An illustration of the Pirates of the Caribbean Davy Jones with Rebekah Vardy's agent's phone.

Some of the most remarkable public drama we’ve ever seen between teammates’ wives is what’s going on between Coleen Rooney (wife of Wayne Rooney) and Rebekah Vardy (wife of Wayne’s England teammate Jamie Vardy). That started with Rooney conducting an Instagram sting back in 2019 and announcing that she’d “got to the bottom of it,” accusing Vardy of being the one who was leaking stories on her personal life to The Sun; we then saw a public denial from Vardy, which then escalated into Vardy filing papers for a libel lawsuit earlier this year. That lawsuit on this saga (which some of the British papers have delightfully dubbed “Wagatha Christie”) is now playing out in London’s Royal Courts of Justice, and Tom Peck of The Independent has a remarkable description of some of the cross-examination of Vardy that went down there Thursday:

It was shortly before lunch when it arrived, when Vardy had done seven-and-a-half hours of interrogation, all of which involves her being able to credibly claim that she would never collude with her agent to sell stories to The Sun. It was read out to her, by Rooney’s barrister. Three simple words. “It was me.”

To be clear, it was not Rebekah Vardy who said “it was me.” It was her agent, Caroline Watt, though that fact scarcely makes matters less tricky for her.

Watt’s own phone sadly went missing in the early stages of this case, when it dropped off the side of a boat and into the North Sea. Watt herself has also now sadly gone missing, in the sense that she has been deemed too unwell to give evidence in this trial.

(At one point, it was put to Vardy that it was somewhat helpful that crucial messages on Watt’s phone were now in “Davy Jones’s locker.” She turned to the judge to ask, “Who is Davy Jones? I don’t know who that is.” The judge’s reply, that it was “figurative”, did not appear to fully clear up the mystery.)

Anyway. Watt had said that “it was me” to make clear that Rooney was wrong to think that someone she “trusted” was leaking stories about her to the press. Wrong because it hadn’t been Vardy, it was merely her agent.

Here’s the context for that top illustration, via @IAmHappyToast on Twitter:

As Peck goes on to note, Vardy’s “it was my agent, not me” approach here doesn’t seem to work considering that “a neverending tranche of WhatsApp messages have been read out to her, all of them spelling out in grand detail the degree to which her and Watt appear to have worked together to provide stories to The Sun.” And those are the ones that were obtainable even after Watt’s phone fell into the North Sea (which was discussed back in those February filings). But it’s the discussion of Davy Jones’ locker that’s perhaps most remarkable. Apparently Rebekah Vardy is not familiar either with the seafaring metaphor, the more literal Pirates of the Caribbean version seen at top, or even the member of the Monkees with that name. That’s only part of the weirdness from these proceedings, though: Peck had more on that on Twitter.

And here are some more highlights, from Adam Crafton of The Athletic:

It’s yet to be determined how successful Vardy’s libel suit and “It was my agent, not me” claims will be. But we do thank her for bringing all of these details, and WhatsApp messages (those not lost to the North Sea) into the public record. And for informing us of her lack of awareness of Davy Jones.

[The Independent, Tom Peck and Adam Crafton on Twitter; image via @IAmHappyToast on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.