The two footballers’ wives have been embroiled in a very public feud since October 2019, when Coleen published a now-infamous post on social media claiming that Rebekah’s Instagram account was the source of several “false stories” about her being leaked to The Sun.
After denying this to be the case, Rebekah sued Coleen for libel, in a trial which took place over a week in May of this year.
“Going to court was expensive,” she said. “Legal fees are expensive. But I didn’t have a choice.
“I wanted to clear my name. Because I was accused of something I didn’t do and I felt really strongly about it. I still do now. I would do it all again tomorrow if I had to, because I am innocent. I have no regrets.”
Revealing she is considering appealing the verdict, Rebekah continued: “That’s in the hands of the lawyers. They’re going to look through things and I’m sure they’re going to be having a conversation soon if they’ve not already had one between themselves.
“But it’s really hard because I didn’t do it. I didn’t do it then; I didn’t do it yesterday, I didn’t do it when I was in court and I still didn’t do it.
“I’m a fighter and that’s been really hard over the last few years to continue to push, push and push for the truth to be out there, and to get justice.
“I don’t know, my gut is all over the place. At the minute, it’s just letting the dust settle, and re-examining all the facts and then we’ll see where we are.”
Judge Mrs Justice Steyn said in her ruling it was “likely” that Rebekah’s then-agent, Caroline Watt, “undertook the direct act” of passing the information to The Sun.
She added: “Nonetheless, the evidence … clearly shows, in my view, that Mrs Vardy knew of and condoned this behaviour, actively engaging in it by directing Ms Watt to the private Instagram account, sending her screenshots of Mrs Rooney’s posts, drawing attention to items of potential interest to the press, and answering additional queries raised by the press via Ms Watt.”
While the judge also found that Rebekah Vardy’s evidence in the trial was “manifestly inconsistent” with other evidence on “many occasions”, she also made a point in her ruling of condemning the abuse that the former Dancing On Ice star had received in the past three years.
Speaking about this abuse, Rebekah told the tabloid: “At its worst, I was worried to be on my own, to leave the house. I was scared to be out in public places.
“Even the smallest things, like going shopping, were horrendous.”
She continued: “Everyone always says: ‘These people wouldn’t say things to your face’, but actually you do get the odd few that go that extra mile.
“The abuse I was getting was insane. At the beginning it would be 100 messages a day.”
“I was linked to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, people suggesting I was a member of IS, stuff like that. It was as if I’d murdered someone.”
Revealing she’d been hospitalised twice since Coleen’s initial post due to mental health issues, Rebekah added: “I was having serious panic attacks. I had kidney stones which were brought on by stress, and I just felt like my life was falling apart. Physically, emotionally and mentally it was exhausting.
“It was draining. I had to go to hospital a couple of times because they were really worried about my mental wellbeing. And since the court case, I think I’m probably suffering with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
“I feel physically sick when I talk about the trial and what happened, and I have nightmares. I haven’t gone to get a diagnosis yet but I do know I probably need some more therapy. It’s been a horrible time.”
Rebekah has also spoken to TalkTV for a sit-down interview which will air on Wednesday night.
In a preview clip released on Tuesday, Rebekah is heard saying: “I feel let down by a lot of people, a lot of things, but most importantly I feel let down by the legal system.”
Following the verdict, Rebekah said in a public statement: “[I am] extremely sad and disappointed at the decision that the judge has reached. It is not the result that I had expected, nor believe was just. I brought this action to vindicate my reputation and am devastated by the judge’s finding.
“The judge accepted that publication of Coleen’s post was not in the ‘public interest’ and she also rejected her claim that I was the ‘Secret Wag’. But as for the rest of her judgment, she got it wrong and this is something I cannot accept.”
Meanwhile, Coleen has also spoken out to say that although she was “pleased” with the decision, she “never believed” the matter should have gone to court.
“It was not a case I ever sought or wanted. I never believed it should have gone to court at such expense in times of hardship for so many people when the money could have been far better spent helping others,” she said.
“Both before and after my social media posts in October 2019, I made every effort to avoid the need for such a drawn-out and public court case. All my attempts to do so were knocked back by Mrs Vardy.”