Rebekah Vardy came under fresh pressure today when her agent was dragged into her long-running ‘Wagatha Christie’ legal battle with Coleen Rooney.
Bombshell court papers served by Coleen’s legal team appear to demand that Becky and her agent Caroline Watt reveal details of their private communications.
A judge today ordered that a legal hearing be held to determine what communications should be disclosed and whether Instagram should be asked to release some of its records.
It is the first time that Ms Watt has been named in a legal direction in the libel case brought by Becky against Coleen which has been rumbling on for more than 18 months.
The direction by Mr Justice Nicklin in the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court names Ms Watt as a ‘respondent’ in the case.
Court papers served by Coleen’s legal team appear to demand that Rebekah Vardy and her agent Caroline Watt reveal details of their private communications
It states that a hearing to discuss Coleen’s request for ‘specific disclosure’ of information from Becky and Ms Watt should take place in the New Year.
The hearing is expected to take place in February, and will effectively set the scene for the looming court battle between the two warring footballer’s wives.
The case began after Coleen, the wife of former Manchester United and England star Wayne Rooney, made her sensational claim in October 2019 that Becky had given a series of stories about her to the Sun.
Coleen, 35, alleged that the stories had all been obtained from her private Instagram account which she allowed only 300 ‘trusted friends and family’ to follow.
She had become concerned that information she posted about her life was appearing in the newspaper, and prepared an elaborate trap to see who was leaking it.
In an attempt to catch the perpetrator, she posted a series of fake updates on her life to her private account and slowly reduced the number of people who could see it until only Becky remained.
Some of the false stories which had been seen by Becky or someone with access to her Instagram account then appeared in the media, making Coleen believe she had found her culprit.
She tweeted her findings, saying: ‘I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them. It’s ……………. Rebekah Vardy’s account.’
Mother-of-five Becky, 39, who is married to Leicester City striker and former England star Jamie Vardy immediately denied being responsible.
Eight months later in June last year she began her £1million High Court defamation battle, claiming her reputation had been tarnished by Coleen.
The legal conflict promises to be one of the most explosive celebrity cases of recent times when it eventually reaches court for a full hearing.
Mr Justice Nicklin’s order today follows a witness statement and an application notice for the disclosure of information which was submitted to High Court on Monday this week by Coleen’s solicitor Paul Lunt.
Details of Mr Lunt’s request for information has not been disclosed in the court paper, but it is thought to relate to communications between Becky and Ms Watt and possibly other parties.
The case began after Coleen made her sensational claim in October 2019 that Becky had given a series of stories about her to the Sun
Mother-of-five Becky, 39, who is married to Leicester City striker and former England star Jamie Vardy immediately denied being responsible
Today’s court order only discloses that there is a request for ‘specific disclosures and ‘for the parties to make a joint request to Instagram as described in the witness statement of Paul Lunt’.
Mr Justice Nicklin ordered Coleen’s legal team to serve their application notice, and supporting evidence relating to Ms Watt, on Becky’s lawyers by 4.30pm next Thursday.
The case will then be listed for a hearing which is expected to last for a day and a half on a date to be fixed between February 7 and 18.
It is not known if Becky or Coleen or Ms Watt will be required to attend, but all three women or their legal teams have been told to contact the court before 4.30pm on January 5 to fix a date for the hearing.
Today’s order says Becky and Ms Watt ‘must file and serve any evidence in response’ to Coleen’s application by January 17.
Colleen must also ‘file and serve any evidence in reply’ by January 26.
All three women are also told ‘to cooperate in the preparation’ of an evidence bundle for the hearing.
The order further adds that lawyers should exchange and file ‘skeleton arguments’ at least two days before the hearing.
The new twist in the long running saga means that the full trial hearing which was due to start on April 26 now faces being delayed.
Mr Justice Nicklin said the hearing date should be ‘vacated’ and that the parties should contact the court by January 5 to refix the trial for the first available date after May 9.