In her first TV interview since the verdict, Rebekah Vardy opened up about the sexist treatment she and Coleen Rooney faced while on trial, and the impact it’s had on her mental health.
On 29 July, in the culmination of events the internet had quickly dubbed “Wagatha Christie”, a High Court judge ruled that Coleen Rooney’s now infamous Instagram post outing Rebekah Vardy for leaking stories to The Sun newspaper was “substantially true”.
Vardy had attempted to sue Rooney for defamation, but Mrs Justice Steyn concluded Vardy probably worked with her agent to leak stories from Rooney’s private Instagram account, providing tips to tabloid journalists and aiding them with their inquiries.
It was the court case that spawned a thousand memes and created a media circus around the two popular figures. However, in her first TV interview with TalkTV’s Kate McCann last night, Vardy opened up about the “sexism” she feels both she and Rooney faced during the trial.
Asked a question on whether she thought the media scrutiny about how she and Rooney both dressed during the trial was influenced by sexism, she replied: “Totally – the whole thing was presented in such a misogynistic way.”
Comparing the reporting on her and Rooney’s case with that of the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard libel case in the US, she stated that Depp’s clothing and behaviour was not dissected or subjected to the same level of commentary.
“It just seems like women aren’t allowed to defend themselves. Women aren’t allowed to dress nicely. Yeah, there’s a lot of sexism involved in it,” she added.
Throughout the interview, Vardy maintained her innocence, saying: “I have never given stories to the press, I’ve never leaked stories on anyone.” Later, she adamantly stated once more: “I will say that ’til I’m blue in the face. I did not do it.”
Vardy told McCann that she was “disappointed” with the outcome of the trial, saying: “I didn’t expect it to go that way but I think we had a judge that didn’t understand the case and didn’t look at everything. When asked, she did not say whether she would be appealing the decision.
In an age of the high-profile celebrity drama, it’s been all-too easy to forget among the media spectacle that there were two women at the centre whose lives have the potential to be damaged even after the verdict.
Vardy has been open about the impact the trial and its reception has had on her mental health, revealing that she’d received “abuse”, including “death and rape threats” throughout the trial, which lead her to be admitted to hospital twice.
“The abuse I was getting was insane. At the beginning it would be 100 messages a day. I even got letters sent to my home, and some crazy s*** sent over including letters from psychics.
“I was linked to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, people suggesting I was a member of [terror group] IS, stuff like that. It was as if I’d murdered someone. Every time something happened it was my fault, every time something new broke, it was my fault,” she said of her victimisation.