Rebekah Vardy tried to sell a drink-driving story about her husband’s former team teammate to the S * n, a court heard.
Mrs Vardy tried to sell a story about the arrest of Danny Drinkwater, a footballer for Chelsea FC, to The S * n after he was caught drinking-driving in his Range Rover. The footballer, who was the former teammate of Mrs Vardy’s husband, crashed the car in 2019 and before the incident became public Mrs Vardy sent WhatsApp messages to her agent to suggest they sell the story, The Guardian reports.
Mrs Vardy told her agent, Caroline Watt: “Story… Danny Drinkwater arrested […] Crashed his car drunk with two girls in it… both in hospital one with broken ribs x. ” After clarifying a few details about the car and the location, Vardy added: “I want paying for this x.”
Within two minutes Ms Watt said she sent the story to S * n journalist Andy Halls, who she said “answered immediately” saying the tabloid already knew because “someone leaked it from police station”. Drinkwater was later banned from driving for almost two years.
These messages are the latest in a series of texts made public as part of the ongoing legal case between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney, which is due to go to a week-long trial at the start of May. Mrs Rooney argues Mrs Vardy leaked information to the S * n and had extensive contact with her journalists.
The libel case will hinge on if Mrs Rooney can prove Mrs Vardy was personally responsible for leaking any stories from her private Instagram. In a ruling on Thursday, Mrs Justice Steyn handed a partial victory to Mrs Vardy’s legal team, ordering the removal of certain elements of Mrs Rooney’s evidence.
Among the claims deleted from Mrs Rooney’s witness statement was a section that alleged Mrs Vardy “was also actively participating in leaking private information about other individuals to the S * n”.
The judge also turned down a request by Mrs Rooney’s lawyers to search the phones of a number of S * n journalists for potential communications with Mrs Vardy and Mr Watt. She branded this “fishing expedition” but made an exception for details of messages with Mr Halls, who was involved in some of the disputed stories.
The court heard that in 2019 Mr Halls declared Mrs Vardy “has never provided any story or information to me”.
WhatsApp messages disclosed as part of the legal filings suggest Mrs Vardy and Ms Watt regularly discussed journalists at the S * n. At one point Mrs Vardy says she was concerned that Mrs Rooney blocked her on Instagram after stories appeared in the media.
In response, the agent says “I wouldn’t tell anyone but the S * n”, and Mrs Rooney can’t “f *** ing prove anything though and if she wants to think that then f ** k her”.
Ms Watt said she had been in touch with Mr Halls about the incident: “I messaged him and he said absolutely not and he would never say what his source was.”
In November 2018 Ms Watt also told Mrs Vardy to look out for S * n celebrity journalist Amy Brookbanks at an event and “make a point of saying hello” because the reporter “always writes nice stories, does whatever I ask her and gets stories changed that she hasn’t even written ”.
Mrs Vardy no longer intends to call Ms Watt as a witness at the trial, saying the agent is suffering from ill health. Despite this, Ms Watt has still received substantial attention after it was disclosed in a pre-trial hearing that she accidentally dropped her phone in the North Sea after a request was made to search it.
Mrs Vardy has also struggled to access her own WhatsApp messages after her IT expert lost the password to her backup files.