The now well-known court battle of 'wags' Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy, referred to by many as 'Wagatha Christie', was an event for the modern history books.


Now, the case is set to be memorialised in the form of brand new two-part Channel 4 series Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama.

The show, which stars Good Omens actor Michael Sheen, BAFTA Award-winning actress Chanel Cresswell (This is England) and Natalia Tena (Game of Thrones), will seek to recreate the high drama, high stakes defamation case that followed after the affair swept across social media in 2019.

But what is the true story behind the upcoming Channel 4 drama, and what was the verdict at the end of it all?

Ahead of the release of Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama, read on to find out which parts of the mini-series are based on the true story.

The cast of Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama.
The cast of Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama. Channel 4

Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama true story

While it may sound like something out of a writer's room, the tale of Vardy v Rooney is real.

The Channel 4 drama is based on a libel case brought against Coleen Rooney by Rebekah Vardy, and takes verbatim transcripts from the case to bring viewers all of the unbelievable moments from the courtroom that weren't seen on television at the time.

Dubbed the 'Wagatha Christie' case, the drama ensued after Rooney stated in a social media post in October 2019 that she had carried out a months-long "sting operation" to discover who was allegedly leaking "false stories" about her private life to The Sun.

She accused Vardy as the culprit, after Rooney had blocked all Instagram accounts from watching her Instagram Stories apart from the person she suspected most – AKA Vardy.

Rooney had made up false stories about herself and shared them online in a bid to ascertain who was really behind the circulating rumours, and in the now infamous Tweet that uncovered it all, she revealed: "It’s ……….Rebekah Vardy’s Account."

Vardy went on to sue Rooney for defamation in June 2020, and there was renewed interest in the case when the trial was brought to the High Court earlier this year in May 2022.

Vardy V Rooney: A Courtroom Drama
Simon Coury as Hugh Tomlinson KC and Natalia Tena as Rebekah Vardy in Varty v Rooney. Channel 4

What was the verdict of Vardy v Rooney?

On 29th July 2022, the trial came to a head when Justice Karen Steyn ruled that Rooney’s social media posts accusing Vardy of leaking stories to the tabloid newspaper were substantially true.

In her verdict, Judge Steyn described Vardy's evidence in the libel trial as "manifestly inconsistent ... evasive or implausible," while she deemed Rooney's evidence "honest and reliable".

In her conclusion, the judge outlined: "I have found that Ms Vardy was party to the disclosure to The Sun ... Ms Vardy knew of and condoned this behaviour, actively engaging in it by directing Ms Caroline Watt [Vardy's agent and friend] to the private Instagram account, sending her screenshots of Ms Rooney's posts, drawing attention to items of potential interest to the press, and answering additional queries raised by the press via Ms Watt."

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Vardy said at the time of the verdict that she thought Justice Steyn "got it wrong" with her ruling, adding that "it is not the result that I had expected, nor believe was just".

She did state that she would not appeal as "the case is over".

After the verdict, Rooney also said she was "pleased" the judge had ruled in her favour, saying: "It was not a case I ever sought or wanted."

She described what she underlined as a "difficult and stressful time" throughout the trial and concluded: "Although I bear Mrs Vardy no ill will, today's judgment makes clear that I was right in what I said in my posts of October 2019."

How much of Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama is true?

As of now, information about the two-part drama is being kept a closely guarded secret. What we do know, though, is that the new series is a "dramatic reconstruction".

As the court case wasn't televised, it'll be the first chance for the public to get a first-hand account of what transpired. According to the synopsis, the drama will use "real court transcripts verbatim," so we can only hope the drama doesn't stray too far from the truth.

Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama will air on Wednesday 21st December on Channel 4 later at 9pm. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


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