Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy will face each other in a final attempt to resolve their high-profile Wagatha Christie legal battle. That is the case today – when the High Court heard how sad both women are so far.
At the start of their libel case in the London High Court today, lawyers from both Wags agreed to stay the trial until February 8 so that mediation can take place between them.
Hugh Tomlinson QC, who represented Rebekah, told Justice Warby: "Subject to your Lordship's views, the parties have agreed that after this preliminary hearing there should be one final attempt to resolve this."
Rebekah, the wife of Leicester City and England striker Jamie Vardy, is leaving the National Ice Center in Nottingham today to prepare to attend Dancing On Ice 2021
Coleen Rooney has announced that she is confident she will win her smear match against Rebekah Vardy, but regrets that it has come "as far" as the case started in the High Court today
David Sherborne, who represented Coleen, told the court that she had offered to mediate with Rebekah and was "sad" because time and money could be better spent than attending costly legal proceedings.
Mr. Sherborne said, “Ms. Rooney says Ms. Vardy was responsible for the leakage of the stories on The Sun, but she is equally sad that this matter has been brought to justice.
She was drawn into this lawsuit despite offering to mediate. The time and cost of this litigation at a time of life changing events could be better spent. & # 39;
During the preliminary hearing, Justice Warby heard arguments from both attorneys about whether Coleen was directly accusing Rebekah or her Instagram account, and whoever was involved.
Mr Sherborne told the court that in addition to Rebekah, others who used her Instagram account were her husband Jamie, her PR agent and his social media manager.
Mr Sherborne told the court it was "common knowledge" that celebrities do not have their own social media accounts on their own.
A document submitted to the court by Coleen's legal team states: “The cause of the leak in the defendant's private information was the Claimant’s account.
The emphasis on "except ONE account" (with capital letters) and the last words of the post make it clear that responsibility lies with a specific account.
"As a result, a reasonable reader would conclude that there is reason to believe that the Claimant herself leaked the information, but the finger is pointing to the account, not the Claimant herself."
But Mr Tomlinson hit back, describing Coleen's claim that she was pointing the finger at either Rebekah or whoever was dealing with her Instagram account as "nonsense".
He told the court, “The idea that it is common knowledge that a celebrity account is operated by someone else is just not true.
Ms. Rooney is complaining about a disloyal person, not about the account. A reasonable reader would think that she exposed the culprit. And that person is Rebekah Vardy. & # 39;
Mr Justice Warby is due to decide whether Coleen is accusing Rebekah or her Instagram account and will deliver his verdict on Friday.
Hugh Tomlinson QC, Representative for Rebekah Vardy, Justice Warby, and David Sherborne, Representative for Coleen Rooney, in the High Court today
At the start of today's hearing, Tomlinson said Coleen's post was an "untrue and unjustified defamatory attack" that has been "published and re-published to millions of people."
He said her allegation "leaves the reasonable reader in no doubt that the defendant accuses the applicant of consistently and repeatedly betraying her confidence over several years."
He added, “In fact, she didn't do anything wrong. Whatever was leaking didn't come from her. & # 39;
Mr. Tomlinson went over the lines of Coleen's post and argued how it would have been perceived.
He said, "This post was published and distributed to millions of people and gained wide public currency."
Quoting from her post, Mr Tomlinson said she "now knows for sure" who was leaking stories and said the post left no doubt for the reasonable reader.
"This is not the language of suspicion, this is the language to find out the truth," he said.
Mr. Tomlinson said while Coleen started on suspicion, the post ended on clear allegation after outlining her "detective trial".
He continued: & # 39; This is the process that is referred to in the press as & # 39; Wagatha Christie & # 39; was characterized.
"She describes her detective process, part of her process is finding the real villain of the play."
The & # 39; Wagatha Christie & # 39; saga began a year ago when Coleen tweeted that she had secretly planted three fake stories on Instagram in the months before, but said she had stopped all of her followers except Rebekah from seeing it see
Mr. Tomlinson called the end of the post, which identified Rebekah's report as "a number of points awaiting revelation".
He added, "The person is Rebekah Vardy, the finger is pointed at her as the villain, the person, the person, the person."
Mr. Tomlinson said the normal social media user's perception reading the post would be clear: "You will think that she (Ms. Rooney) exposed the culprit … it was Rebekah Vardy who came to The Sun leaked that she was the one person who had access to the three stories, and she was the only person who had betrayed Ms. Rooney's trust for years. & # 39;
Mr. Sherborne, for Coleen, said the social media post repeatedly reproduced the word "account" which would not be construed as a straightforward charge of guilt towards Ms. Vardy by the normal social media user.
The attorney who added a person can be "hit" by the constant reference to the word account.
Mr Sherborne said, "That is the impression you would make and we say that anything else would be too burdensome."
He later said it was "widely known" that celebrities and media personalities might let others manage their social media accounts.
Rebekah Vardy leaves after a training session at Planet Ice in Peterborough to prepare to attend Dancing On Ice 2021
Prior to today's hearing, MailOnline announced that Rooney is confident of winning the case but regrets having come "this far".
Contrary to popular speculation, neither Rebekah nor Coleen or their famous footballer husbands are on trial today.
Rebekah is believed to deny being "The Secret Wag," the Sun newspaper's source of stories about Coleen and other footballers' partners.
A spokesman for Coleen told MailOnline, "Coleen's defense is already filed and in the public domain. It sets out the facts of their case and will be the same whatever is decided today.
& # 39; Given these facts, Coleen remains completely confident in her position, as she has consistently been.
"She still regrets that the other party has brought the matter this far."
In a sensational 55-page defense document, Coleen detailed why she believed Rebekah was behind the anonymous "Secret Wag" column.
She described Rebekah as "an established history and a common practice of making private information available to journalists".
Coleen has a 55-page defense document detailing why she believed Rebekah was behind the anonymous column, & # 39; Secret Wag & # 39; in The Sun.
A source said, "Becky will publicly swear under oath in the High Court that she was not the so-called Secret Wag for the paper."
The Secret Wag issue is viewed as central by lawyers on both sides to determining whether Rebecca shared stories from Coleen's private social media accounts to The Sun, which she has consistently denied.
The & # 39; Wagatha Christie & # 39; saga began a year ago when Coleen tweeted that she had secretly planted three fake stories on Instagram in the months before, but said she had stopped all of her followers except Rebekah from seeing it see.
After stories appeared containing references to the forged posts, Coleen explained the results of their investigation and announced, “It is. . . Rebekah Vardy's account. & # 39;
The mother of four, who Kai, 10, Klay, 7, Kit, 4 and Cass, 2 shares with 34-year-old Derby County soccer player Wayne, is determined to fight the libel case.
For her part, Rebekah is looking for significant damage, saying she suffered "severe and extreme hostility and abuse" in fallout after the allegations were posted on Instagram.
She is expected to deny Coleen's claims that she was "The Secret Wag" in a bomb court.
A source said yesterday, "Becky is going to swear publicly and under oath in the High Court that she was not the so-called Secret Wag for the paper."
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