The latest round of Rebekah Vardy’s libel battle against Coleen Rooney over allegedly leaking stories to the media is set to be heard by the High Court.
Mrs Rooney, 35, accused Mrs Vardy, 39, of leaking “false stories” about her private life in October 2019 after carrying out a months-long “sting operation” which saw her dubbed “Wagatha Christie”.
The wife of former England star Wayne Rooney publicly claimed her fellow footballer’s wife shared fake stories she had posted on her personal Instagram account with the newspaper.
Mrs Vardy, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, denies the accusations and is suing Mrs Rooney for libel.
On Wednesday, a preliminary hearing will be held to deal with the timetable of the case and any disputes over the parties’ legal costs.
During a previous hearing in March, Mrs Rooney’s barrister John Samson asked the court to “reject the claimant’s cost budget and ask them to review it because, in the words of my lay client, it is grotesque”.
At the time, Mrs Vardy’s barrister Sara Mansoori said Mrs Vardy’s overall budget was “£897,000, the estimated costs of which are £465,842.
“This compares to Mrs Rooney’s estimated costs in her cost budget of £402,312.”
However, these estimated costs are likely to have changed after Mrs Vardy applied to have part of Mrs Rooney’s defence thrown out.
In a judgment in July, Mrs Justice Steyn threw out parts of Mrs Rooney’s defence but kept some aspects that Mrs Vardy had applied to strike out.
This included an allegation that Mrs Vardy was leaking details about the libel case itself to The Sun.
However, Mrs Justice Steyn said the alleged close relationship between Mrs Vardy and the newspaper was “one of the building blocks” of Mrs Rooney’s inferential case.
Mrs Vardy’s lawyers had argued that removing the parts of Mrs Rooney’s defence would save £200,000 in Mrs Vardy’s legal costs and reduce the length of the trial by three to four days.
However, Mrs Rooney’s lawyers previously said the request was a tactical move as parts of the defence would “undermine (Mrs Vardy’s) case as well as embarrass her”.
The remote hearing on Wednesday is due to start at 2pm.