This year’s aptly-dubbed “Wagatha Christie” libel trial saw Rebekah Vardy (seen at left above, wife of England soccer striker Jamie Vardy) suing Coleen Rooney (seen at right above, wife of Vardy’s former teammate Wayne Rooney) for libel, following Rooney’s “Instagram sting” in 2019 that saw her accuse Rebekah Vardy of leaking stories on her to the tabloids. The trial saw bizarre eventually saw a ruling by High Court justice Dame Karen Margaret Steyn that went in Rooney’s favor.
That ruling, in July, said that what Rooney posted was “substantially true.” It also described Rooney’s evidence as “honest and reliable” versus “”manifestly inconsistent… evasive or implausible” for Vardy’s. And on Tuesday, Steyn ruled that Vardy must pay 90 percent of Rooney’s legal costs from the trial period, which would come to an estimated £1.5 million (or around $1.7 million U.S.), with the first £800,000 ($916,000 U.S.) due by November 15. Here’s more on that from Bethany Minelle at Sky News:
In the case dubbed “war of the wags”, Rooney incurred eyewatering costs of more than £2 million. However, £350,000 of those costs had already been racked up ahead of the trial, so were removed to produce a final figure of £1,667,860.
The final costs ruling will be confirmed once Rooney submits her final total costs bill.
Although the exact figure of Vardy’s own costs is not known, it’s likely to be a similar amount to Rooney’s, stretching into the millions.
Vardy has also been ordered to pay part of the costs of seven journalists who were potential witnesses but did not actually give evidence in the trial. Rooney has also been ordered to pay a portion of their costs.
Here’s what Rooney posted after the July verdict:
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This is still going to wind up being costly for Rooney, even with Vardy paying 90 percent of those costs. The remaining 10 percent from the trial alone would come to around £167,000, which would combine with the £350,000 in pre-trial costs for £517,000 (around $592,000 U.S.). And that’s an expensive price to pay to defend yourself on something ultimately ruled “substantially true.” (The reported “multimillion-pound deal with Disney” she’s secured for a documentary on this should offset that, though.) But it’s wound up being an even more expensive price for Vardy.
[Sky News; photo of Vardy at the 2018 World Cup from Антон Зайцев/soccer.ru, via Wikipedia, screengrab of Rooney from her Coleen’s Real Women show on YouTube in 2019]