Buckle up for the trial of the century.
An electrifying public spat between two of Britain’s most prominent footballers’ wives is heading for a dramatic courtroom showdown, after Rebekah Vardy sued Coleen Rooney for defamation.
Vardy filed legal proceedings against Rooney on June 12, court documents show, months after Rooney posted a lengthy message on social media accusing someone using Vardy’s account of leaking stories about her to tabloid newspapers.
The alleged subterfuge of one of the UK’s leading “WAGs” – a term used to describe the wives and girlfriends of professional footballers – against another quickly became something of a national obsession.
It will come to a head in Vardy vs. Rooney, with the claimant suing Rooney under defamation law.
Rooney’s legal team told CNN on Wednesday that their client had attempted to set up a meeting with Vardy in which she would present her evidence directly, before Vardy filed her case.
“It is disappointing that Mrs Vardy has chosen to issue court proceedings. Coleen feels that the time and money involved could be put to better use; her offer to meet face to face still stands,” a spokesperson for law firm Brabners said.
But the firm suggested the case means more details will reach a British public already on tenterhooks. “Mrs Vardy’s decision to issue court proceedings does at least mean that Coleen’s evidence can be made public when the time is right,” the spokesperson said.
Vardy’s legal team has not yet responded to CNN’s request for comment.
Vardy is the wife of Leicester City and former England striker Jamie, while Rooney is married to England’s all-time leading goalscorer Wayne. Both women are also television personalities.
What is WAG-gate?
The court case follows a dramatic spat that unfolded in October 2019 following a social media post by Rooney.
“This has been a burden in my life for a few years now and finally I have got to the bottom of it,” she wrote.
Attached to the post was a lengthy and gripping tale, in which Rooney described months of amateur detective work she conducted on Instagram to find out who was leaking stories about her to a British tabloid.
“Over the past five months, I have posted a series of false stories to see if they made their way into the Sun newspaper,” Rooney explained. “And you know what, they did! The story about gender selection in Mexico, the story about returning to TV and then the latest story about the basement flooding in my new house.”
“I have saved and screenshotted the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them,” she went on.
Then, in a jaw-dropping twist delivered at the end of a tantalizing ten-dot ellipses, Rooney wrote: “It’s ……….Rebekah Vardy’s account.”
The allegation went viral and prompted countless column inches in the UK, quickly becoming known as the “WAG wars” and “WAG-gate.” Rooney’s sleuthing also earned her the nickname “WAGatha Christie.”
Vardy subsequently denied the allegations and suggested someone else may have used her account.
But the fight turned brutal as celebrities and members of the public alike started taking sides.
Vardy was asked in an interview by the Daily Mail whether the two women have argued about the incident. “That would be like arguing with a pigeon,” she replied. “You can tell it that you are right and it is wrong, but it’s still going to s**t in your hair.”
It is unclear when the court case will take place, or even whether it will bring an end to the drama.