Coleen Rooney admits Instagram 'cover-up for what I was investigating' in Wagatha Christie trial
Coleen Rooney has entered the witness box for the second time as the so-called “Wagatha Christie” libel trial enters its second week at the High Court
In a viral social media post in October 2019, Rooney, 36, said she had carried out a “sting operation” and accused Rebekah Vardy, 40, of leaking “false stories” about her private life to the press.
Rooney told the High Court she “had suspicions” Vardy’s Instagram account was responsible for leaking information to journalists when she unfollowed her on the social media site.
As her cross-examination by Vardy’s barrister Hugh Tomlinson QC continued on day five of the high-profile libel trial, she accepted it would have been obvious to Vardy in March 2019 when she texted Rooney that she had been unfollowed.
Rooney said the pair were “not good friends” and that if someone had unfollowed her she would “probably just forget about it and not message” the person, adding: “I wouldn’t have been that bothered really.”
She said: “I felt it was suspicious. Obviously I had suspicions in other ways, so this just added to the suspicions that I had.”
Mr Tomlinson put it to Rooney that she had lied in her reply to Vardy by saying she had not realised she had unfollowed her and that it might have been one of her children that had done it by accident while playing with her phone.
She replied: “Yes, it was a cover-up for what I was investigating."
Rooney continued: “I had my suspicions that Mrs Vardy could be doing this from her account and when I received that message it made me realise even more that it was suspicious, and I did tell a fib.”
Mr Tomlinson asked: “Why weren’t you honest, Mrs Rooney?”
She replied: “Because I didn’t want to because I had put warning signs out there and Mrs Vardy or whoever was on her account never came to me and said ‘it was me that has been passing information onto The Sun’.
“At that time I didn’t think she would tell the truth anyway, even if I confronted her.”
Rooney said that, while she accepted it might have been someone else with access to Vardy’s account, she “believed that she knew all along”.
Mr Tomlinson put it to her that the “right thing to do” would have been to tell Vardy about her suspicions at that point.
Rooney replied: “No, I didn’t feel that at the time because I didn’t feel like she was being truthful to me.”
She again repeated she had suspicions the leaks were coming via Vardy’s account and that was why she did not say anything at the time.
The court heard that, in March 2019, Rooney asked PR woman Rachel Monk to find out who was the source of a story about her and her husband securing a babysitter, following an approach from The Sun newspaper.
Rooney had a suspicion it was Vardy, telling the PR, who she had worked with “on and off” for years, that she was allegedly “fame hungry” from “stuff she’s done at the World Cup”.
Asked why she did not delete Vardy from her Instagram, Rooney said she did not want to “trap” her, adding: “I just wanted to find out who was doing this to me.
“I thought by going public on Instagram and saying someone is doing this to me I thought it would stop.
“But it continued.
“This person was not paying attention to me giving warnings.
“I just wanted to find out who was doing this.”
Vardy strongly denies leaking stories about Rooney to journalists.
The trial continues.