Vardy v Rooney: The other players involved in the trial

Image source, Getty Images

Offensive text messages, celebrity names and a phone full of evidence that fell to the bottom of the ocean - the Vardy v Rooney trial is all over social media and leading UK news right now.

The row broke out in 2019 after Coleen Rooney said fake stories were leaked to the press that had only been seen by Rebekah Vardy's Instagram account - announcing her findings in a dramatic tweet.

Rebekah Vardy denies the accusations and is suing Coleen Rooney for libel.

The case, estimated to be costing over £1 million is taking place in London, as both women seek a legal win.

But it's not just Rebekah and Coleen who've been dragged into the story, and onto the stand, in the legal proceedings.

So if you're wondering about some of the other names involved, here's a who's who of the other players linked to the story, and the trial.

The agent: Caroline Watt

This is a name you may not have heard of before this case.

She's Rebekah Vardy's friend and agent, and has featured in some of the hearings before the trial.

In this case, Caroline is probably best known as the owner of a phone which fell into the North Sea after a boat hit a wave, before Coleen Rooney's team could see WhatsApp messages that could potentially help her case.

It's part of what Coleen Rooney's lawyers have called "a series of unfortunate events".

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Caroline Watt (not pictured) will not be taking part in the trial for medical reasons

But she won't be taking part in the trial after a consultant forensic psychiatrist produced a report which concluded she is not fit to provide oral evidence.

Coleen Rooney's lawyers claimed that a new witness statement from Mrs Vardy at the end of April "suggests Ms Watt was the source of the leak" but claims that Rebekah Vardy "did not authorise or condone her".

According to media reports, she began to manage Rebekah Vardy in 2015, overseeing her media interviews and brokered the deal for her appearance on I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2018.

Rebekah's barrister: Hugh Tomlinson QC

A very experienced media barrister, he is at the front of Rebekah Vardy's legal team in the libel case.

In court, Hugh Tomlinson said it had become a source of "entertainment" for the media, but it was in fact "profoundly distressing and disturbing".

His list of previous clients include some big names, such as Prince Charles in his legal battle against the Mail on Sunday newspaper, easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

Image caption,
Hugh Tomlinson speaking to the BBC in 2013

He's become renowned for making clients anonymous, being able to conceal the true identity of famous people behind random series of letters such as CTB, DFT, POI, AJH, and MJN.

He's been described as "a fount of knowledge", being able to ensure celebrities private lives are not exposed in the tabloids.

David Sherborne

He's the man leading the legal efforts on behalf of Coleen Rooney.

Mr Sherborne has described the connection between Rebekah Vardy and Caroline Watt in relation to the leaks as "like hiring a hitman or woman".

Mrs Vardy, he stressed, "is just as responsible" for the stories being leaked even "if she doesn't pull the trigger".

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
David Sherborne is seen as the go to lawyer for many big names

He has a reputation as the barrister the rich and famous turn to for legal assistance, being described by some as "Hollywood's favourite lawyer".

His previous client list includes the late Princess Diana, former prime minister Tony Blair, Amy Winehouse, Harry Styles, Johnny Depp and Meghan Markle.

He's regarded as a leading barrister in the field of media and communication, specialising in privacy, confidentiality and defamation, as well as matrimonial and sports law.

The footballer: Wayne Rooney

Perhaps the one name that needs little introduction, the legendary Manchester United and England footballer is the husband of Coleen Rooney.

He has been in court with Coleen, sitting alongside her, and is due to testify next week.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Wayne Rooney has attended the trial with his wife

He is England's most-capped outfield player and record goal-scorer, with numerous trophies in his club career with Manchester United.

Wayne has also played alongside Jamie Vardy - Rebekah's husband - for England.

The judge: Mrs Justice Steyn

The High Court judge overseeing the case, Mrs Justice Steyn was appointed in 2019.

She sits in the Queen's Bench Division - the part of the High Court which deals with defamation, personal injury and breach of contract claims.

As well as overseeing the this case, she has previously overseen prominent cases such as the FDA union's unsuccessful legal challenge over Boris Johnson's decision to support Priti Patel following bullying accusations.

She made history when sitting part of the Court of Appeal in Wales the first time it comprised all women, alongside Lady Justice Nicola Davies and Mrs Justice Jefford.

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