Wagatha Christie trial

Doesn’t look to be any sign of a last minute settlement so all kicks off today

Allegedly the parties are worried revelations about their private lives will come out that will “harm their reputations”. Difficult to think what non-criminal activity could bring their reputations lower tbh

Not sure that there is enough popcorn in the world for this.

Can we go over the unfortunate accidents that befell Team Vardy during the disclosure phase again? That's never going to get old.

Even the most naive person would surely be a wee bit sceptical of Team Vardy's series of unfortunate mishaps on their disclosure obligations...

I am very much hoping that the decisions which went against Team Rooney on interim applications do not prevent them from cross-examining at trial about the various devices which were eaten by dogs, lost at sea etc.

The problem team Rooney has (I think, not my area) is that Coleen posted "it's Rebekah Vardy's account". Almost certainly on advice from lawyers that this would cover the possibility that it was being done by somebody managing RV's social media accounts, rather than by her personally.

The early ruling about the meaning of the words, was that this would have been understood by the public as an allegation against RV personally.

Team Rooney tried to join RV's manager (of some description) to the proceedings but failed.

If the court concludes that RV's manager was doing it without RV's knowledge, I think RV wins the claim?

Bloody love this whole story! Team Rooney 

I listened to a Guardian podcast about it that said that Vardy is pretty likely to win as it is hard to prove it was specifically her leaking the stories. 

Made even more difficult by the sheer number of unfortunate accidents that have happened along to way to the Vardy mobiles and laptops. Bloody North Sea, eh? 

 Vardy must be on more than that? Plus his sponsorship deals ofc

the mishaps with the phones/tablets remind me of the time Alan Partridge threw all of his VAT receipts off a cross channel ferry 

when I was at school there was a fellow who claimed, on a Monday morning, that over the weekend he had been on his way home from the library where he'd been doing his homework (chinny reck) and as he stood at the crossing before the lights changed, a white Mercedes convertible (nice touch of detail) pulled up and a man smoking a cigar wound the window down, growled at him through a moustache and pulled a gun out of the glove compartment, demanded his homework, he obliged and the lights changed and he disappeared in a haze of tyre smoke. 



is there no defence 2 libel? reasonable belief?

or if u sed it and got it wrong, even if u truly and reasonably believed it, r u fooked?

i get the point around difficult 2 prove it was vardy herself, but it seems 2 me that u can still reasonably believe it 2 have been her

I don't understand what that means clubman.

I do hope Vardy loses though. She couldn't be more abominable if she was made out of snow

Vardy is now being asked whether she respects other people's privacy. She says she does. 

The court is now hearing quotes from an interview she once gave about having sex with Peter Andre: "Peter's hung like a small chipolata... the smallest trouser equipment I've ever seen."”

Coleen's lawyer David Sherborne showed the court a message exchange between Rebekah and her agent Caroline Watt about someone allegedly posting photoshopped images online which make her look thinner than she is in real life - dubbed 'the photoshop girl exchange'.

In the message, Rebekah asks: 'Can we not leak a story?'

Ms Watt replies: 'Could only do it with pictures', to which Rebekah replies, 'FFS'.

Mr Sherborne then asked for clarification about the acronym FFS: 'What does FFS stand for?'

Rebekah then asked the judge if she could say it in court. When she was given  permission, she said that it means: 'For f*** sake'.

presumably he knew and just made her want to look like a dick? or do litigators really need to check every acronym?

He probably gets paid as much if not more than most silks. There are disadvantages to being a silk. 

Wonder how much the PR operation around the Depp v Hear trial is costing?

Depp must be spending a fortune on people to set up fake youtube accounts and game the algorithm so that the pro-Depp videos pop up on the front page of youtube.

Defence of honest opinion - covers a statement of opinion. This was a statement of fact.

Defence of reasonable belief - no. Why do you think people come to England for libel tourism?

The injustice here is that she said it was RV's account. And that appears to be a true statement of fact. But the judge already decided that most people would think that meant RV personally.

Hasn’t Counsel for Rooney said she is not getting a fair trial? I doubt he normally makes that comment. He must think that of some of the decisions. 

I’m 100% team Rooney but the earlier decision that the meaning of her statement was to accuse Vardy personally seems v hard for her.  I find that decision mad - her tweet was plainly worded to encompass the possibility it was someone else with access to her account.  However presumably it would be enough for her agent to have done it with her knowledge/at her direction (which is likely the case I guess).

Presumably Sherborne needs to prove Vardy directed the agent? Hence all the focus on times Vardy is actively engaged in leaking stuff. 

Makes you wonder how bad the stuff was on the North Sea phone. Presumably the best evidence of the agent leaking unilaterally would also be on there 

yeah Rooney is a bit fvcked by that earlier judgement- challengeable? - especially as Team Vardy has ensured all evidence destroyed. 

Careful Bullace, that sounds like quite the statement.

Au contraire, it is clear that the fragrant Ms. Vardy and her cohort were the tragic and unwitting victims of a series of wholly unconnected and unforeseeable events over which they exercised absolutely no control, that had the combined effect of almost entirely undermining their determined and valiant efforts to comply with their disclosure obligations in good time and in good faith.

How is she fvcked? There seems to be a clear pattern emerging that Vardy consistently told her agent to leak stories. Surely the court will need to assume that the same happened here, given all the evidence that's been destroyed? Otherwise it's just a green light for guilty parties to destroy evidence in future cases like this

I find that decision mad - her tweet was plainly worded to encompass the possibility it was someone else with access to her account. 

Me too, given that saying “it came from thingy’s account but it might have been someone else using her login details” is hardly Twitter repartee. 

Did vardy tell he agent to leak stories about Rebecca vardy, or stories about other people that were not connected to her?

Surely Vardy will be absolutely buried here. I suspect a subsequent case against her lawyers incoming….

got it thanks spurius

judges should throw the book @ ne1 who loses evidence

so here find in favour of vardy on the technicality but rule out compensation or awarding costs due 2 failures

"I joked about leaking stuff all the time but it was only a joke apart from that one time I did do it but otherwise it was always a joke and that is OBVIOUS"

I think DS has got this over the bar in terms of standard of proof? That Vardy leaked the stories via agent more likely than not? 

The ‘I didn’t. Know my agent was leaking it’ surely won’t wash especially as she isn’t giving evidence. That coupled with evidence destruction and a judge only decision….

Why do these women need agents? Or go around lobbing law suits at each other. Most are thick as two short planks and haven't really done anything except marry famous footballers.

A bit of entertainment for the tabloids I suppose.

Surely someone will be giving evidence that is standard practice for celebs' agents to leak stories about their clients?

All vardy needs to do is mention max clifford and everyone will say oh yeah  of course it wasn't you.

Vardy is clearly a wrong’un and it’s “obvious” that she connived in leaking from her account - but has spud’s mrs “proved” that she did? La Vardy having destroyed everything which might prove and agent not taking the stand. 

Key difference with Clifford is that he leaked stories on his own clients to build their brand. This agent was ostensibly leaking stories about other people on behalf of her client which is very different.

You would like to hope and think that Mr. Vardy and Mr. Rooney would just tell them to stop it. You're not doing us any favours and you (and probably us) are being fleeced by every con artist around for some meangless tittle-tattle that nobody really cares about.

Doesn’t she have PR people? Who thought this was a good idea? She is getting fvcking rinsed in there

Is that right Escaped? I haven't been following in great detail, but apart from the Rooney allegation, it seems that the other stories that were leaked did involve RV?

In Galsworthy's 'A Modern Comedy' set in 1922

- Tories assert they provide strong and stable government

 - new MPs learn that people don't vote for fundamental economic reform, they vote for a shilling off the income tax

- the wives end up suing each other for libel because they are bored to insanity by their highly privileged lives.

Just observing. 

What I don’t understand is what was Vardy’s motivation here? 

It’s very obviously from the evidence that she had access to materials that were being leaked and was engaged in constant discussion with her agent about leaking stuff. 

But why? was she getting paid for leaking? It was she just maliciously tearing others down for fun? 

Ok. After further reading she was developing a ‘special relationship’ with a journo at the Sun who would write positive stories about her and for the drink water story she was asking for payment. 

so she definitely had both means and motivation. 

@amithesucker - the agent was hired to promote the RV brand. as a side hustle, stories about other footballers / minor celebs were allegedly leaked / sold by the agent with / without RV's knowledge / express instruction BECAUSE SHE'S ONLY JOKING!!!111!!


I would like to see RV winning £1 damages and each party bearing their own costs. RV has killed her own reputation quite successfully, colleen comes out quite well on balance / by comparison (even her £20 zara dress vs RV's prada costume yesterday was masterful) BUT dear god. I am v amused by the FA Family Liason person who is going to give evidence that RV sat in seats not allocated to her directly behind Colleen at some tournament so that she caught more camera time on Colleen's coat tails. RV's explanation is - it's all lies and the family liaison lady just took against her (for no reason at all, obviously)

The current and recently retired footballers in their 30's that are funding this legal fees orgy are of course richer than croesus now but, as boris becker might tell them, they are a long time retired. No wonder Wayne is pulling a face like a pitbull licking piss off a nettle and Vardy is nowhere to be seen.

limey - i used to live next to a prem player. He did 10 years in the prem, like  you say - earned more money than god (but without vardy / rooney boot / shirt type deals and international). His sensibly bought property portfolio / wine investments / art etc etc have all gone in a massive fire sale. They had to move out somewhere more affordable. Then they had to move again within 2 years to somewhere even more affordable. Currently on a new build estate on the outskirts of a large town, cheek by jowl with neighbours / paper walls and one fiat 500 between them. He's barely worked a day since (his wife has gone back to work and is grafting, but a decade of moving house on very short notice has left her previously impressive career rather hard to reestablish). a remarkably common story I believe.

Be interesting to see if Rooney ever made a drop hands/£1 damages offer. If so Vardy’s going to look a mug as well as a generally awful person.

Interesting that, escaped. It must be really tough for most retired footballers. Even if quite famous and they are able to leverage that for what we would consider decent earnings, it would still be a step down and they must be conscious that with every season that passes their worth on the pundit/celebrity circuit depreciates a little more. Who's going to want to pay for an expert dressing room view 10 years after you've been in a dressing room?

Quite a few knock about on match days at their former clubs as ‘hosts’ to the prawn sandwich brigade in the executive boxes.

Or have gigs on North Norfolk Digital as co-commentators.

I suppose it’s better than a buying and running a boozer when you retire, as happened to former players in the 60’s and 70’s.

So far, the case seems to be a masterclass in how and when, not to do High Court litigation. But there's still a load more witness evidence to come.

foreign tv is a decent enough gig - commentating on big UK games. Otherwise - if you've upset people and therefore aren't getting hired to coach / scout - screwed. He made several poor investments and it killed the golden goose.

Marshall - boozer, newsagent or, in the case of Norman Hunter, a sports shop in Headingley!

Can't help but wonder whether psychologically it might have been better for them in the 60's and 70's. That way they knew that they were going to have to do normal work for the remaining 30 or so years of their working life. 

As a young student I worked in a bar where an ex Man U player from the 60's used to drink. He had been a regular in the team with Best and Charlton but once retiring through injury he moved home and went into the wine trade. Nothing massively successful but he was happy with it and remained so 20 years later when I knew him. No airs and graces or bitterness and he was mad keen on wines and everything to do with them. It was only months after first speaking with him that someone else mentioned to me his past career. When thinking about this just now, given it was 30 years ago when I last saw him I did a quick google and sadly he died a couple of years ago. RIP John Fitzpatrick.

Can they not just ask The Sun who leaked it?

Suspect this is covered by journalistic protection of sources, even if deepthroat in this case is more likely to be the story than the source 

can someone who has been following this explain something that i am curious about.

the news reports say that Rooney posted three stories which she limited so that they were only visible to Vardy's account, all three of which were leaked. after which, she exposed Vardy['s account] as the source.

was this a culmination of a longer effort of posting stories to limited groups and cross-referencing the leaked stories with the accounts who saw those stories, gradually narrowing the list of possible culprits, like a social media version of Cluedo?

or did she suspect it was Vardy all along and just go straight for her?

faff - ever decreasing circle i think.  which means she had to think of a lot of pointless fibs that were leaked - so effectively she was the source of her own stories

"Rooney's lawyer claims WhatsApp messages that would show the leaking of stories to the Sun are on a phone dropped off the side of a boat.

He says it is now "lying at the bottom of sea in Davy Jones' locker".

Vardy asks the court: "Who is Davy Jones?"

The judge intervenes."


awesome (also literally minutes apart saying she doesn't watch tv then claiming to be too distracted by Dancing on Ice to whatapp her agent)

thx escaped. that's what i previously thought, but a summary of the background on the Sky News website suggested that she planted only three stories and that she limited all of them to just Vardy. not that it matters very much - i was really just curious about how many fake stories she had to invent before she identified the source of the leak.

hard to have too much sympathy for Vardy, but it is sad that she got so much ugly online abuse. if she loses (and probably even if she wins), one imagines that she will get even more after this.

apart from that, it's comedy gold. whoever wins, we should start crowdfunding an appeal.

There's that guy who was a US star in the NHL or NFL (I forget which) for over a decade who started his own private equity fund afterwards and is genuinely killing it (he has a TV studio built in the office of the fund so that he can still commentate on games!)


There was also that Premiership player who famously collapsed on the field from a heart attack or something about ten years ago (I forget his name) - he was actually a former student of my wife's from school and he came back to the school to tell the kids similar stories to the above about how Premiership doesn't mean riches forever and they need to have a skill they can rely on after playing and how he was training to be an accountant etc. 

Steve Young Stru. 

He wasn’t some football chump who used a rookie pay cheque to start the business either,  Super Bowl winning quarterback. Absolute baller. 

Steve Young - yes, thanks! 

Apparently he really downplays the NFL career stuff and tries to focus on the biz stuff instead of relying on his celebrity and keeps that stuff to a minimum

Heh. Vardy shitting herself that Rooney had found a new witness this Davy Jones lad who is going to grass her up with the phone.

@escaped , christ I just don't know how that which you describe could happen. 100k plus a week as a salary is a huge amount, you just cannot spend that week in week out for ten years, unless you gamble.

Based on the latest reports of the x-x, it's hard to see how she's not going to lose this even with the unfair help she is getting from the court.

They have WhatsApps from her agent, to her, laughing about how she is selling Rooney's  private insta stories to the press.

Vardy's response in x-x to one of these is that it arrived at bathtime and she didn't respond?

If she wins this case then the English libel laws are a joke. If you take a step back and think about what libel laws are for, they're not to hand somebody like this a win.