Rebekah Vardy ‘tried to sell story about drink-driving player’, court told

Rebekah Vardy tried to sell a story about the drink-drive arrest of her footballer husband’s teammate, a court has heard.

The claim emerged as more WhatsApp messages were revealed in a judgment following the latest round of Ms Vardy’s High Court libel case against Coleen Rooney.

Ms Vardy, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, is suing Ms Rooney after she was publicly accused of leaking “false stories” about the fellow footballer’s wife to the press.

Ms Rooney, the wife of former England star Wayne Rooney, earned the nickname “Wagatha Christie” after publishing a post on Twitter in October 2019 claiming Ms Vardy had shared fake stories – which she had deliberately planted on her personal Instagram account during a months-long “sting operation” – with The Sun newspaper.

The High Court previously heard how Ms Rooney allegedly made the posts after restricting her Instagram stories so they could be viewed only by Ms Vardy’s account.

Ms Rooney’s lawyer claimed Ms Vardy and her agent Caroline Watt would “routinely” look at Ms Rooney’s private Instagram stories with a view to having them published.

Ms Vardy denies the accusations and is suing Ms Rooney for libel.

The full trial is due to begin next month, with Wayne Rooney reportedly expected to give evidence.

Ms Rooney’s legal team also told the court Ms Vardy allegedly leaked stories about a number of different people to the press, including her husband’s former England and Leicester City teammate Danny Drinkwater.

Ms Vardy is claimed to have sent a WhatsApp message to her agent in April 2019 saying: “Story … Danny Drinkwater arrested x”.

Another read: “Crashed his car drunk with 2 girls in it … both in hospital one with broken ribs x”.

According to documents seen in court, Ms Vardy also revealed he had “only just been let out of the cells” and added: “I want paying for this x.”

Ms Watt is said to have replied to Ms Vardy telling her she had contacted Andy Halls, a showbusiness reporter at The Sun, who told her the paper already had the story.

Drinkwater pleaded guilty to drink-driving at Stockport Magistrates’ Court in May 2019 where he was banned from the roads for 20 months, given a 12-month community order and ordered to do 70 hours of community service.

Ms Rooney’s lawyer had asked for some documents from News Group Newspapers – the publisher of The Sun – to be disclosed covering communications between Ms Vardy, her agent and nine journalists at the newspaper.

Judge Karen Steyn granted the request, but only in relation to communications with Mr Halls.

The judge said Ms Rooney claimed Ms Vardy enjoyed an “extremely close relationship” with Mr Halls and that he was someone she “directly communicated and interacted with on social media for several years”.

At an earlier hearing, the High Court heard Ms Watt could not give evidence in person at the trial next month due to medical reasons, and that she had also withdrawn her written evidence.

Ms Rooney’s lawyers previously claimed Ms Vardy had leaked information to The Sun either directly or through Ms Watt was “acting on her instruction or with her knowing approval”.

Wayne Rooney could give evidence at the High Court in London as part of Rebekah Vardy’s high-profile libel case against his wife Coleen Rooney

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