Rebekah Vardy has accused Coleen Rooney of “weaponizing” her fan base during the so-called “Wagatha Christie” trial.
Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy’s wife has said Rooney’s decision to publicly expose her was “sinister” and she initially thought it was “not real”.
Last week, Vardy, 40, lost a libel battle against Rooney, 36, over a viral social media post after a High Court judge found it to be “essentially true”.
In the original post, Rooney said she underwent months of “stab surgery” and accused Vardy of leaking “false stories” to the press about her personal life.
Former England star Wayne Rooney’s wife publicly claimed Vardy’s account was the source behind three stories in The Sun newspaper with fake details she posted on her private Instagram Stories.
Vardy denied leaking stories to the media and sued her fellow footballer’s wife for defamation.
Both women took part in a week-long trial at the High Court in London in May that drew widespread press attention.
Speaking to The Sun, Vardy described how she called Rooney to confront her about the original post, which was posted online in October 2019.
“I picked up the phone and called her and basically said, ‘What the hell is this?’ and her response was pretty, I don’t know, pretty rude, pretty brusque,” she said.
“She basically just said, ‘You know what that is?’ And at that point I really didn’t know what it was.
“I would read the words and you know when you’re reading something and it’s like you’re reading it about someone else.
“And it’s like, ‘No, that’s certainly not real. This can not be true.”
She added, “No one would do anything that scary knowing they were arming a fandom against someone.”
Despite the decision against her, Vardy said if she saw Rooney “out on the street tomorrow,” she would “ask her if she’d like to go to Caffe Nero.”
“Life is too short to hold grudges, hold grudges, and be bitter towards anyone. That is not me. I’m not that person,” she said.
Vardy also told the Sun she was “terrified of being out in public places” after receiving up to 100 abusive messages a day.
She said some people “went the extra mile” to abuse her, even linking her to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann and the so-called Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.
“The whole thing was terrible. At worst, I was worried about being alone, about leaving the house. I was scared of going out in public places,” she told the newspaper.
“Even the smallest things, like shopping, were horrific.”
“Everyone always says, ‘These people wouldn’t say anything to your face,’ but actually there are a select few who take it a step further.
“The abuse I got was insane. In the beginning it would be 100 messages a day.”
“I was linked to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, people implied I was a member of ISIS, stuff like that.
“It was like I murdered someone.”
In another interview with TalkTV’s Kate McCann, Vardy appeared to get emotional and described feeling “abandoned by the legal system.”
Looking at the ground, she said, “I feel let down by a lot of people and a lot of things, but most of all I feel let down by the legal system.”
The total legal costs of the case are believed to be in the region of £3million, most of which will now be borne by Vardy.
– Rebekah Vardy: Coleen and me airs August 3 at 7 p.m. on TalkTV.