‘It was me’ – no sudden plot twist in Vagatha Christie trial

“it was me.” Those are the three “kind-of-a-big-deal” words in matters of this nature. Real or fictional in crime and courtroom dramas, the “it was me” moment is where the plot begins to resolve itself.

At Rebekah Vardy, facing cross-examination at the Royal Court of Justice for a second full day, she should have known that the “it was me” moment would have been coming since at least February. And what makes it even more strange is that he is not a defendant. This is an outrageous action that he himself has brought.

She is suing Colleen Rooney for daring to suggest that it was she who leaked various stories about Rooney to The Sun newspaper (stories that Rooney made up solely to implicate the perpetrator) , now earning the unshakable moniker “Vagatha Christie”).

Verdi must have seen that moment approaching the horizon like a train, on whose tracks she has stood for the past three months, but refused to move out of her way.

This came shortly before lunch, when Verdi underwent seven-and-a-half hours of interrogation, all of which included him being able to credibly claim that he had never accompanied his agent to sell stories to The Sun. Will not collude. Rooney’s barrister read it to him. three simple words. “it was me.”

To be clear, it wasn’t Verdi who said “it was me”. It was his agent, Carolyn Watts. Although this fact hardly makes matters less difficult for him.


Colleen and Wayne Rooney leave the Royal Court of Justice, London, during the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Colleen Rooney. James Manning / PA Wire

Watt’s own phone tragically disappeared in the early stages of the case, when it fell on the side of a boat and into the North Sea. Watt herself is now tragically missing, in the sense that she has been deemed too unwell to testify at this trial.

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(At one point, Vardy was told that it was somewhat helpful that important messages on Watt’s phone were now in “Davy Jones’s locker.” He asked the judge: “Who is Davy Jones? I don’t know. Who is that.” The judge’s answer, that it was “figurative”, did not fully explain the mystery.)

still. Watt stated that “it was me” to clarify that Rooney was wrong to think that someone he “trusted” was leaking stories about him to the press. Wrong because it wasn’t Verdi, it was only his agent.

It is on this distinction that Verdi’s defense rests (though we must again clarify that he is not the defendant, this madness was his whole idea).

Watt, who had access to Verdi’s social media accounts – or, if not, by some process of digital alchemy – was passing stories from Rooney’s personal Instagram to The Sun newspaper reporters. And that wordy had nothing to do with it.

So it’s a little more inconvenient that Vardy had to spend 10 whole excruciating hours in a witness box at the Royal Court of Justice, where a never-ending tranche of WhatsApp messages were read to him, all of them spelling out stories to The Sun. He elaborated on the extent to which he and Watt worked together to make it happen.

When Rooney dropped his blatant tweet nearly three years ago, he was immediately declared beyond compare as a private investigator. She had put up completely fake stories on her Instagram, made sure only one account could see them (Wardy’s account), then watched as these stories made their way into The Sun.

But this jawdropper isn’t at least equally crossed by the Jaws incident, first in this case, where a large number of whats were shared between Vardy and Watt, mistakenly shared with Rooney’s legal team. were done.

The consequences of that accidental leak have been spectacular. This has given rise to incidents such as Verdi, stone-faced in the stand of the witness, claiming that an affidavit given to the court was not intentionally untrue, but was simply false as he shared the WhatsApp messages in question. did not read.

which could be true. Maybe he didn’t read them. But he wrote them.

To establish the degree of Verdi’s contact with the newspapers, the court heard about an incident in a restaurant at the World Cup in Russia in 2018. Vardy denies that he persuaded a large group from England to gather outside a restaurant for a photo. , where he had reportedly arranged for them to confront a photographer who was supposed to be hiding in the bushes, but who had not been kept up to date about last-minute changes to the plan, so instead he took his elder brother. The size stood there with the camera out, much to the disdain of the rest of his party.

Verdi denies that it “nervoused” her, but she also denied why, if she wasn’t nervous about it, she’d tell her agent, Watt, to “f***! ” Sending messages with words.


Rebekah Vardy, wife of Leicester City soccer player Jamie Vardy, leaves the Royal Court of Justice on May 12, 2022 in London, Britain. Reuters/Henry Nichols

It is also important in Rooney’s case that she establishes that Verdi had a long and prosperous relationship with The Sun and its showbiz reporter Andy Hall. And it is equally important in Verdi’s case that she demonstrates that no such relationship existed.

And it’s a case she continued to make when she featured, for example, an Instagram photo of herself eating kebabs at The National Television Awards in The Sun’s hospitality area, for which she personally accompanied Hall. At the same time, the court heard, not knowing whether he was even there or not.

Her case hinges on convincing a judge that she would never message Hall with stories about other people from The Sun. And his agent includes phrases like “messaged hall” in his WhatsApp.

There is also an unfortunate fact that, in 2019, when she responded to Rooney, claiming that many people had access to her account and that it could have been any one of them, she inadvertently gave us a veil of magic. Back, let’s look at WhatsApp messages. , again with Watt, where the answer is worked out, not to mention a defense suggested by Watt, in which they can claim that he left the company and someone else grabbed his laptop.

Watt points out that this line should only be used when it is “undoubtedly clear” to everyone that it was him.

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It is important to remember that since this is only a civil libel lawsuit, the judge must decide whether Verdi was involved in selling these stories to The Sun only on a “balance of possibilities” as opposed to “beyond a reasonable doubt”. . It is, in other words, more likely that she was not involved.

There is still a chance that Vardy could win. The judge may still decide that the evidence against him is not sufficient. At that point, Verdi could decide to bring damages.

It would then be up to the judge how much damage she would do to her reputation by suggesting that she leak the stories to the press. After all, this is a very mean and clever thing to do. And while they may say it’s not certain that he leaked it, the intricate details of other such examples have been laid bare, and they are extraordinarily ugly.

One approaches such a metaphor with great reluctance, but if you wrongly accuse Harold Shipman of killing his grandmother, he may have a defamation case, but for him to suggest it is entirely It doesn’t get easier that your outrageous suggestion was left his reputation in shambles.

The matter continues.