Wayne Rooney shared his first Instagram post in three weeks on Monday, posting a family snap showing the couple with their four sons, Kai, 12, Klay, eight, Kit, six, and Cass, three at their luxurious Dubai resort.
Coleen and her family flew to Dubai last week, missing the final day of her court showdown with fellow WAG Vardy. The verdict from Mrs Justice Steyn, who has presided over the proceedings, is expected at a later date.
Holiday time: Wayne Rooney shared a photo from his family’s holiday in Dubai on Monday, showing wife Coleen and eldest son Kai, 12, in matching air boots
The photo shows the family of six posing in a courtyard at their hotel as they smile for the camera.
Coleen wears an off-the-shoulder blue dress, displaying her holiday tan while a beaming Wayne puts his arm around her.
The former footballer captioned the photo with a heart emoji, while the post was met by a heart emojis from his colleagues Steven Gerrard and Phil Neville.
The two WAGs have been fighting it out in the High Court after Rebekah claimed Coleen had libeled her when claiming she was leaking personal stories about her to the press, an accusation made in a bombshell social media post by Mrs Rooney on 19 October 2019.
Jetting off: Coleen and Wayne were pictured at Manchester Airport on Thursday, May 19, as they headed on holiday to Dubai on the last day of the libel trial
Coleen, whose husband Wayne is England’s all-time top goal scorer, claims the post was a ‘last resort’ after coming to the conclusion someone was leaking information about her to the Sun, but has defended it as being true.
Rebekah claims that the post, which was published while she was pregnant, cost her a book deal and an endorsement for placenta capsules, while also acting as a lightning rod for people to abuse her on social media.
The trial, which has captured the attention of the British public, came to an end on Thursday – one day later than expected – with a written judgement from Mrs Justice Steyn, who has presided over the proceedings, expected at a later date.
In court: Rebekah Vardy, pictured here arriving at the High Court on Thursday, was branded a ‘highly unreliable witness’ by Coleen’s lawyer in his closing remarks
Despite the expense of the legal battle – it is thought to have cost both parties millions – Coleen is said to be extremely confident she will win, even missing the last day of the case to go on holiday.
In her absence her barrister, David Sherborne, blasted Rebekah Vardy branding her a ‘highly unreliable witness’ and accused her of lying to the court in her testimony.
It is being reported that the mother-of-four told friends that while the trial has been a painful experience, she was glad to the public now know ‘the truth’ and believes she will win.
A close friend of Coleen told the Sunday Mirror: ‘After the trial, Coleen had a cup of tea and packed her bags for holiday, confident she had won.
‘She isn’t counting her chickens as she knows the ultimate decision lies with the judge – but she’s adamant she has told the truth throughout and that justice will prevail.’
Over: The trial came to an end on Thursday – one day later than expected – with a written judgement from Mrs Justice Steyn, who has presided over the proceedings, expected at a later date (pictured, the Rooneys and Vardys in a court sketch on May 17)
It comes after the second husband of Mrs Vardy spoke out about his ex-wife and challenged parts of her testimony, in particular claims she had been ‘forced’ into telling the News Of The World about her fling with pop star Peter Andre.
Her tawdry kiss-and-tell story about the incident – in which she described the singer as being ‘hung like a small chipolata’ – became crucial evidence in the Wagatha Christie libel case that has gripped the High Court.
Now Steve Clarke, who was her boss at the time and went on to marry her has told of how the couple had a lavish lifestyle and how their marriage fell apart with him feeling she was using him as a ‘pay cheque’.
In an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, Steve Clarke was especially keen to challenge Mrs Vardy’s courtroom assertion that he was an abusive partner who ‘forced’ her into doing the interview about Mr Andre.
In court: Coleen pictured leaving the trial in London with Wayne on May 11
His account will raise further questions about Mrs Vardy’s reputation, which has been shredded by her decision to sue fellow WAG Coleen Rooney for accusing her of leaking stories to the press. In his closing remarks, Mrs Rooney’s barrister, David Sherborne said Mrs Vardy was a ‘highly unreliable witness’ and accused her of lying on oath about the ‘serious and deliberate destruction’ of incriminating evidence such as WhatsApp chats.
Mrs Vardy’s probity was called into question on day one of the case, when Mr Sherborne grilled her about leaking stories and respecting people’s privacy – and read out extracts from her 2003 News Of The World interview that included disparaging comments about Mr Andre having ‘the smallest trouser equipment I’ve ever seen’.
In the witness stand, Mrs Vardy said: ‘I was forced into a situation by my ex-husband to do this. It is something that I deeply regret.’
But Mr Clarke claims the decision to tell all to the tabloid was Rebekah’s alone after she spotted an appeal in the newspaper for stories about contestants in a forthcoming series of ITV’s I’m A Celebrity. ‘Becky said to me, ‘Oh look, I should tell them about Peter Andre’,’ he says. ‘I asked her why she would want to do that and she replied that it would be a bit of money for her and it would be funny. I told her she should do whatever she wanted to do.’
During the libel trial it was claimed that Mrs Vardy was obsessed by celebrity
She made the arrangements to talk to the newspaper, and Mr Clarke says his only involvement was to drive her to a photo studio in South-West London and pick her up afterwards, after agreeing to the journalist’s request that he not be present for the interview. ‘I was told when we arrived at the studio that it wasn’t a good idea for me to be there because it might influence what Becky may or may not say,’ he said. ‘I was also told it might be a little embarrassing for me, so she said she would call me when she was finished.’
Mr Clarke says his then girlfriend revealed little of the interview, but recalls her saying that she had rebuffed the newspaper’s suggestion that she do a topless photoshoot to accompany the article. ‘She told me she stayed respectful,’ he said, adding that he later drove her to the bank to pay in the cheque the newspaper gave her for the story.
Her fling with Mr Andre at the Burnham Beeches Hotel in Buckinghamshire had taken place two years before the interview – and just after Rebekah secured a £25,000-a-year job with Mr Clarke’s firm in Oxfordshire.
In an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, Steve Clarke is especially keen to challenge Rebekah Vardy’s courtroom assertion that he was an abusive partner who ‘forced’ her into doing the interview about Peter Andre.
‘Rebekah was chatty, fun and pretty, but I didn’t know much more until everyone started talking about her spending the night with Peter,’ he recalls. ‘She had told colleagues and it became the talk of the office, within a week of it happening, everybody knew what had happened. She could not keep it quiet.’
He added that one of the other women in the office knew Peter Andre’s agent, so ‘they went for dinner with him and then, as the world now knows, she slept with him’.
Mr Clarke began dating his employee in 2001 – while she was separated from her first husband, electrician Mark Godden. They married in 2005 but split a year later – and have remained on acrimonious terms.
Mr Clarke, now 57, has denied any cruelty, saying: ‘I was never abusive towards Becky, I was never controlling. She did what she wanted, when she wanted and I never raised a hand to her either. The false claims against me have been upsetting me, my family and friends.’
He added: ‘I feel sorry for Peter Andre for what was said about him and now it’s time I spoke out.’
However Rebekah’s spokesman said of Mr Clarke last night: ‘Mrs Vardy is all too aware of the harrowing truth about this individual and no amount of misogynistic victim shaming will change this.’
Mrs Vardy’s probity was called into question on day one of the case, when Mr Sherborne grilled her about leaking stories and respecting people’s privacy – and read out extracts from her 2003 News Of The World interview that included disparaging comments about Mr Andre having ‘the smallest trouser equipment I’ve ever seen’
Their relationship began when Mr Clarke – who owned a £250,000 fleet of cars including a £120,000 yellow Ferrari 355 convertible, black Porsche 911 and a convertible Porsche Boxster – invited her to travel to Cyprus to help with a business deal.
‘I took Becky out for a meal to thank her and we had a couple of glasses of wine,’ he said. ‘One thing led to another and we ended up together. Within three or four days, she came to live with me.
‘She was funny, she was a laugh. She was attractive and it always seemed to me at the start that she was going to be a bit of a grafter and I liked that. I fell in love.’
They moved into a £3,000-a-month rented apartment in East London and enjoyed nights out in expensive celebrity haunts such as The Ivy, The Met Bar and Nobu. ‘She loved it. She used to mention that there might be paparazzi outside sometimes,’ said Mr Clarke.
He added his girlfriend enjoyed shopping – but ‘was frugal back then and would like a bargain’ – and trips to the nail bar and tanning salon. She was less keen, he claims, on domestic chores, adding: ‘I can’t ever remember her cooking me a meal in five years, I cooked for her. She would never clean or iron while I was out working, she would only do that if we did it together.’
Rebekah was a big EastEnders fan and loved to watch athletics, motor racing and football on TV, saying she supported Liverpool.
Suggestions during the libel trial that Mrs Vardy was preoccupied with being a celebrity came as no surprise to Mr Clarke. ‘She was very easily starstruck,’ he said. ‘We went to our local Italian restaurant one night and Laila Morse, who played Big Mo in EastEnders, was on another table with friends.
Wayne Rooney regularly accompanied his wife Coleen to the trial, unlike Rebekah Vardy’s husband, Jamie
‘Becky recognised her straight away and we ended up sitting with them for the rest of the night, drinking Barolo red wine which cost at least £60 per bottle. We spent the evening laughing and joking together. Becky wanted to be in that circle. She felt she needed that.’
After moving back to Oxfordshire, Mr Clarke rewarded his girlfriend for passing her driving test by buying her a grey Mini Cooper. However, she asked to drive his red Porsche Boxter convertible instead. ‘Like an idiot, I agreed,’ he said. ‘I wanted to make her happy’. They also enjoyed expensive holidays including a trip to Dubai, staying in a luxurious suite at the £1,000-a-night, five-star Ritz Carlton hotel.
Rebekah fell in love with the city so much that she wanted to live there, Mr Clarke claims, adding that he went as far as house-hunting. ‘Some of the places I looked at had glass lifts and staff quarters, Becky was very keen for us to move there but I decided that I just couldn’t.’
Rebekah again showed off her showbiz aspirations by getting a replica made of the £9,000 Versace dress that Jennifer Lopez famously wore at the 2000 Grammy awards.
In an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, Steve Clarke is especially keen to challenge Mrs Vardy’s courtroom assertion that he was an abusive partner who ‘forced’ her into doing the interview about Mr Andre.
At the end of 2004, Mrs Vardy became pregnant with another man’s child. ‘We were at home and Becky told me she was expecting, she seemed happy,’ said Mr Clarke. ‘So I asked her to marry me. She asked me why we should but then agreed. We went to a jeweller’s in Oxford. She wasn’t overly fussy, she wanted something pretty. I spent maybe £2,000 on a ring.’
The wedding at a register office in Henley-on-Thames was a markedly smaller affair than her lavish nuptials to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy six years later at Peckforton Castle in Cheshire.
Nonetheless – and despite being eight months pregnant – she wore a £4,000 dress and ensured an expensive photographer was hired.
Weeks after exchanging their vows and following the arrival of a baby daughter, Megan, the newlyweds moved to Cyprus. Soon, however, their romance began to sour. By early January 2006, the relationship was over. Mr Clarke said he decided to leave as he ‘had just had enough,’ adding ‘I was not happy and I didn’t feel she was contributing. I fell out of love with her and I knew it was over. I felt like I was being used for my money. I felt like I was the pay cheque.’
But Mrs Vardy has a different version of events. She has described her marriage to Mr Clarke as ‘the biggest mistake of my life’ and said she left him after he cheated on her.
Jamie Vardy, pictured, has largely been absent from the Wagatha Christie case, and was slammed by barrister David Sherborne for not giving evidence, instead choosing to issue a press statement accusing Mrs Rooney’s husband Wayne of ‘talking nonsense’ in court
In an interview with the News of the World’s successor The Sun on Sunday in 2017, a year after marrying Jamie Vardy, she also alleged that Mr Clarke had been abusive and had coerced her into giving the previous interview – the same assertion she made at the High Court earlier this month.
Following that article, Mr Clarke complained to press regulator IPSO, which upheld his complaint and ordered the newspaper to publish its ruling – including its conclusion that on her allegations he was coercive, the newspaper ‘was not able to show that it had taken care over the accuracy of this claim’.
During her evidence in the High Court, Mrs Vardy explained that her decision to sell a story about the drink-driving arrest of Chelsea footballer Danny Drinkwater, a former team-mate of her husband at Leicester City, was motivated by Mr Clarke killing two people when he crashed a car while under the influence of alcohol.
In fact, a court in Cyprus, where the accident took place in 2006, ruled alcohol was not a factor. Mr Clarke was, however, convicted of reckless driving and sentenced to two years in prison. While upset by his ex-wife’s assertion that he was drunk at the wheel, Mr Clarke said he felt remorse for the incident which he ‘will never get over’.
Mrs Vardy, 40 has told how she served divorce papers on Mr Clarke while he was in jail, citing unreasonable behaviour. She said she ‘had a lucky escape’ from that relationship and went on to have son Taylor, now 11, with footballer Luke Foster before meeting Jamie.
Mr Vardy has largely been absent from the Wagatha Christie case, and was slammed by barrister David Sherborne for not giving evidence, instead choosing to issue a press statement accusing Mrs Rooney’s husband Wayne of ‘talking nonsense’ in court.
The two sides will have to wait weeks or even months for the outcome of the case.
But one thing seems clear – that even if she wins, Rebekah Vardy’s attempt to save her reputation has probably had the opposite effect.
Rebekah Vardy ‘blacklisted’ after leak claims
By KATIE HIND and SCARLET HOWES
Rebekah Vardy has told friends that she went through ‘hell’ during the Wagatha Christie libel trial – but remains glad that she brought the case against her WAG rival Coleen Rooney.
The 40-year-old spent two days on the witness stand being grilled by Mrs Rooney’s legal team, breaking down in tears on several occasions. But a friend revealed Mrs Vardy remains defiant, saying: ‘I asked her how she was getting on and she said it was hellish but worth it.’
Mrs Justice Steyn is expected to deliver her verdict later this year but Mrs Vardy may find it hard to get TV exposure until the judgment is delivered.
Rebekah Vardy has told friends that she went through ‘hell’ during the Wagatha Christie libel trial – but remains glad that she brought the case against her WAG rival Coleen Rooney
‘It wouldn’t surprise me if Rebekah is blacklisted from the TV industry as there is a fear that regardless of whether or not she leaked stories about Coleen, other talent may not want to appear on programmes with her,’ said an industry insider.
In evidence released on Friday after lawyers delivered their closing statements, it emerged that Mrs Vardy lost out on a book deal and a lucrative endorsement contract after Mrs Rooney made her claim that she was the source of media leaks.
Meanwhile, one unlikely beneficiary from the trial has emerged: a vegan food firm.
Beyond Meat, a US company that produces plant-based meat substitutes, signed up Peter Andre to lead a marketing campaign before Mrs Vardy’s chipolata jibe about the singer’s manhood dominated the headlines. It is understood that Andre, who is best-known for his Mysterious Girl chart hit and marriage to Katie Price, will be offering tips on how to host the ultimate barbecue. The firm’s range includes plant-based burgers and sausages.
The 49-year-old has previously declared himself to be a ‘flexitarian’ – a casual vegetarian who occasionally eats meat – but in January said his wife had almost convinced him to transition to a plant-based diet.