Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy’s defamation trial puts the final nail in the coffin of the WAG dream
It has been compared to a Greek tragedy, dubbed the greatest stab surgery of all time, and called a historical drama “with balayage and botox.”
Everything in Wagatha Christie’s trial was forensically analyzed.
There were interviews with the court artist about these unflattering sketches, cost reports of every outfit worn and podcasts about boat trips on the North Sea.
There was even an impassioned plea from poor old Peter Andre if anyone would kindly refrain from comparing his penis to a chipolata.
But at the end of one of the most anticipated trials in showbiz history, are we any closer to truly understanding the world of WAGS?
On the one hand, everyone in the world knows we have better things to do than listening to two very rich women whose husbands play soccer and argue over Insta stories.
But then again, did you hear what Rebekah allegedly said to that FA official? And how do you manage to delete so many WhatsApp messages?
Some believe the final statements in the case mark “the end of an era.”
The Daily Telegraph proclaimed “RIP WAGS” as things ended in the High Court yesterday.
But the truth is, the terms “WAG” and “WAG culture” are a thing of the past. Were it not for the “Wagatha Christie” pun, using WAG would feel about as topical these days as flogging a Motorola flip phone.
One of the reasons this case inspires such fascination is that it ties into a nostalgia for an era we’re currently collectively obsessed with — the noughties.
“WAG culture peaked in the mid-2000s, and we’ve got this 2000s nostalgia lately,” says 2FM pop culture expert and host of the Housewives And Me podcast Conor Behan.
“Both people gushing about that time and people looking back and seeing what didn’t work… I think we’ve almost hit the wave of nostalgia of the noughties.”
Many people who followed the process didn’t pay the same attention to Wayne’s career as Derby County manager or the launch of Coleen’s line of children’s clothing.
“There’s an element of ‘Where are they now?'” says Conor. “It feels like you’re reaching out to someone who was a pop culture figure.”
When Coleen Rooney posted the details of her detective work on Instagram three years ago, it was explosive. It made us cringe, and we knew things would come to a head at some point. “[The trial] feels like the fifth season of a show you’ve been watching for years and now you’re getting to the finale,” says Conor Behan.
TV producer Debbie O’Donnell agrees. “It feels like reality TV,” she says. You couldn’t write it.”
If this is the grand finale, when did season one start?
Let’s remember the year 2006 and the picturesque and quiet German city of Baden-Baden.
The World Cup was in full swing, but sports coverage was secondary to many of us.
The real story was what the wives and girlfriends (WAGs) were up to.
Coleen McLaughlin, Victoria Beckham, Alex Curran and Cheryl Tweedy have been dubbed “Visa card hooligans” as stories about their table dancing and shopping sprees became Red Top fodder.
There were endless stories about these women’s sun-drenched vacations and the $1,000 handbags they carried.
But even then, the terms at the center of the media hype were not enthusiastic.
“It’s silly to lump us all together like that,” Coleen said in 2010.
“We’re all just individuals getting on and doing our own thing, and we deserve to be treated as individuals.”
When Rebekah Vardy met and married Jamie Vardy in 2016, the days of Baden-Baden were long gone.
By then, thanks to the advent of social media, there had been a crucial shift in the symbiotic relationship between wives and girlfriends and the press.
Irish freelance photographer Mark Doyle recalls this shift.
When Coleen visited Ireland in 2012 to promote her Littlewoods collection, she stopped by for a drink at O’Donoghue’s Pub on Dublin’s Merrion Row.
Coleen marveled at the press photographers by sharing a selfie of herself enjoying a pint of Guinness. “Would be rude not to,” she wrote.
“We were taking her from the bar to the taxi when she was having a glass of Guinness,” he says. “The smartphone was a killer.”
But for some celebrities or celebrity spouses, it gave them agency and control.
“Now you take the picture. You post a photo of yourself…so you control the narrative… [celebrities] bypass the need to be there ell or Fashion or whatever,” said Conor Behan.
Our interest and fascination with who celebrities and famous footballers date hasn’t waned.
In fact, we’re arguably more invested in the little things in their lives than ever before.
The Wagatha Christie case was so compelling because it showed that despite this shift in power, some celebrities still feel the need to try to control reporting about themselves.
Away from the glamor of her million-pound lifestyle, the themes at the heart of the trial – betrayal, deceit, betrayal and pride – are very relatable.
And what do the two women have to gain?
“This case should never have gone to trial,” says Trinity professor and defamation law expert Neville Cox.
“I can’t see what’s in it [Vardy]… You sue to protect your good name. Is she really restoring her good name? Or has it been irreparably marred by the results of cross-examination?”
Many believe that Coleen turned out well: determined, accomplished and perceptive.
She’s even said to have signed a deal with Netflix on the case – maybe our 2000s nostalgia will have waned by the time of release, or maybe it’ll be an incentive not to cancel your subscription.
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/britain/coleen-rooney-and-rebekah-vardys-libel-trial-puts-final-nail-in-coffin-of-wag-dream-41672841.html Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy’s defamation trial puts the final nail in the coffin of the WAG dream