As Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney’s defamation trial is set to begin, the PA news agency is putting some of the people involved in the case under scrutiny.
– Rebekah Vardy
The footballer’s wife, who made the claim, Ms Vardy’s family, was thrust into the spotlight after her husband Jamie helped Leicester City on their way to an unlikely Premier League win in 2016.
The model and TV personality, 40, appeared on I’m A Celebrity in 2017 before later appearing on Dancing On Ice in 2021 and appearing on Loose Women.
The mother-of-five recently co-wrote a children’s book with her husband Jamie called Cedric The Little Sloth With A Big Dream, which follows a little sloth who hopes to become a footballer.
– Coleen Rooney
Ms Rooney, the footballer’s wife, who is defending the claim, is perhaps now better known as “Wagatha Christie” after her social media posts went viral at the heart of the defamation trial.
The 36-year-old has had a varied career, including television presenting, writing and hosting an exercise DVD.
Mrs Rooney met her husband when she was 12 when the couple attended the same school in Liverpool.
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They started dating when they both turned 16 and have four sons together – Kai Wayne, Klay Anthony, Kit Joseph and Cass Mac.
– Caroline Watts
Ms Vardy’s friend and agent, Ms Watt, attended some of the preliminary hearings, although she was not a party to the lawsuit or testified at the trial.
She will not attend the trial after a consultant forensic psychiatrist prepared a report that concluded she was incapable of oral testimony.
Ms Watt is perhaps best known as the owner of a phone that crashed into the North Sea following a preliminary hearing – part of what Ms Rooney’s lawyers have described as “a series of unfortunate events” over the disclosure of the case.
At the final preliminary hearing in late April, Ms Rooney’s lawyers claimed that new testimony from Ms Vardy “suggests that Ms Watt was the source of the leak but alleges that (Ms Vardy) ‘did not authorize or condone her'” .
– Jamie Vardy
A relative late bloomer in footballing terms, Mr Vardy’s career as a striker has risen from clubs outside the league to the top of English football with Leicester City.
His 24 goals helped guide the Foxes to their remarkable 5,000-1 Premier League triumph six years ago, while he was also part of the squad that clinched the FA Cup in May last year.
Foxes fans coined the chant “Jamie Vardy’s having a party” amid his goalscoring.
With wife Vardy, he has children Sofia, seven, Finley, five, and two-year-old Olivia Grace. He also has a child from a previous relationship.
– Wayne Rooney
Mr Rooney, who burst onto the football scene almost two decades ago as an amazing teenage talent for Everton, went on to become England’s top outfield player and record goalscorer.
He collected a lot of trophies as a striker at Manchester United and later played in the USA.
Mr Rooney retired from playing last year and was appointed permanent manager of recently relegated championship team Derby County.
Earlier this year he was the subject of a documentary on Amazon Prime Video about his life and career.
– Hugh Tomlinson QC
Mr. Tomlinson, an experienced media lawyer, is leading Ms. Vardy’s legal team in the defamation case.
His previous clients, appointed to practice law in 1983, include the Prince of Wales in his case against the Mail on Sunday over his diaries, easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and oligarch Roman Abramovich.
Mr. Tomlinson, who became QC in 2002, is a board member of the campaign group Hacked Off.
– David Sherborne
Mr Sherborne also has a reputation for being the lawyer the rich and famous turn to for legal advice – his past client list includes Diana, Princess of Wales, Hollywood actor Michael Douglas, former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie.
Ms Rooney’s lawyer is no stranger to high-profile defamation cases before the Royal Courts of Justice, notably representing Johnny Depp in the actor’s 2020 defamation lawsuit against the Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN).
The attorney, who was appointed to the Bar in 1992, has also represented dozens of plaintiffs, including celebrities, who sued NGN for News Of The World phone hacking.
– Ms. Judge Steyn
The High Court judge overseeing the case, Ms Justice Steyn, was appointed in 2019 and sits in the Queen’s Bench Division – the part of the High Court dealing with defamation, personal injury and breach of contract claims.
In addition to overseeing the “Wagatha Christie” lawsuit, other high-profile cases she has heard include Arron Banks’ defamation lawsuit against journalist Carole Cadwalladr and the FDA union’s unsuccessful legal challenge to Boris Johnson’s decision to indict Priti Patel after bullying to support allegations.
The daughter of former Law Lord Lord Steyn, Mrs Justice Steyn, she covered a wide range of cases as a solicitor, including a case concerning the expansion of Heathrow Airport.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/whos-who-in-the-wagatha-christie-case-41631770.html Who is who in the Wagatha Christie case?