Judgment in high-profile case will be delivered at 12pm on Friday
Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney are to finally learn who has won their High Court libel battle in the so-called ‘Wagatha Christie’ case.
After almost three years, a conclusion to the saga will be reached at noon on Friday after Ms Rooney, 36, accused Ms Vardy, 40, of leaking “false stories” about her private life to the press in a viral social media post.
Ms Vardy, who is married to Leicester striker Jamie Vardy, denied leaking the stories and sued her fellow footballer’s wife for libel, while Ms Rooney defended the claim on the basis her post was “substantially true”.
After a highly-publicised libel trial in May, judge Ms Justice Steyn is now due to publish her ruling on Friday.
If Ms Vardy wins the case, Ms Rooney could be ordered to pay her between £15,000 and £70,000 in damages.
然而, if Mrs Vardy loses, she could have to pay some of Ms Rooney’s legal costs. But legal costs have been capped at around 70 百分, so the winner would still have to pay a chunk of their fees.
“Whoever wins is not getting all of their legal costs back,” David Banks, media law expert and consultant, 告诉 Daily Record.
“Either way both women are going to be out of pocket…or the court can say you both pay yoru own legal costs.”
The nation was glued to coverage of courtroom number 13 在 Royal Courts of Justice, where the two footballers’ wives each gave evidence in seven days of hearings in May.
Revelations from the case made daily headlines across the British press, which reported salacious claims about Peter Andre’s manhood and Ms Vardy trying to sell a story about her husband’s drink-driving former teammate.
审判期间, Ms Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne argued that Ms Vardy had a “habitual and established practice” of leaking information about those she knew – through her friend and former agent Caroline Watt – to 太阳 newspaper.
Discussing Ms Rooney’s viral “reveal” post, her barrister added: “It is what she believed at the time… and it is what she believes even more so now that we have got to the end of the case.”
然而, Hugh Tomlinson QC, for Ms Vardy, said Ms Rooney had “failed to produce any evidence” that she had “regularly and frequently abused her status as a trusted follower” of her private Instagram account by passing on information from it to 太阳.
Mr Tomlinson said the libel battle was a “very simple case” when “one clears away the conspiracy theories”.
他加了: “Mrs Vardy’s case is and always has been that she did not leak the information nor did she authorise anyone else to leak.
“She does not know to this day what happened,” Mr Tomlinson said, 添加: “She does not know where this information came from.”
The barrister added that Mrs Vardy suffered “very serious harm to her reputation” as a result of Mrs Rooney’s post.
The judgment is due to be handed down by Mrs Justice Steyn at 12pm on Friday.