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Vardy v. Rooney – What’s The Outcome?

Jul 29 2022 | Legal

by Paul Britton

by Paul Britton

Director and Solicitor

In this article

Why did Vardy lose the legal battle?

The Judge, Mrs Justice Steyn, saw Vardy’s claims as inconsistent and unfounded. There were large parts of evidence that simply did not hold up in court, or were deemed too far-fetched or ‘implausible.’

The court also deemed that evidence was likely destroyed by Vardy’s team, including her agent’s mobile phone that was supposedly lost at sea. The evidence on the phone would’ve been damning to Vardy and her claims, so seemed it seemed largely coincidental that it disappeared when needed.

The Judge concluded that it’s likely that Vardy ‘knew of, condoned’ and was ‘engaged’ with Watt and leaking stories about Rooney to The Sun.

Whilst Rooney technically failed her public interest defence, she won on the merit of truth. This was because whilst she failed to follow standard practice by going to Vardy first before publicly accusing her, Rooney’s defence convinced the court that the claim against Vardy was likely true.

Essentially, Vardy misread her position and made a bad judgement call. Up against Rooney’s robust defence and alongside a severe lack of cooperation in providing vital evidence, the court viewed her claims as weak and lacking.

Paul's expert comment
Paul's expert comment

In my view, this is the correct outcome because, whilst the statement published by Coleen Rooney was clearly damaging to Rebekah Vardy, a statement that affects the reputation of an individual cannot be defamatory if (amongst other reasons) it is substantially true.

This is a landmark case in the UK as it will be the first experience of litigation and defamation for many. It helpfully shows the difficulties people could face when bringing a defamation claim. If you need expert legal advice on defamation, you should always speak to a lawyer before taking action.

What’s next for Vardy?

Vardy is now facing a hefty legal bill due to her decision to chase her claims in court. Alongside the judge’s substantial 75-page ruling, she’s spent millions of pounds on a libel claim that ultimately failed.

In turn, the case has tarnished her reputation and left a large cultural impact on the legal world, especially for future of litigation cases.

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