Rebekah Vardy forced to pay Coleen Rooney £1.5m in legal costs after Wagatha Christie
Rebekah Vardy is being forced to pay 90% of Coleen Rooney's legal costs from the Wagatha Christie trial
Rebekah Vardy is being forced to pay Coleen Rooney £1.5m in legal costs.
It comes after Rebekah Vardy took Coleen Rooney to the High Court in July accusing her of libel, but sensationally lost the case.
Rooney, 36, had claimed Rebekah's Instagram account had leaked several stories to the media, including claims the basement of her Cheshire home had flooded and Coleen was planning a return to television work.
Vardy was accused her of deliberately deleting WhatsApp messages central to the case as her agent was also accused of intentionally dropping her phone in the North Sea.
Rebekah always denied she passed on the information, however Mrs Justice Steyn wrote of Rebekah's action: "The claim has been dismissed. The defendant succeeded in establishing that the essence of the libel was substantially true."
Instead, Vardy's reputation now lies in tatters after her evidence was dismissed as 'evasive or implausible' by a High Court Judge.
She will also have to pay costs incurred by seven journalists who were potential witnesses but did not give evidence – apart from a portion of their costs which Mrs Rooney has already been ordered to pay.
The judge ruled on various issues relating to Mrs Rooney’s costs after receiving written legal arguments on behalf of both women.
The total amount of Mrs Vardy’s legal costs is not known but is expected to be of a similar level to those incurred by Mrs Rooney.
Paul Lunt, partner and head of litigation at law firm Brabners, who represented Coleen Rooney, said: “The High Court has today decided that Rebekah Vardy must pay Coleen Rooney’s legal costs on an indemnity basis – the highest basis that the court could order.
“The reasoning given for this decision is that there was a finding at trial that Rebekah Vardy had deliberately deleted or destroyed evidence.
“That behaviour falls outside the ordinary and reasonable conduct expected of a party in legal proceedings.
“This followed a separate finding regarding the loss of evidence that was in the possession of Rebekah Vardy’s former agent, Caroline Watt.
“Coleen’s pursuit of that evidence is a major reason why her legal costs increased substantially from the original estimates given to the court long before the start of the trial.
“Rebekah Vardy has been ordered to pay £800,000 to Coleen Rooney by November 15 as an interim payment until the final total she must pay is either agreed or decided upon by the court.
“Naturally, Rebekah will also be responsible for her own legal costs of bringing her failed libel action against Coleen.
“Today’s decision also makes Rebekah liable to pay for legal costs incurred by certain journalists from News UK, publishers of The Sun newspaper, following her unsuccessful efforts to involve them in the proceedings.”