‘Wagatha Christie’ – up to £1.5 million in costs to be paid by Vardy to Rooney
Following the high-profile “Wagatha Christie” trial, which we covered here, the claimant Rebekah Vardy, has been ordered to pay Coleen Rooney’s costs on the higher “indemnity” basis.
The Judge said:
“What takes this case out of the norm in a way which compels the conclusion that I should make an order for indemnity costs is that in my judgment following the trial I found that the Claimant - and also her former agent - had deliberately deleted or destroyed evidence.
"Even if I were to disregard the actions of the Claimant’s former agent on the basis that it was not put to the Claimant that she procured the disposal of the phone and I made no such finding, the point remains that I found the Claimant deliberately deleted or destroyed evidence.
"Such behaviour is outside the ordinary and reasonable conduct of proceedings. In all the circumstances, I consider it appropriate to order the Claimant to pay costs on the indemnity basis.”
This means that Ms Vardy could pay costs of up to £1.5 million and has been ordered to pay £800,000 as an initial “interim” payment.
Of course, Ms Vardy will have her own costs to pay too, and these are likely to be of a similar size to Ms Rooney’s costs.
All litigation carries risk. But this case is a startling example of getting litigation wrong. Ms Rooney had conducted a sting operation to find out who was leaking stories about her to journalists at the Sun. Having done so, she made the now much-publicised post “It’s ……….… Rebekah Vardy’s account” via social media.
Ms Vardy chose to sue Ms Rooney to clear her name. However, that decision has been a very public and very humiliating failure. It has now also come at a cost to Ms Vardy of several million pounds.