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Britain's 'Wag Wars' reach the High Court, as footballers' wives clash over 'leaked' stories

November 20, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: X at Echo Arena on April 21, 2018 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

A high-profile public spat between footballers' wives Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy reached Britain's High Court on Thursday, as libel proceedings began in the celebrity whodunnit saga over leaked tabloid stories that has captivated much of the nation for over a year.

London (CNN)A high-profile public spat between footballers' wives Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy reached Britain's High Court on Thursday, as libel proceedings began in the celebrity whodunnit saga over leaked tabloid stories that has captivated much of the nation for over a year.

The long-running saga erupted last October when Rooney publicly revealed the results of her own investigation into the alleged leaks, and has earned the nickname "Wagatha Christie" in the British media due to the pair's status as high-profile "WAGs" to footballers Wayne Rooney and Jamie Vardy.

Lawyers for Vardy said on Thursday that Rooney's claim had made her out to be a "villain," PA Media reported, but denied that Vardy was involved, as her case against Rooney began in London's High Court.

Rooney's lawyer David Sherbourne told the court that she had put fake stories on Instagram in a "sting operation" to test for leaks among her followers, and that her digital detective work pointed at Vardy's account as a likely culprit, PA reported.

Vardy's lawyers argued that she was pointing the finger directly at their client, but Rooney's legal team said she made clear that it was Vardy's account, and not necessarily Vardy herself, which had been linked to the fake stories that appeared in tabloids.

Rooney's accusation "leaves the reasonable reader in no doubt that the defendant is accusing the claimant of consistently and repeatedly betraying her trust over several years," Vardy's lawyers said.

But Rooney's lawyers said: "The impression the reader would take away would be the essential message, that it was Rebekah Vardy's account that was the source of private stories about the defendant appearing in The Sun -- not Rebekah Vardy herself.

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