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Why Coleen Rooney Was Finally Ready to Tell the Whole "Wagatha Christie" Story

Coleen Rooney: The Real Wagatha Story finds the woman at the center of the scandal unpacking her Twitter battle with Rebekah Vardy, which resulted in the WAGs facing off in court.

By Tierney Bricker Nov 11, 2023 8:00 AMTags
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Coleen Rooney is ready to share her account of the Wagatha Christie case.

In case you missed the social media scandal, it all kicked off in October 2019, when Coleen—who's married to former English football star and Derby County F.C. manager Wayne Rooney—accused Rebekah Vardy, the wife of Leicester City player Jamie Vardyof leaking false stories about her to the British tabloid The Sun. The spat resulted in a viral viral Twitter thread that had all the twists and turns of an Agatha Christie page-turner. 

While the Internet had fun with the drama between the warring WAGs (WAG stands for wives and girlfriends of high-profile sportsmen and women, FYI), it was no laughing matter behind the feed, with Rebekah suing Coleen for defamation in 2020. A years-long legal battle followed, with a judge ultimately ruling that Coleen did not defame Rebekah.

Since pressing send on that tweet that nearly broke the Internet, Coleen had not spoken publicly about the case.

Until now. 

Coleen, 37, shared all of her receipts and then some in Coleen Rooney: The Real Wagatha Story, the Hulu Original documentary series that breaks down every aspect of the libel case. And yes, Wagatha Christie herself has seen all of the memes and mocking of scandal, which, the documentary proves, had a serious impact on her marriage and mental health.

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"There was so much entertainment around it, like memes and stuff on social media," Coleen recalled of the sensational reaction in an exclusive interview with E! News. "Even the press reports, it was like two schoolgirls bitching and fighting in the schoolyard. Obviously, going through it, it was not a laughing matter to me. I had never been involved in a court case before. It was daunting. It was draining and it made me ill."

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In addition to its deep dive into every detail of the Wagatha Christie saga, the three-part series gives the public a chance to learn more about Coleen's childhood and how her teenage romance with Wayne quickly turned her into a tabloid target after he became one of the country's most exciting footballers.

Still, even though she was used to the media, the level of attention her tweets about Rebekah received surprised even one of the U.K.'s most seasoned WAGs.

"I remember when I had done the post and the next day, my PR at the time, she came on and said, 'You are wanted for interviews in Australia and America,'" Coleen said. "Now, when I look back on it, it was pretty unbelievable that it hit that many places. But my state of mind wasn't to accept any. But it shows I had a chance to say my peace from the beginning, but I wanted to just focus getting the right things out there and battling through the court case."

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While Coleen refused to discuss the situation at the time, she's more than ready to reflect on the experience now. Her memoir, My Account, was released on Nov. 9, and Coleen is hoping that this will be the end of the story. 

"Now is the right time because I want to move on from it," she explained. "Everyone else has had their say, I want to say my peace. I don't want that question getting asked all the time about the court case. So I thought that was the best way for me to do it."

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Coleen also opens up in the series about the struggles she faced in her marriage with Wayne, with whom she shares four children, Kai, 14, Klay, 10, Kit, 7, and Cass, 5.

Sharing details of those "difficult times" was "hard" for Coleen, but, she stressed, "We've dealt with it. It's in the past and we've moved on, so it's not as hard and raw as it was when it happened."

Not that the two-year legal battle with Rebekah didn't cause a strain on their family, as Coleen admitted she "couldn't get it off my mind," often spending hours on the phone with her legal team, while Wayne waited in vain to watch a movie with his wife.

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"Wagatha Christie" Trial: Judge Rules No Libel in Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy Case

"It was just always there," she shared, "and that is where it drained me. I got anxiety. Even though I was physically there looking after the children, mentally, I wasn't. it was just always on my mind. I was snappy, I didn't want to be around people because I just didn't really want to talk about it with others."

Though she regrets the trial "eating that much time," Coleen said she was determined to clear her name. 

And, it turned out, Wayne was also invested in the legal process, with Coleen revealing he considered going to law school. 

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"He did apply online actually," she shared. "He said, 'I am really interested in doing a course in this,' but then he got another job and it never worked out. But maybe in the future he might revisit it. He was just fascinated by it all. It has been something he's always been interested in."

Wayne is currently the manager of Birmingham City FC.

Between Coleen's docu-series and Netflix's Beckham, which takes an in-depth look at the professional career and private life of David Beckham and his wife Victoria Beckham, it's a good time to be a fan of footballers and WAGs.

Coleen "really enjoyed" Beckham, which she said brought back "nice memories" of the time their two families spent together while Wayne and David were both on the England National Team. But the series also took on a deeper meaning for Coleen.

"He had a great career and he's had ups and downs and it goes to show that we've got feelings," she explained. "We're not robots that are getting photographed. We do have a private life and we do feel things that people say."

Not that the Wagatha Christie ordeal has impacted Coleen's relationship with social media, as she still maintains both a private and a public Instagram account. "I do enjoy social media," she said. "I don't rely on it."

However, she is hoping viewers do learn a lesson from The Real Wagatha Story.

"It's made people realize you can't always hide," Coleen said. "You can get find out and maybe just made people a little more aware of what they are actually doing on social media."

As for the other main character in the story, Rebekah? (At the time of the court ruling, Rebekah said she was "extremely sad and disappointed" by the verdict, per the BBC.)

"The court case was the last time we've been in the same room or seen each other," Coleen stated. "But that's been the end of that."

Case closed.

Coleen Rooney: The Real Wagatha Story is streaming on Hulu in the U.S. and Disney+ internationally.