Wayne Rooney gave evidence in his wife Coleen’s libel trial with Rebekah Vardy on Tuesday 17 May.
The former England captain told the court he had “no knowledge” of his wife’s ‘sting operation’ on Rebekah, which came to a head after the now-famous tweet in October 2019.
Coleen claims Rebekah leaked information from her private Instagram account to the press, and Rebekah is now suing Coleen for libel.
We look at the seven things we were told in court by the Derby County manager today:
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The effect of the trial on Coleen
Wayne told the court his wife had become “a different mother and wife” since October 2019 and that the legal process had been “traumatic”.
He said: “I don’t think anyone wants to be in court. For me and my wife we don’t want to be in court. I certainly don’t, I don’t think my wife wants to be in that situation.
“I have watched my wife over the last two and a half years really struggle with what’s going on. She has become a different mother, a different wife.
“It’s been traumatic for my wife throughout the situation and hopefully whatever the judgment is in this case myself, my wife and our children can go on and live our lives because it’s not something we want to be part of.”
‘First time’ he heard details of the sting
Wayne said it had been a “long week” and it was the “first time” he was hearing details of Coleen’s investigation that has been making headlines for nearly three years.
He said Coleen had mentioned in 2017 she was “upset” about someone leaking information from her private Instagram account, but they had not discussed it again.
He said: “My wife explained she believed the stories from the private Instagram account were getting leaked. I’m not big on social media. And I didn’t want to get involved.
“I think my wife is an independent woman who has her own things and I didn’t want to get involved at all in the way the situation was.”
He said: “I have been here to support my wife and this week has been the first week I have had any understanding of how it all happened.”
Wayne also confirmed he spoke to Jamie Vardy about his wife Rebekah during the 2016 Euros after being told by England manager Roy Hodgson that she needed to “calm down”.
The alleged conversation was the subject of a 2016 article in The Sun.
Wayne said today he was “pulled aside” by England’s then-manager Roy Hodgson and assistant manager Gary Neville and asked to speak to Vardy about Rebekah’s column in The Sun.
Wayne said he remembered the conversation “as it was so awkward” and took place in a games room where the England team spent their downtime playing “darts and pool”.
He told the court: “They asked me, as captain, would I be able to speak to Mr Vardy on issues we have had with his wife.
“I think we all know it was an awkward subject to ask me to speak to Mr Vardy and ask him to speak to his wife, and ask him to ask his wife to calm down and not bring any issues off the field which was unnecessary.
“We had a games room with a darts board and table tennis and I sat down with Mr Vardy and I spoke to him. I remember he had a can of Red Bull and I had a coffee. I remember details of that conversation because it was such an awkward moment for me to have to speak to him.”
Wayne agreed there were “a lot of made up stories” about players and their partners in the press but said: “I know I spoke to Jamie 100%.”
He added: “Whether he goes on to give that information to his wife that’s entirely his choice but that’s not down to me.”
Rebekah was ‘always Facetiming’ Jamie at the Euros
The comments came as Wayne was asked whether he remembered a Facetime call with Rebekah after the story about the alleged chat came out.
Rebekah alleges she asked her husband about the Sun article on a Facetime call and he spun the camera to Wayne, who told her the conversation had not happened.
He said: “I don’t recall that conversation ever taking place.
“What I do recall is Mrs Vardy was on Facetime a lot throughout the tournament with Jamie. In the lads down time we played darts and pool, Mrs Vardy was almost there with the team. She was on Facetime a lot.”
Wayne ‘not good’ on social media
The court heard Wayne has his own private Instagram account called ‘Wazzaroon08’ which he said he was “not very active on”.
He said: “I’m not big on social media. We have four children to look after. Social media for me is the least of my worries. I want to look after my children and my wife.
“How Coleen was going about the business of Instagram, whatever she was doing, I had no knowledge of.”
Wayne does not speak to Sun
Hugh Tomlinson QC, for Vardy, said to Wayne: “Because you’re from Liverpool speaking to Sun it is regarded as something that shouldn’t be done.”
Wayne said: “Yeah I think everyone knows the history between Liverpool and The Sun newspaper.
“I have never spoke to a Sun journalist on a personal level. Because as a manager of a football club there’s germs in the press conferences and I spoke to them there but on a personal level I don’t speak to them.”
Wayne was in US when Wagatha broke
Wayne told the court the first time he knew about the sting operation was when the post was released on October 9, 2019, while he was in America and Coleen was in England.
He said: “I wake up, I’m not sure what the date is, the date of the reveal post. With the time difference, I was in the US and my wife was in England.
“I had seen, I think it must have been about 2pm or 1pm in England, and I had seen my wife had put a post out and that was the first knowledge I had of that.
“Of course I spoke to my wife, I spoke to [my advisor]. I tried to see what was going on because it was a surprise to me.”
The trial continues.
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