Rebekah Vardy is "extremely sad and disappointed" after losing the 'Wagatha Christie' libel case.
Coleen Rooney, the wife of former England captain Wayne Rooney accused Rebekah – the spouse of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy – of leaking "false stories" about her to the media in October 2019 in a social media post, leading to Rebekah, 40, taking legal action against her fellow WAG as she denied being responsible for the leaks.
Coleen, 36, had publicly claimed that Rebekah was the source behind three fake stories she had posted on her private Instagram page - of which Rebekah was an approved follower - and was dubbed 'Wagatha Christie' for her social media probing, a reference to the term 'WAGS' which is an acronym used to refer to wives and girlfriends of high-profile sportsmen.
In the High Court verdict on Friday (29.07.22), judge Mrs Justice Steyn ruled that it was "likely" that Vardy's then-agent Caroline Watt "undertook the direct act" of passing information on.
And breaking her silence, Rebekah admitted she is "devastated" and called for an end to the "vile abuse" she claims she and her family have been subjected to as a result of Coleen's post.
She said: "I am extremely sad and disappointed at the decision that the Judge has reached. It is not the result that I had expected, nor believe was just. I brought this action to vindicate my reputation and am devastated by the Judge’s finding.
"The judge accepted that publication of Coleen's Post was not in the 'public interest' and she also rejected her claim that I was the 'Secret Wag'. But as for the rest of her judgement, she got it wrong and this is something I cannot accept."
She added: "As I explained in my evidence I, my family and even my unborn baby, were subjected to disgusting messages and vile abuse following Coleen’s Post and these have continued even during the course of the trial.
"Please can the people who have been abusing me and my family now stop. The case is over.
"I want to thank everyone who has supported me."
By contrast, Coleen said she was "pleased" with the result.
She said in her own statement: "Naturally, I am pleased that the judge has found in my favour with her judgment today.
It was not a case I ever sought or wanted.
"I never believed it should have gone to court at such expense in times of hardship for so many people when the money could have been far better spent helping others," she added.
She continued: "Both before and after my social media posts in October 2019, I made every effort to avoid the need for such a drawn out and public court case.
"All my attempts to do so were knocked back by Mrs (Rebekah) Vardy.
"This left me with no alternative but to go through with the case to defend myself and to end the repeated leaking of my private information to The Sun."
She said: "These leaks from my private Instagram account began in 2017.
"They continued for almost two years, intruding on my privacy and that of my family.
"Although I bear Mrs Vardy no ill-will, today's judgment makes clear that I was right in what I said in my posts of October 2019.
"Finally, I would like to thank all of my legal team, my family, friends and everyone who supported me, including the public, through this difficult and stressful time."
The judge said: "Nonetheless, the evidence clearly shows, in my view, that Mrs Vardy knew of and condoned this behaviour, actively engaging in it by directing Ms Watt to the private Instagram account, sending her screenshots of Mrs Rooney's posts, drawing attention to items of potential interest to the press, and answering additional queries raised by the press via Ms Watt."
Steyn continued: "In my judgment, the conclusions that I have reached as to the extent to which the claimant engaged in disclosing to The Sun information to which she only had access as a permitted follower of an Instagram account which she knew, and Mrs Rooney repeatedly asserted, was private, suffice to show the single meaning is substantially true."