Coleen Rooney has demanded Rebekah Vardy hands over her mobile phone to be inspected for evidence in the latest round of the ‘Wagatha Christie’ court case.
Mrs Rooney, 35, accused 39-year-old Mrs Vardy of leaking ‘false stories’ about her private life in October 2019 after carrying out a months-long ‘sting operation’.
The wife of ex-England star Wayne Rooney publicly claimed her fellow footballer’s wife shared fake stories she had posted on her personal Instagram with the paper.
Mrs Vardy, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, denies the accusations and is suing Mrs Rooney for libel at the High Court in London.
Now, new documents submitted by Mrs Rooney today show she is demanding full access to all devices and accounts used by Mrs Vardy over a long period of time.
Rebekah Vardy (left, with her husband Jamie Vardy) is suing Coleen Rooney (right, with husband Wayne Rooney) – who was dubbed ‘Wagatha Christie’ – for libel at the High Court
Mrs Rooney said this will prove Mrs Vardy was constantly leaking confidential information from her Instagram account. Her lawyers are now demanding access to all electronic devices, social media and email accounts belonging to Mrs Vardy.
But Mrs Vardy’s lawyers have maintained that they are only prepared to share data from her Instagram account and from her personal devices.
Mrs Rooney’s lawyers argued: ‘This is unduly and severely restrictive. First, because it ignores all other means by which C [Mrs Vardy] communicated with her agents, representatives, journalists and media contacts (including text, email, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook).
‘Second, because C has already confirmed that various people other than herself had access to, for instance, her Instagram account and therefore relevant data has been generated elsewhere.’
The document added: ‘Third, because the court and the parties would be deprived of essential information simply and easily available from the social media platforms.’
This afternoon, a remote preliminary hearing was held to deal with the timetable of the case and disputes over the parties’ legal costs.
The feud between the WAGs erupted after Mrs Rooney revealed that she had set a trap to see who was responsible for the leaks, which earned her the nickname ‘Wagatha Christie’
Mrs Rooney’s legal team have slammed Mrs Vardy over the ‘disproportionate’ amount of money she is spending on lawyers.
Today, lawyers for Mrs Rooney submitted a document outlining the ‘disproportionate’ difference in how much both women are spending on fighting the case, which is expected to be heard in full later this year.
It showed that Mrs Vardy’s total proposed budget for taking the matter to court will amount to £837,735 while Mrs Rooney is estimated to spend a total of £537,029.
Of this total amount, Mrs Vardy is spending £450,000 on solicitors with another £388,000 on hiring barristers.
In comparison, Mrs Rooney is spending £388,000 and £306,000 on solicitors and barristers respectively.
Referring to Mrs Vardy’s legal costs, the document added: ‘There are too many lawyers working far too many hours…The difference between the budgets are stark.’
A remote High Court preliminary hearing will be held to deal with the timetable of the case
In a judgment in July, Mrs Justice Steyn threw out parts of Mrs Rooney’s defence but kept some aspects that Mrs Vardy had applied to strike out.
This included an allegation that Mrs Vardy was leaking details about the libel case itself to The Sun.
However, Mrs Justice Steyn said the alleged close relationship between Mrs Vardy and the newspaper was ‘one of the building blocks’ of Mrs Rooney’s inferential case.
Mrs Vardy’s lawyers had argued that removing the parts of Mrs Rooney’s defence would save £200,000 in Mrs Vardy’s legal costs and reduce the length of the trial by three to four days.
However, Mrs Rooney’s lawyers previously said the request was a tactical move as parts of the defence would ‘undermine (Mrs Vardy’s) case as well as embarrass her’.
During a previous hearing in March, Mrs Rooney’s barrister John Samson asked the court to ‘reject the claimant’s cost budget and ask them to review it because, in the words of my lay client, it is grotesque’.
At the time, Mrs Vardy’s barrister Sara Mansoori said Mrs Vardy’s overall budget was ‘£897,000, the estimated costs of which are £465,842.
‘This compares to Mrs Rooney’s estimated costs in her cost budget of £402,312.’
The long-running feud between the high-profile WAGs erupted after Mrs Rooney revealed that she had set a trap to see who was responsible for the leaks, which earned her the nickname ‘Wagatha Christie’.
Mrs Rooney famously wrote: ‘I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them. It’s ……………. Rebekah Vardy’s account.’
Soon after, Mrs Vardy took to social media to deny being the person who had leaked the stories to the press, after the post went viral.
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