Rebekah Vardy hits back after Wagatha Christie legal battle

‘It’s her two fingers to Coleen’: Rebekah Vardy hits back after bitter legal battle by trademarking Wagatha Christie phrase to ‘cash in’

Rebekah Vardy has hit back after last year’s Wagatha Christie showdown and trademarked the iconic phrase to ‘cash in.’ 

The media personality, 42, took Coleen Rooney to High Court for libel – and lost – after Coleen claimed in October 2019 that Rebekah’s social media account was leaking stories about her to the Press.

The Wagatha Christie phrase, which was first coined by comedian Dan Atkinson in 2019, was trademarked eight months ago by the company, London Entertainment Inc Ltd. 

Rebekah’s trademark covers broadcasting, clothing, non-alcoholic beverages, education and beauty and she will now need to approve its usage. 

It comes after the bitter trial inspired a West End adaptation, starring Lucy May Baker and Laura Dos Santos, as well as a Channel 4 drama-documentary.  

Owner: Rebekah Vardy, 42, has hit back after last year’s Wagatha Christie showdown and trademarked the iconic phrase to ‘cash in’

A source told The Sun: ‘This trademark is Becky’s two fingers to Coleen and all the misery associated with “Wagatha Christie”. Becky is shrewd and knew people would try to cash in on the phrase.

‘She now owns the UK trademark and would consider expanding it to other territories if she thought it was needed. 

‘If someone wants to print the logo on a mug, for example, they would be infringing the trademark if they didn’t ask permission. It is a legal grey area in some respects, however, and will be done on a case-by-case basis.’

MailOnline has contacted Rebekah’s representative for comment. 

During the High Court trial, Mrs Justice Steyn said in her judgment in July that it was ‘likely’ that Mrs Vardy’s agent Caroline Watt ‘undertook the direct act’ of passing on information to The Sun.

The judge said: ‘The evidence clearly shows in my view that Mrs Vardy knew of and condoned this behaviour, actively engaging in it.’

Rebecca was ordered to pay up to £1.5million towards Coleen’s legal fees after losing the case, but she still continues to insist she was not the culprit.

And in the documentary series, Vardy vs Rooney: The Wagatha Trial, Rebekah also claims that a mole is still leaking Rooney stories to The Sun – which she also says proves her innocence.

‘The irony is that since I was removed as a follower, stories have been coming thick and fast about the Rooneys,’ she said.

A friend of Rebekah’s said the WAG’s suspicions were sparked when a story in The Sun earlier this year, which suggested that Wayne Rooney would have a ‘chaperone’ when he was away from Coleen working in the US.

Battle: The media personality took Coleen Rooney to High Court for libel – and lost (pictured together at UEFA Euro 2016)

Revealed: Coleen accused Rebekah’s account of leaking information about her. It triggered a wave of social media reaction and saw her dubbed ‘Wagatha Christie’

Funny: Comedian Dan Atkinson appeared to have been the first person to coin the phrase ‘Wagatha Christie’- but spelt it incorrectly 

Mother-of-five Rebekah is on pugnacious form in the documentary, giving an interview dressed head-to-toe in black leather.

At one point she snaps: ‘I have zero tolerance for this bull****,’ and adds: ‘I just find the whole thing really ****ing bizarre.’

She was on holiday in Dubai with her husband when Coleen made the accusations on Twitter and Instagram about the leaks.

Rebekah said: ‘At the time I felt physically sick. I think it must have been the biggest panic attack. I was totally shocked. What to do next? That’s the million-dollar question.

‘I couldn’t understand why someone would do that. Why someone would do that knowing someone’s vulnerable, knowing the impact something like that is going to cause. It’s going to cause a s*** storm – a massive one – and that it did.’

Referring to a fake story about a flooded basement in Coleen’s new Cheshire mansion, Rebekah insisted: ‘The first time I read about the flooded basement was in the Daily Mail online. I love how I get blamed for that one, incredible.

‘If I had been selling stories, where are the messages saying ‘give this to The Sun’? ‘Make sure I get paid for this’. Where are they? There aren’t any – because they don’t exist.’

Court imposed a punitive charge over legal costs, with Rebekah told to pay 90 per cent of Coleen costs.

This was in part because crucial evidence had been destroyed after Mrs Watt accidentally dropped her phone in the North Sea.

Rebekah’s trademark covers everything from broadcasting to clothing and non-alcoholic drinks (Pictured with her barrister Hugh Tomlinson, KC during the trial in May 2022)

Court: Rebecca was ordered to pay up to £1.5million towards Coleen’s legal fees after losing the case, but she still continues to insist she was not the culprit (Coleen pictured in May 2022)

Coleen’s legal team has not yet produced a final costs total, but the last figure presented to court was £1,667,860. If that stays unchanged, 90 per cent of that would be £1.5million.

Mrs Justice Steyn decided on 90 per cent, acknowledging there were certain issues that justified Coleen paying for some of the case, including her ‘weak’ allegation that Rebekah was one of the people behind The Sun’s ‘Secret Wag’ gossip column which had ‘added considerably’ to the work of Rebekah’s lawyers.

The total amount of Rebekah’s legal costs is not known, but is expected to be of a similar level to those incurred by Coleen.

The final figure may be reduced if Rebekah does not agree to pay the 90 per cent and a court later considers some costs unreasonable.

Wagatha Christie timeline: How Coleen and Rebekah’s war unfolded

September 2017 to October 2019 – The Sun runs a number of fake articles about Coleen, which she claimed she only shared with Vardy in a ‘sting’ operation, including that she travelled to Mexico to look into baby ‘gender selection’ treatment, her plan to revive her TV career and the flooding of her basement.

October 9, 2019 – Coleen uses social media to accuse Rebekah of selling stories from her private Instagram account to the tabloids. It prompts #WagathaChristie to start trending.

February 13, 2020 – In a tearful appearance on ITV’s Loose Women, Rebekah says the stress of the dispute caused her to have severe anxiety attacks and she ‘ended up in hospital three times’. 

June 23, 2020 – It emerges that Rebekah has launched libel proceedings against Coleen.

November 19-20, 2020 – The libel battle has its first High Court hearing in London. A judge rules that Coleen’s October 2019 post ‘clearly identified’ Rebekah as being ‘guilty of the serious and consistent breach of trust’.

Mr Justice Warby concludes that the ‘natural and ordinary’ meaning of the posts was that Rebekah had ‘regularly and frequently abused her status as a trusted follower of Coleen’s personal Instagram account by secretly informing The Sun of Coleen’s private posts and stories’.

February 8-9, 2022 – A series of explosive messages between Rebekah and her agent Caroline Watt – which Coleen’s lawyers allege were about her – are revealed at a preliminary court hearing.

Coleen’s lawyers seek further information from the WhatsApp messages, but the court is told that Ms Watt’s phone fell into the North Sea after a boat she was on hit a wave, before further information could be extracted from it.

February 14 – Coleen is refused permission to bring a High Court claim against Ms Watt for misuse of private information to be heard alongside the libel battle. A High Court judge, Mrs Justice Steyn, says the bid was brought too late and previous opportunities to make the claim had not been taken.

April 13 – Ms Watt is not fit to give oral evidence at the upcoming libel trial, the High Court is told as the case returns for another hearing.

May 10 onwards – The trial began

July 29 – Rebekah Vardy lost her defamation case against Coleen Rooney, the judge ruled Mrs Rooney’s accusation was ‘substantially true’.

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