As the libel trial between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney is about to begin, the AP news agency is looking into some of those involved in the case.
With the footballer’s wife bearing the claim, Ms Vardy’s family have come under the spotlight after her husband Jamie helped Leicester City to an unlikely Premier League victory in 2016.
The model and TV personality, 40, appeared on I’m A Celebrity in 2017 before later appearing on Dancing On Ice in 2021, as well as making guest appearances on Loose Women.
The mother-of-five recently wrote a children’s book with husband Jamie, titled Cedric The Little Sloth With A Big Dream, which follows a little sloth who hopes to become a footballer.
Ms Rooney, the wife of the footballer defending the claim, is perhaps now better known as ‘Wagatha Christie’ after her social media posts at the heart of the defamation lawsuit went viral.
The 36-year-old has had a varied career, including TV presenting, writing, as well as making an exercise DVD.
Ms Rooney met her husband when she was 12, when the couple attended the same school in Liverpool.
They started dating when they were 16 and had four sons together: Kai Wayne, Klay Anthony, Kit Joseph and Cass Mac.
A friend and agent of Ms Vardy, Ms Watt participated in some of the preliminary hearings, although she was not a party to the claim or testified at trial.
She will not take part in the trial after a consultant forensic psychiatrist produced a report concluding that she was not fit to give oral evidence.
Ms Watt is perhaps best known as the owner of a phone that fell into the North Sea following a preliminary investigation – part of what Ms Rooney’s lawyers called “a series of unfortunate events regarding the disclosure in the case.
At the final preliminary hearing in late April, Ms Rooney’s lawyers claimed new testimony from Ms Vardy ‘suggests Ms Watt was the source of the leak but claims that (Ms Vardy) ‘didn’t permitted nor tolerated.
A relatively late bloomer in footballing terms, Mr Vardy’s career as a striker has seen him rise from non-League clubs to the pinnacle of England’s game with Leicester City.
His 24 goals helped the Foxes secure their remarkable 5,000-1 Premier League triumph six years ago, when he was also part of the team that won the FA Cup in May last year.
Foxes fans coined the “Jamie Vardy party” chant amid his goalscoring exploits.
With Ms Vardy, he has children Sofia, seven, Finley, five, and Olivia Grace, two. He also has a child from a previous relationship.
Bursting onto the football scene as a prodigious teenage talent playing for Everton almost two decades ago, Mr Rooney became England’s most capped outfield player and top scorer.
He collected a glut of trophies as a striker with Manchester United, before playing in the United States.
Mr Rooney retired as a player last year and was appointed permanent manager of the recently relegated Derby County.
This year he was the subject of a documentary on Amazon Prime Video about his life and career.
An experienced media lawyer, Mr Tomlinson leads Ms Vardy’s legal team in the defamation case.
Called to the bar in 1983, his former clients include the Prince of Wales in his legal battle with the Mail on Sunday over his diaries, easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and oligarch Roman Abramovich.
Mr Tomlinson, who became a QC in 2002, is a board member of campaign group Hacked Off.
Mr Sherborne also has a reputation as the barrister the rich and famous turn to for legal assistance – his previous client list includes Diana, the Princess of Wales, Hollywood actor Michael Douglas and the former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie.
Ms Rooney’s lawyer is no stranger to high-profile libel cases at the Royal Courts of Justice, including representing Johnny Depp in the actor’s 2020 libel claim against Sun publisher News Group Newspapers ( NGN).
The lawyer, called to the bar in 1992, has also represented dozens of plaintiffs, including celebrities, suing NGN for phone hacking at News Of The World.
The High Court judge overseeing the case, Mrs Justice Steyn, was appointed in 2019 and sits on the Queen’s Bench Division – the part of the High Court that deals with defamation, personal injury and claims for breach of contract.
As well as overseeing the ‘Wagatha Christie’ complaint, she heard other major cases including Arron Banks’ libel suit against journalist Carole Cadwalladr and the FDA union’s unsuccessful legal challenge to Boris Johnson’s decision. to support Priti Patel following accusations of bullying.
Daughter of former Law Lord Lord Steyn, Mrs Justice Steyn has covered a variety of cases as a barrister, including a case concerning the expansion of Heathrow Airport.
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