When tabloid characters publicly spit in a juicy thriller, and when the mess is based on the kind of little Instagram drama that would feel right at home in any high school hallway, and when the confrontation heads into a hall ratings pushing and pushing with every titillating detail, it’s a recipe for a saga that many people have found absolutely delicious.
A libel case in Britain between the famous wives of two football players, currently awaiting a verdict in London after hearings ended on Thursday, hasn’t quite gotten Ukraine or the wrongdoings of the country out of the way. government of the pages, but the legal drama offered a welcome respite to many who enjoy news dessert with their news dinner.
If you haven’t been paying attention, let yourself catch up.
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I need the basics, please.
Coleen Rooney, 36, is a television personality and is married to Wayne Rooney, a former football star.
Rebekah Vardy, 40, is also a television personality and is married to Jamie Vardy, who is also a football star.
Rebekah Vardy is suing Coleen Rooney for defamation, a case that went to trial last week in the High Court in London, which oversees most high-profile civil proceedings in Britain.
British tabloids have long treated the wives and girlfriends – often shortened to WAG – of football players as constant celebrity fodder, so the two women were well known before the ensuing Instagram drama.
In October 2019, Coleen Rooney publicly revealed that someone was looking at her private Instagram Stories and leaking personal information to the press, and she said she undertook an extensive sting operation to find the leaker.
Instagram allows people to restrict certain content to specific people. So Coleen Rooney said she posted fake stories that were only visible to one account to see if they made it to the press. Indeed, they did.
In a dramatic dun-dun-dun reveal posted to Twitter, she revealed the results of her investigation: The account belonged to Rebekah Vardy.
So, case closed?
No. Rebekah Vardy denied any involvement, saying multiple people had access to her Instagram account. She said the prosecution subjected her to a torrent of verbal abuse from the public, a particular stressor when she was pregnant. In 2020, she began civil proceedings for defamation.
“I wish you’d called me if you thought that,” she replied to Coleen Rooney.
Wait, sorry, I don’t catch the “Wagatha Christie” reference.
WAGs, as mentioned earlier, represent wives and girlfriends. Agatha Christie was an English crime fiction writer. They say Coleen Rooney is a good detective.
I get it. So, who is right ?
I wish we knew that. And we don’t know if we’ll ever have proof of that.
Hugh Tomlinson, Rebekah Vardy’s lawyer, said in court last week that Coleen Vardy believed the culprit might have been her agent, Caroline Watt, according to reporters covering the trial. Watt accidentally dropped a phone in the sea which Coleen Rooney claimed contained WhatsApp messages related to the case, it was revealed in court.
Can you sue for that?
Yes. Under English law, anyone who posts a harmful statement to someone else on social media can be sued for damages, according to defamation lawyers.
But libel cases in the High Court are rare, largely because they are so expensive. Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy refused to settle.
When will we have an answer?
The trial began on May 10 and closing arguments were delivered on Thursday. Now it’s up to the judge.
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