Who is in the ‘Wagatha Christie’ case?


s The contempt case between Rebecca Vardy and Colin Rooney is set to be decided Friday, the PA news agency is looking at some of the people involved in the case.

– Rebecca Verdi

The wife of the claimant footballer, Mrs Vardy’s family was thrust into the spotlight after her husband Jamie helped Leicester City win the Premier League in 2016.

The model and TV personality, 40, appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here in 2017, before appearing on Dancing On Ice in 2021, as well as appearing on Loose Women.

The mother-of-five recently wrote a children’s book with her husband Jamie, titled Cedric the Little Sloth with a Big Dream, which follows a little sloth who hopes to become a footballer.

Colin Rooney (below) and Rebecca Vardy (above) are both expected to give evidence in the blasphemy claim (John Walton/PA) / PA Archive

– Colin Rooney

Defending the claim was the footballer’s wife Mrs Rooney, perhaps now known as “Wagatha Christie” after her social media post about the defamation case went viral.

The 36-year-old has had a varied career that includes TV presenting and writing, as well as fronting exercise DVDs.

Mrs Rooney met her husband Wayne when she was 12, when the pair went to the same school in Liverpool.

They started dating when they both turned 16 and have four sons – Kai Wayne, Clay Anthony, Kit Joseph and Cass Mack.

– Caroline Watt

Mrs. Vardy’s friend and former agent, Mrs. Watt, has attended some preliminary hearings despite not being a party to the claim or giving evidence in the trial.

He did not take part in the trial after a consultant forensic psychiatrist submitted a report concluding he was unfit to give oral evidence.

Mrs Watt owns a phone which fell into the North Sea after an initial hearing – in what Mrs Rooney’s lawyers described as a “series of unfortunate events” revealed in the case.

At a final preliminary hearing in late April, Mrs. Rooney’s lawyers claimed that a new witness statement from Mrs. Vardi “suggests that Mrs. Watt was the source of the leak but claims that (Mrs. Vardi ) did not ‘give him permission or pardon'”.

– Jamie Vardy

A late bloomer in football terms, Mr Vardy’s career as a striker has seen him rise from non-league clubs to the English game with Leicester City.

His 24 goals helped the Foxes to a stunning 5,000-1 Premier League victory six years ago, while he was also part of the squad that lifted the FA Cup in May last year.

Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy (Fabrizio Corraditti/PA) / PA Wire

Fox fans chanted “Jamie Vardy’s party” amid his goalscoring exploits.

Mrs Verdi has children Sophia, seven, Finley, five, and two-year-old Olivia Grace. He also has a child from a previous relationship.

– Wayne Rooney

Bursting onto the football scene almost two decades ago as a prodigious teenage talent playing for Everton, Mr Rooney became England’s most capped outfield player and record goalscorer.

He collected trophies as a forward with Manchester United, later playing in America.

Mr Rooney retired as a player last year and was manager at Derby County until his departure in June. He was appointed head coach of his former club DC United in July.

In 2022 he was the subject of a documentary on Amazon Prime Video about his life and career.

Derby County manager Wayne Rooney is also due to give evidence in the contempt of court case (Steven Paston/PA) / PA Wire

– Hugh Tomlinson QC

Mr Tomlinson, an experienced media barrister, is fronting Ms Verdi’s legal team in the libel case.

Called to the Bar in 1983, his former clients include the Prince of Wales, who used his diaries in a legal battle against the Mail on Sunday, EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ivano and oligarch Roman Abramovich.

Mr Tomlinson, who became a QC in 2002, is a board member of campaign group Hacked Off.

– David Sherborne

Mr Sherborne also has a reputation as a barrister who turns to the rich and famous for legal help – his former client list includes Diana, Princess of Wales, Hollywood actor Michael Douglas and former Prime Minister Sir Tony Blair and his wife Cherie are included.

Mrs Rooney’s barristers are no strangers to high-profile libel cases in the Royal Courts of Justice, most notably Johnny Depp in the actor’s 2020 defamation claim against The Sun, publisher of newsgroup Newspapers (NGN). represent.

The barrister, who was called to the bar in 1992, has also represented dozens of claimants, including celebrities, suing NGN over phone hacking at the News of the World.

Mrs Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne (Aaron Chown/PA) / PA Wire

— Mrs. Justice Stein

The High Court judge overseeing the case, Mrs Justice Stein, 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. Is.

As well as overseeing the “Vagatha Christie” claim, other notable cases he has heard include Aaron Banks’ misconduct claim against journalist Carol Cadwalader and Boris Johnson’s support for Priti Patel after allegations of bullying. The decision includes an unsuccessful legal challenge by an FDA union.

Mrs Justice Steyn, the daughter of former Law Lord Lord Steyn, covered a number of cases as a barrister, including the Heathrow Airport expansion case.