Celebrities

Rebekah Vardy flees courtroom on final day of libel trial

Rebekah Vardy made a quick exit from the courtroom, with a laptop in hand, about half an hour after the final day of her libel trial began.

It’s not yet clear why she left the courtroom early – after doing the same on two occasions earlier this week – however, after nearly an hour, she returned to sit in front of her lawyers.

Vardy is suing Coleen Rooney for libel after Coleen accused her of leaking ‘false stories’ about her private life to the press in October 2019, following a months-long ‘sting operation’ which saw Coleen dubbed ‘Wagatha Christie’. Vardy denies the allegations.

Before Vardy left the courtroom today, Rooney’s barrister had begun presenting his closing argument, telling the court his client ‘was brought here by Mrs Vardy because of the reveal post’, while also adding the court ‘can and should conclude’ that the loss of WhatsApp messages between Vardy and her agent Caroline Watt was ‘the result of deliberate deletion’.

The barrister told the court that Vardy and Watt were the ‘only possible suspects’ for leaking information on the gender selection post to the Sun newspaper and alleged they had passed on Rooney’s information over the flooded basement post too, following ‘fake’ Instagrams to her private account.

He said it was ‘more probable than not that they were secretly passing information on to The Sun’.

Discussing the missing parts of the WhatsApp chat between Vardy and her agent, Sherborne earlier said: ‘The fact that a successful export and download of the data had already occurred before the supposed malfunction…. is critical.’

Mr Sherborne said that Vardy’s evidence is that the ‘corruption supposedly happened’ when she tried to upload the file in stage two of the data export, continuing: ‘It simply was not possible for what she claims happened to cause the loss of data on the device.

‘Try as she might, Mrs Vardy’s counsel put the question again and again to no avail. It is not a possibility.’

Mr Sherborne said there was ‘only one conclusion’, that Mrs Vardy had deliberately destroyed parts of the chat.

He added: ‘It was done to cover up incriminating evidence.’

Coleen and Wayne Rooney were not in attendance on the final day of the seven-day trial due to a ‘long-standing travel arrangement’.

Their barrister told the court that the couple have asked him to pass on ‘individual apologies’ and to explain #that they intend no disrespect to the court’.

The lawyer, highlighting that the husband and wife had attended the trial throughout so far, added: ‘They had a long-standing travel arrangement with their four children which was booked in advance by their lawyers.’

Mr Sherborne said this was done on the understanding that Thursday was not going to be a day the court was sitting.

The judge, Mrs Justice Steyn, said: ‘I don’t take offence’.

Discussing the viral social media post, Mr Sherbourne told the court: ‘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.

‘She finds herself at the end of a seven-day libel trial, and for what?’

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