Coleen Rooney does not want any compensation after winning the “Wagatha Christie” libel action brought against her by Rebekah Vardy, her lawyer has said.
On Friday, a high court judge ruled against Ms Vardy, wife of the Leicester and former England footballer Jamie, saying that it was “likely that Ms Vardy’s agent at the time, Caroline Watt, “undertook the direct act” of passing information to The Sun newspaper.
In a viral social media post in October 2019, Mrs Rooney, 36, said she had carried out a months-long “sting operation” and accused Ms Vardy, 40, of leaking “false stories” about her private life to the press.
Ms Rooney, wife of former Manchester United and England footballer Wayne, publicly claimed Ms Vardy’s account was the source behind three stories that appeared in The Sun newspaper featuring fake details she had posted on her private Instagram stories.
Ms Vardy denied leaking stories to the media and sued her fellow footballer’s wife for libel, while Ms Rooney defended the claim on the basis that her post was “substantially true”.
In her 76-page judgement, Ms Justice Steyn said Ms Vardy’s evidence was “manifestly inconsistent” with contemporaneous documentary evidence on “many occasions”.
Ms Vardy said she was “devastated” by the ruling which she said the judge had “got wrong”. According to one report, she now faces a legal bill of up to £3million.
Mrs Rooney’s lawyer confirmed on Saturday that his client does not want any compensation and was just “glad” that the case is over so that she can “get on with her life”.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Paul Lunt, said: “She didn’t want any of this to happen. She doesn’t want any compensation, retribution, she’s never wanted any of that, she just wanted the intrusion that she was seeing into her private life to stop and that was her sole aim and her sole focus.
“She has no remaining objective, certainly she doesn’t have any need for compensation or demands or any of that nature. She’s just glad that it’s over and that she can get on with her life.”
In a statement on Friday, Ms Vardy said of the judge’s decision: “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 judgment, she got it wrong and this is something I cannot accept.”
The TV personality reiterated that she and her family were sent “vile abuse” after the viral post and during the trial.
“Please can the people who have been abusing me and my family now stop. The case is over,” she added.
During the trial, the two women each gave evidence, as did Mr Rooney, also 36, who played for Everton and Manchester United as well as England.
In her judgment, Mrs Justice Steyn said Mrs Vardy’s evidence was “manifestly inconsistent” with contemporaneous documentary evidence on “many occasions”.
The judge added: “I find that it is, unfortunately, necessary to treat Mrs Vardy’s evidence with very considerable caution.”
Mrs Justice Steyn found it was “likely” that Mrs Vardy deliberately deleted her WhatsApp chat with Ms Watt and that Ms Watt deliberately dropped her phone into the North Sea shortly after it was ordered to be searched.
Mrs Vardy also chose not to call Ms Watt to give evidence partly because she knew the agent’s evidence “would be shown to be untrue”, the judge ruled.
Mrs Justice Steyn said in her ruling: “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.”