.
She added: “It was a fleeting thought and one I didn’t consider any more then when I wrote it.”
When asked if Andy Halls, a reporter for The Sun, was a “good conduit” for information, she said: “No, that’s not the case. I never gave him information.”
Asked whether she stood by an earlier witness statement in which she said she had never been paid for private information about anybody apart from myself or my family, she replied: “Yes, apart from the Danny Drinkwater one.”
Mrs Vardy also told the court she was “just gossiping” when messaging her agent about another of her husband’s team-mates not turning up for training in 2018.
Mr Sherborne read a message from Mrs Vardy to her agent about footballer Riyad Mahrez, in which Mrs Vardy told Ms Watt “the lads are fuming” – referring to his Leicester team-mates.
Mrs Vardy denied telling The Sun other players were “fuming” about the incident, saying it was “speculation of just bits of information that I had heard and overheard, and also read in the press before”.
She said: “Yes, it doesn’t look good there. I was gossiping about things that we already in the public domain. I was just gossiping.”
She added that she did not know whether or not her husband’s then team-mates were “fuming” and explained: “It was probably something I was plucking from thin air. It was just a gossip, that was all.”
Mrs Vardy added that she had been “just joking” when discussing leaking another story with Ms Watt, this time about a woman allegedly cheating on her husband with a famous footballer.
She said WhatsApp messages between herself and Ms Watt were often “outrageous and inappropriate”, but said it was just “gossip between friends” and not evidence of leaking stories.
The trial centres on a viral social media post in October 2019, in which Mrs Rooney said she had carried out a “sting operation” and accused Mrs Vardy of leaking “false stories” about her private life to the press.
Mrs Rooney, the wife of former England footballer Wayne, claimed the only account that could have seen three fake stories she had posted on her personal Instagram account – which later appeared in The Sun – was Mrs Vardy’s.
Mrs Vardy has denied being the source of the leaks and said a number of people had access to her accounts. Ms Watt has also denied being the source and has been deemed too ill to testify.