Living up to its billing as the “trial of the century”, the Wagatha Christie case imploded around Rebekah Vardy again last week when it emerged she’d have to pay 90 per cent of Coleen Rooney’s legal fees – meaning she owes her rival up to £1.5million. And Becky is going to need deep pockets, as her own payments are estimated to be more than £2million after losing the highly-publicised libel trial in July, taking her bill to around £3.7million.
Posting on her Instagram Story in the wake of the news, Becky, 40, shared a cryptic message that read, “It’s always the ones with the dirty hands pointing the fingers”. Later, though, she opted for a more direct approach on the social media site. Alongside a picture of a jar labelled “Charity”, she wrote, “Let’s hope you put your money where your mouth is and some good can come of this whole embarrassing spectacle” – and tagged Coleen’s account. She also used a quote from a newspaper article that read, “She’d be far happier to see the money they would have spent on lawyers being used in a more positive and productive way.”
While Coleen, 36, has not spoken out about the social media swipe, it has been reported she was left “outraged and astonished” at Becky’s suggestion she should donate millions to charity, rather than paying off her huge legal bill – only incurred because Becky brought the court case. Coleen’s overall costs are thought to have amounted to £2million, but approximately £350,000 of the total was settled prior to going to trial. And according to heat’s insiders, the wife of England ace Wayne Rooney is elated to finally close the door on the Wagatha saga after the stress of the past few years and is seeking pastures new.
“It’s a good week for Coleen, with the final court meeting done and the deal sealed. The legal costs ruling was no surprise – she had been expecting it – but the relief of it now being over has been such a weight off her shoulders,” we’re told. “It’s a good feeling being able to put it in the past and know there’s nothing more to be done. It’s the first time she’s felt like she’s no longer handcuffed to the situation. She’s said all along she never wanted it to go to trial and she regrets that it had to come to that, but obviously she’s thrilled that the judge has ordered Becky to pay the majority of her costs.”
The three-year-long war of the WAGs started when Coleen accused Becky, wife of Leicester City footballer Jamie Vardy, of leaking stories about her to the press in October 2019. Becky denied the claims and announced in June 2020 that she would be taking Coleen to court for defamation.
The trial reached the High Court in May, and in July, the judge ruled that Coleen’s accusation was “substantially true”. Now the question turns to how the Vardys are going to fork out for such a hefty bill. Becky has been ordered by the court to pay the first £800,000 of the settlement to Coleen by 15 November, and even has to pay some of the costs incurred by seven journalists who were potential witnesses, but did not give evidence.
Becky is thought to be worth around £3million, while her husband Jamie’s position as the highest-paid player for Premier League team Leicester City sees him boast a weekly wage of £140,000, with his worth believed to stand at £12million. But even for a millionaire showbiz couple, it’s going to prove tough to lay their hands on nearly £4m in a hurry, leading to speculation they could be financially “ruined”.
Reports have suggested that the couple – who married in 2016 and have six children between them – might have to sell their home in Portugal, which they call their “sanctuary”. The palatial villa on the exclusive golf resort of Quinta do Lago is thought to be worth around £2million and has three pools, six bedrooms, a gym and a steam room. They’re currently renting it out for up to £30,000 per week.
As the Vardys come to terms with a steep defeat, we’re told Coleen’s using the aftermath of Wagatha to channel her energies into her sons – Kai, 12, Klay, nine, Kit, six, and four-year-old Cass. Our insider reveals that the mum of four is exploring the momager avenue, particularly with her older son Kai, who is proving to be a chip off the old block with his impressive goalscoring for Manchester United Academy team.
heat’s source reveals, “Coleen hated how much of her time and energy the case consumed over the past two years. She’s now saying she’s going to turn her focus onto something more ambitious – the boys first, and then her own career. With Kai now signed up to Manchester Utd, that’s a huge commitment for her and a huge responsibility, especially with Wayne overseas, so she does take it very seriously. She knows what the stakes are and how important it is to manage and guide him through a pressurised situation. She now sees it as her responsibility to start building his career and profile, because he’s in a unique situation and has such huge potential.”
With Wayne, 36, currently in the US managing Major League Soccer club DC United, our source adds that Coleen has put the brakes on her own career, but is thriving being momager to her son’s promising future. She was every inch the proud mum last week when she shared a photo of Kai on a billboard in Liverpool’s city centre, where he fronted Puma’s new range as part of his huge brand deal. And it really is like father like son, as Wayne snatched plenty of endorsement deals throughout his playing career, and Kai seemingly following very closely in his footsteps.
We’re told, “Kai’s going to have all the cameras on him and he will be bombarded with offers. For the Rooneys, the one thing that saved them was that Wayne was with – and protected by – Nike for so long. There was a power in that. It guided them through a lot, and taught them a lot about business.”
But it’s not just Kai who is piquing interest – heat has been told that there is the potential for a docuseries involving all the Rooney boys. “There’s a lot of interest in the boys and it’s starting to get a little crazy with all the things going on. Coleen feels like she’s the new Kris Kardashian, with the need to start managing them all. It’s really giving her the drive – she’s got a real sense of purpose with it, and she’s great at making decisions.
“She’s always been the power behind Wayne in some ways, as she was always the one who took care of business. Now, she’s been given the opportunity to start it with the boys, she’s excited to take it on.”