Rebekah Vardy has told the High Court she was “just joking” following an allegation that she leaked a story about a celebrity having an affair with a footballer.
The 40-year-old is currently suing Coleen Rooney after being publicly accused of leaking “false stories” to the media in 2019.
Rooney has claimed she carried out a “sting operation” to catch who was sharing stories about her private life, which she identified as Vardy in a viral social media post.
Rooney, who is married to Derby County manager Wayne Rooney, is defending the libel claim on the basis of truth and public interest.
Vardy, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, took to the witness box on the second day of the ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel trial, where she was questioned about messages between her and agent Caroline Watt.
The messages were about an affair between a “well-known celebrity”, referred to as Mrs F, and a footballer, identified as Mr G.
Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne told the court Vardy had sent a text to her agent, saying: “Omg have you seen how badly Mrs F is behaving x … I’m actually disgusted by her x.”
She then sent another message that read: “Leak the story about her s******* G behind H’s back”.
The court heard Ms Watt replied: “I tried before but The Sun already knew about it and couldn’t prove it as usual.”
Asked about the messages, Vardy said she was “just joking” when she made the comment.
‘Fuming I didn’t give it to you earlier’
The court also heard that Vardy told her agent she “wanted paying” for information about former Leicester City player Danny Drinkwater leaving police custody after crashing his car in 2019.
The footballer was banned from driving for 20 months and ordered to complete 70 hours of community service after pleading guilty to drink driving.
The court was told Vardy sent a message to her agent Caroline Watt to tell her that Drinkwater had been arrested
“Danny Drinkwater arrested… Crashed his car drunk with 2 girls in it… both in hospital one with broken ribs,” court documents show.
Ms Watt told Vardy that “they” would have to confirm with the police “before they write it” – Mr Sherborne said this meant The Sun, which Vardy confirmed.
‘I was just gossiping’
Questions were also raised about Manchester City footballer Riyad Mahrez, with Vardy being asked about messages she sent to Ms Watt about him not turning up to a training session in 2018.
Vardy told Ms Watt: “Lads are fuming.”
Speaking in court, she explained: “It was speculation of just bits of information that I had heard and overheard, and also read in the press before.
“Yes, it doesn’t look good there, I was gossiping about things that were already in the public domain. I was just gossiping.”
She denied an accusation her agent passed information to The Sun about fellow Leicester players’ reactions to Mr Mahrez missing the session.
The court has previously heard that both women have spent “hundreds of thousands of pounds” on the case so far, with the total costs of the case expected to be at least £2m.
The fake stories Rooney planted on her Instagram during the sting operation featured her travelling to Mexico for a “gender selection” procedure, her planning to return to TV, and the basement flooding at her home.