Rebekah Vardy trial – live: Wayne Rooney asked Jamie Vardy to ‘calm’ wife at Euros

Rebekah Vardy moved to tears in witness box during second day of evidence

Wayne Rooney asked teammate Jamie Vardy to get his wife to “calm down” during Euro 2016 at the request of the England manager, a court has heard.

Mr Rooney said that then-national team boss Roy Hodgson and assistant Gary Neville wanted him to speak to the Leicester strtiker about the “distracting” media attention Rebekah Vardy was receiving during the tournament.

Giving evidence at the High Court libel trial brought against his wife, Coleen, Mr Rooney said that “[Mr Hodgson and Mr Neville] asked me to, as captain, would I be able to speak to Mr Vardy on issues regarding his wife.”

“So I agreed to speak to Mr Vardy… to ask him to ask his wife to calm down… It was an awkward moment for me to speak to Jamie about his wife but I thought it was necessary having been asked by the England manager,” he added.

He clarified: “I was asked to speak to my team mate Jamie Vardy about the fact that Becky’s media activities were causing problems and distractions”.

Today marks day six of the libel trial against Ms Rooney, who is being sued by Ms Vardy for defamation after she publicly accused her of being the source of stories about her that were leaked to The Sun newspaper.

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‘My wife is an independent woman’, says Mr Rooney

Wayne Rooney has told the court that his wife is “an independent woman, who does her own thing, and I didn’t want to get involved at all.”

He said that in 2017 Ms Rooney spoke to him about leaks of her private information to The Sun. He didn’t know anything else about it until 2019, he told the court.

“In 2019 again she said there was more stories or posts getting released to the Sun newspaper and she believed it was Rebekah Vardy,” he said.

Asked by Mr Tomlinson whether he was surprised that his wife thought Ms Vardy was the source of the leaks, Mr Rooney said: “To that, not much, was I surprised? no.”

“Again I didnt want to get involved in it. I had my own work at the time I was still playing football and Coleen works independently herself and it’s not something we discussed again.”

Mr Rooney said that the trial has been hard to sit through. “It’s been a long week it’s the first time I’ve heard everything on this case. I’ve never discussed it with my wife.”

He condemned the online abuse against Ms Vardy as “disgusting”, adding: “It’s not right”.

“I’m here to support my wife,” Mr Rooney said. “This week here is the first time really that I have any understanding of how it’s all happened.”

Holly Bancroft17 May 2022 12:19

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Wayne Rooney asked Jamie Vardy to get Rebekah to ‘calm down’ during Euros 2016

Wayne Rooney has said he was told by England’s manager to speak to Jamie Vardy during the Euros 2016 about his wife’s media attention.

Mr Rooney said that “the england manager, Roy Hogson and his assistant manager Gary Neville…they asked me to, as captain, would I be able to speak to Mr Vardy on issues regarding his wife.”

Mr Rooney added: “I think we all knew that it was an awkward subject.”

“So I agreed to speak to Mr Vardy… to ask him to ask his wife to calm down,” Mr Rooney said.

“It was an awkward moment for me to speak to Jamie about his wife but I thought it was necessary having been asked by the england manager,” he added.

He clarified: “I was asked to speak to my team mate Jamie Vardy about the fact that Becky’s media activities were causing problems and distractions”.

“I was asked to speak to Mr Vardy by the England manager and the assistant manager and I carried out that instruction…I felt in the best interests of the rest of the team, and having been asked by the manager of the england team , I carried out that instruction,” Mr Rooney said.

When challenged by Ms Vardy’s lawyer that the conversation didn’t happen, Mr Rooney said: “I’m sat here under oath, I 100 percent spoke to Mr Vardy about this situation.”

Holly Bancroft17 May 2022 12:00

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The defense calls Wayne Rooney

Holly Bancroft17 May 2022 11:45

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Court is taking a short break – and then Wayne Rooney will be in the witness box

Holly Bancroft17 May 2022 11:33

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Rooney agent denies arranging staged paparazzi photos of Coleen

Paul Stretford has denied arranging staged paparazzi photos of Coleen Rooney to be taken.

In his witness statement, Mr Stretford said: “I understand that Rebekah Vardy has suggested in her correspondence with Simon Boyle, a journalist at The Sun, that I have an ‘army of f****** minions’ working for me and for Coleen.

“I further understand that Caroline Watt and Rebekah Vardy have alleged that I arrange for staged paparazzi shots of Coleen to be taken.

Mr Stretford also said in his witness statement that he “never got the impression that (Mrs Rooney) is particularly bothered about fame or even putting herself out there”.

Matt Mathers17 May 2022 11:31

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Rooney advisor: I had no idea Coleen was going to out Rebekah

An advisor to the Rooney family said he had “absolutely no idea” that Coleen planned to out Rebekah Vardy as the alleged person who had been leaking stories about her family to The Sun newspaper.

In a witness statement submitted to the trial, Paul Stretford said he only learned about Ms Rooney’s online sleuthing when she made her Instagram post on 9 October 2019.

He said he did not know “anything about the actual stories she had been uploading to her Instagram account. I was not consulted prior to Coleen’s post being drafted or uploaded either.”

Mr Stretford added: “Upon learning about Coleen’s post, I called Wayne to ask what was going on. I remember being annoyed that Coleen had expressly mentioned The Sun in her post because I thought it might lead to further difficulties with The Sun.

“Wayne said that Coleen was and had been really upset but I do not believe he had any more knowledge about what was going on than I did.

“It was at this stage that I became fully aware of the turmoil and upset that Coleen had been experiencing and the extent she had gone through to find the person responsible.”

Matt Mathers17 May 2022 11:30

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Coleen Rooney is ‘not bothered about fame’, Mr Stretford says

Wayne Rooney’s agent Paul Stretford has denied arranging staged paparazzi photos of Coleen Rooney to be taken.

In his witness statement, Mr Stretford said: “I understand that Rebekah Vardy has suggested in her correspondence with Simon Boyle, a journalist at The Sunthat I have an ‘army of f****** minions’ working for me and for Coleen.

“I further understand that Caroline Watt and Rebekah Vardy have alleged that I arrange for staged paparazzi shots of Coleen to be taken. “Again, this is untrue.”

Mr Stretford also said in his witness statement that he “never got the impression that (Mrs Rooney) is particularly bothered about fame or even putting herself out there”.

Holly Bancroft17 May 2022 11:22

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Vardy’s agent ‘called Wayne Rooney’s cousin a chav in WhatsApp exchange’

Wayne Rooney’s cousin Claire says she was referred to as “chavvy” in a WhatsApp message exchange between Rebekah Vardy and her agent.

In a witness statement submitted to the Wagatha Christie trial at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Claire Rooney said she was provided with an extract of messages between Ms Vardy and her agent, Caroline Watt.

The pair had been discussing who might be leaking stories about Mr Rooney’s wife Coleen to The Sun Newspaper.

“I can see that Caroline Watt suggests ‘It’s probably someone like Wayne’s chavvy sister'”, Claire Rooney wrote in her statement.

“Wayne doesn’t have a sister and so I assume that Caroline Watt is referring to me as Wayne’s cousin and because I still have the Rooney surname. I have never met Caroline Watt in my life, nor have I ever spoken to her.”

She added: “I am not aware that Coleen has either. I can confirm that I have never leaked information about Coleen or Wayne (or anyone else for that matter) to the press.”

Matt Mathers17 May 2022 11:15

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Wayne Rooney told agent that Coleen was ‘extremely upset’ about leaks

Wayne Rooney told his agent that Coleen was “extremely upset” about her private information was being leaked to The Sun in 2017, the court heard.

Mr Paul Stretford, Mr Rooney’s agent, said that he became aware of the leaks in 2017 when “I had a conversation with Mr Rooney.”

He said Mr Rooney “mentioned that Coleen was extremely upset about leaks regarding private information”. He added: “She was in a place where she wasn’t sure who to trust and was extremely upset about that information being leaked.”

Mr Stretford said that he did not discuss the issue with Ms Rooney. “I had no reason to discuss it. I took Mr Rooney at his word, and we carried on from there, we just didn’t have that discussion.”

Mr Stretford said that the next time he heard about it was when Ms Rooney did her ‘reveal post’ in 2019.

Holly Bancroft17 May 2022 10:57

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The defense calls Mr Paul Stretford, Wayne Rooney’s agent

Holly Bancroft17 May 2022 10:43

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