Wayne Rooney spoke at the libel case involving his wife Coleen and Rebekah Vardy
The former England footballer’s comments came during a trial following Coleen’s accusation that Jamie Vardy’s wife Rebekah leaked information from her private Instagram account in October 2019. Rebekah Vardy denies this and is suing Coleen for libel.
Wayne, now Derby County boss, gave evidence for around 20 minutes at London’s High Court this morning.
The Manchester United legend, 36, said it had been a “long week” and that it was the “first time” he was hearing much of the information of the case as the couple had “not discussed it”.
He continued: “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 judgement 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.
“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.”
Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy at the Wales v England match at Euro 2016
Wayne also said he had spoken to Jamie Vardy about his wife Rebekah during the 2016 Euros after being told by then-England manager Roy Hodgson that she needed to “calm down”.
The father of four was being questioned in relation to an article in The Sun from 2016, that alleged he had a conversation with Jamie Vardy about his wife.
Wayne said today that he was “pulled aside” by England’s Roy Hodgson and assistant manager Gary Neville and asked to speak to Vardy about Rebekah’s column.
He said this was after the players had a “conversation about the tournament” and agreed they didn’t want “any newspaper columns or any articles”.
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.”
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy accompanied his partner for the seventh day of the hearing
Hugh Tomlinson QC, for Rebekah, said: “You asked his wife to calm down – but she wasn’t dancing on tables was she? What kind of calming down did she need to do?”
Wayne replied: “She wasn’t [dancing on tables] as far as I was aware.
“There was a lot of negativity as I have heard in the court this week, a lot of negative coverage which, as a group of players and the manager of England, he didn’t want that to happen and he asked would I be able to speak to Jamie which I went and done.
“I think there were a few things at the time with Rebekah which England, the leads of the team, asked me to speak to Jamie about and I was under the understanding Rebekah had a column in The Sun newspaper.
“As I stated, I had bigger things on my mind, it would be an awkward moment for me to speak to Jamie about his wife but I felt it was necessary, having been asked by the England manager and assistant manager.”
Mr Tomlinson said: “She had a perfectly permissible column in The Sun and that’s what you complained about.”
Wayne said: “I didn’t complain about it. It wasn’t set out in law but players, before the tournament, said they didn’t want any newspaper columns or articles. That was a conversation we had as a group of players and Mrs Vardy had a column in The Sun.”
Rooney gave evidence for around 20 minutes
Wayne agreed there were “a lot of made up stories” about players and their partners in the press and that any comments he gave to press at the time about the alleged chat were to “protect” the team.
He said: “I know I spoke to Jamie 100%, whether he goes on to give that information to his wife that’s entirely his choice but that’s not down to me.
“I remember the conversation I had with Jamie. As I explained, it was awkward to me to have to speak to a teammate regarding their wife.
“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.”
Mr Tomlinson then asked Wayne whether he remembered a Facetime call with Rebekah where she alleges he asked her husband about the Sun article 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 added: “It wasn’t my place to speak to Mrs Vardy.”
Wagatha Christie: Vardy and Rooney depart court after day five
The Derby County manager told the court that the first time he knew about his wife’s sting operation was when the post was released on October 9, 2019, while he was in America and Coleen was in England.
He said Coleen had mentioned in 2017 that she was “upset” about someone leaking information from her private Instagram account but they had not mentioned it again.
Jamie was not someone he was friends with socially, Wayne said, so he did not reach out to him about Coleen’s suspicions.
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.
“We have four children to look after. Social media, for me, is the last of them worries. I want to look after my children and my wife. She made me aware of it and that was the last time we spoke about it until years later.”
He said: “I had seen my wife had put a post out and that was the first knowledge I had of that.
“I have never discussed anything with my wife and the abuse Mrs Vardy has received is disgusting. It’s not right for a woman to receive that abuse.”
The trial continues.