The “Wagatha Christie” defamation trial wrapped up last October, but a new documentary on it is now set to come out. That trial was so named because of Coleen Rooney’s intense detective efforts and sting operations against Rebekah Vardy over Vardy allegedly leaking material on her to British tabloids. It took place while both were married to members of the England national soccer team, Wayne Rooney and Jamie Vardy respectively. (They remain married to those people, but Rooney is now coaching with MLS’ D.C. United, while Vardy continues to play with Leicester City, but hasn’t appeared for England since 2018.)
The trial, which featured incredible testimony on everything from phones being thrown into the North Sea to “Who is Davy Jones?”, was one of the strangest sports-adjacent sagas in memory. It concluded last October with Vardy not only losing her suit against Rooney, but also being ordered to pay Rooney 90 percent of Rooney’s legal costs, a estimated £1.5 million at that time ($1.7 million U.S.). And now, a three-part documentary featuring Rooney and her side of the bizarre saga is set to debut on Disney platforms on Oct. 18, with it streaming on Disney+ in the U.K. and on Hulu stateside. Here’s more on that from Stephanie Chase of Digital Spy:
The documentary’s official synopsis reads: “Uncovering one of the biggest tabloid news stories in Britain for the last decade, it reveals how Coleen turned amateur online sleuth to find an explanation for why private stories concerning herself and her family continued to appear in the media.
“It examines the circumstances that led to her infamous Instagram post that ‘broke the internet’ all the way to Coleen successfully defending herself in one of the UK’s highest-profile High Court defamation cases of recent years.
“As well as the case itself, it will explore how Coleen has had her life played out in public for the last 20 years. We know her as one of Britain’s most famous celebrities and wife of England’s record-scoring footballer Wayne Rooney.”
Channel 4 previously did a two-part docuseries based on the Wagatha Christie events last year. That series, titled Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama, saw actors in the key roles, but used verbatim court transcripts. And the BBC also did its own documentary. But this Disney one is certainly notable given Rooney’s own participation, and it will be interesting to hear her comments on this.
As for why this isn’t branded “Wagatha Christie,” there’s a story there too. Apparently, that trademark is already taken. By Rebekah Vardy. Here’s more on that from Sky News’ Connor Sephton this April:
Rebekah Vardy has trademarked the phrase “Wagatha Christie” – despite the fact she didn’t come up with the pun.
The play on words emerged soon after Coleen Rooney released an Instagram post that accused Vardy of leaking stories to the press.
…Intellectual property experts believe Vardy may now use the “Wagatha Christie” brand to cash in – and she could command a fee from anyone who uses the term.
Records from the Intellectual Property Office suggest the trademark could end up being used on clothes, beauty products, mugs, glasses, jewellery and even non-alcoholic beverages.
So this documentary doesn’t come with the full most common term around the scandal. But at least they’re able to work “Wagatha” in. We’ll see how it turns out.