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Peter Andre 'managed just five minutes of sex’ with Rebekah Vardy 'Wagatha Christie' trial hears

A barrister referred to an article in which it was suggested Mr Andre was 'hung like a small chipolata'

Zoe Tidman© Independent.co.uk

Rebekah Vardy was asked this afternoon whether it was "respectful" of Peter Andre's "right not to share this information" about their sexual encounter with a newspaper.

The high-profile libel battle heard Coleen Rooney's barrister David Sherborne ask Vardy questions about an interview she gave to the News Of The World about Mrs Vardy's claimed sexual encounter with singer Peter Andre.

Mr Sherborne showed what appeared to an A3 print out of the article to Mrs Vardy in the witness box before reading the headline: "Peter's hung like a small chipolata, shaved, slobbery, lasts five minutes".

The barrister read excerpts from the article, in which it was claimed Mr Andre had managed "just five minutes of sex with Rebekah" and in which she said he had "the smallest trouser equipment I've ever seen" that was like a "miniature chipolata".

Mr Sherborne suggested to Mrs Vardy that the News Of The World was the "highest circulating newspaper at the time", read by some four million people.

Rebekah Vardy was asked whether it was "respectful" of Peter Andre's "right not to share this information" about their sexual encounter with a newspaper.

She replied: "I was forced into a situation by my ex-husband to do this. It is something that I deeply regret... It is not nice to read and I understand why this is being used and to me this is mudslinging and I was also threatened with mudslinging by Mrs Rooney's team."

Asked the question again by Coleen Rooney's barrister David Sherborne, Mrs Vardy said: "The circumstances around it were completely different."

She later said she did not ask Mr Andre for his permission or tell him it was going to happen in advance.

Mr Sherborne asked: "Did you feel particularly strongly about the size of his manhood that it should be made public?"

Mrs Vardy replied: "It was something that I was forced to say."

Earlier the court heard how Rebekah Vardy “had no choice” but to bring the libel claim against Coleen Rooney to “establish her innocence”.

Mrs Rooney, 36, accused Mrs Vardy, 40, of leaking “false stories” about her private life to the media in October 2019, after she said she carried out a months-long “sting operation”.

The wife of former England star Wayne Rooney was dubbed “Wagatha Christie” when she publicly claimed her fellow footballer’s wife shared three fake stories she had posted on her personal Instagram account with The Sun newspaper.

The fake stories included Mrs Rooney travelling to Mexico for a “gender selection” procedure, her planning to return to TV, and the basement flooding at her home.

In a now infamous post on Twitter and Instagram, Mrs Rooney wrote: “I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them.

“It’s ………. Rebekah Vardy’s account.”

Mrs Vardy, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, denies the accusations and is suing Mrs Rooney for libel.

Coleen Rooney arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney is finally set to go to trial. Ian West/PA Wire

After months of preliminary hearings, Tuesday marked the start of the full trial which is due to last seven days.

Mrs Rooney arrived at the Royal Courts of Justice on Tuesday with her husband, also 36, who had a trophy-laden career with Manchester United and is now manager of Derby County.

Wearing a black suit and with her foot in a brace, she entered the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand by the front entrance, flanked by a crowd of photographers.

Rebekah Vardy arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney is finally set to go to trial. Ian West/PA Wire

Mrs Vardy arrived moments after Mrs Rooney entered the building, wearing sunglasses and a long blue buttoned dress.

Both women sat at the front of the court, in front of their barristers, as the hearing began.

Mrs Vardy’s barrister, Hugh Tomlinson QC, said the TV personality had to bring the libel claim to “vindicate her reputation”.

He said in written submissions: “The allegation in the post was and remains false: Mrs Vardy had not leaked information about Mrs Rooney or her friends and family to the Sun newspaper from her private Instagram account.

“Mrs Rooney did not have the ‘irrefutable’ evidence that she claimed to have had: her so-called ‘careful investigation’ was nothing of the sort.

“If anyone had been leaking information from Mrs Rooney’s private Instagram this was not done with Mrs Vardy’s knowledge or approval.”

He continued: “Mrs Vardy made strenuous but unsuccessful attempts to settle the case but the post was not taken down.

“As result, Mrs Vardy had no choice but to bring this libel action to establish her innocence and vindicate her reputation.”

Mr Tomlinson told the court that, as a result of the post, Mrs Vardy, who was seven months pregnant at the time, and her family were subjected to horrible abuse, including one post calling her an “evil rat-faced bitch” and others saying she should die and her baby should be “put in an incinerator”.

He said her husband, Jamie Vardy, was also subjected to chants about her during football matches.

Mr Tomlinson said the affair and subsequent libel case had become the subject of intense press coverage and a source of “entertainment” in the media, being referred to as “Wag Wars” and “Wagatha Christie”.

He added: “This is far from being an entertaining case, it has been profoundly distressing and disturbing.”

He said Mrs Rooney’s post on Instagram was liked about 93,000 times while the Twitter post received more than 300,000 likes.

Mr Tomlinson added: “(Mrs Vardy) needs to be able to clear her name through this case, so she can move on from this terrible episode.”

Mrs Rooney is defending the claim on the basis of truth and public interest.

In written submissions, her barrister David Sherborne said there were “numerous examples of the claimant and Ms (Caroline) Watt conspiring to pass private and personal information on to the press about other individuals”.

He continued: “In short, the claimant is someone who has secretly provided, or sought to provide, to the press private information which she has been privy to in relation to a number of individuals in the footballing world or other celebrities, and not just the defendant, without their consent.”

The barrister later said there had been “widespread and significant destruction or loss of evidence” in the case, which notably include the loss of Ms Watt’s phone in the North Sea.

“To borrow from Wilde, to lose one significant set of documents may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose two, carelessness, but to lose 10? That must be concealment,” he wrote.

The trial before Mrs Justice Steyn continues, with a decision expected in writing at a later date.

Mr Tomlinson said that it was "unfair" for Coleen Rooney not to put her allegations to Rebekah Vardy before making the social media post containing them.

Continuing to address the court after a break for lunch, the barrister said: "In this case no opportunity was given to respond, there was absolutely no urgency to this.

"It was not something which was an immediate news story that would disappear if time was spent on giving an opportunity to respond."

"Mrs Rooney could have been in touch with Mrs Vardy.

"She never did."

Mr Sherborne said there had been a "series of unfortunate or ... improbable events" in the case, and that Coleen Rooney remained convinced her assertion in the post complained of was true, which is why she has not apologised.

He said some of the abusive posts Rebekah Vardy received were "awful, and not what (Mrs Rooney) intended at all".

The barrister added: "But, despite that, Mrs Rooney was right in what she wrote, despite Mrs Vardy's complaint that it wasn't true."

He told the court: "In essence, this is a detective story, and like any good detective story, you never find a person standing over the body with a smoking gun."

He said there was "inference", telling Mrs Justice Steyn: "You do not have to be convinced beyond reasonable doubt, you just have to conclude that it is more likely than not that Mrs Vardy was responsible, either directly or through Ms Watt."

Mr Sherborne told the court that the trial would hear evidence from Coleen Rooney as well as husband Wayne.

Rooney's cousin and Mrs Rooney's brother will also provide evidence, he added.

Mr Sherborne explained that the witnesses would say that "Mrs Rooney doesn't have a proactive PR... unlike Mrs Vardy".

"And unlike Mrs Vardy again, she is not so keen to get lots of self-promotion or favourable coverage," he added. "That was the motive, why Mrs Vardy leaked information to The Sun."

Mr Sherborne said witnesses will also explain that Mrs Rooney "didn't tell any of them she was making this sting operation".

He said it was a "surprise" to them when her post accusing Mrs Vardy was made, he added.

Mr Sherborne said that Rebekah Vardy's case has changed since her original claim.

"What was said at the time about possible alternatives is now not put forward by Mrs Vardy and that is because she and Ms Watt concocted a series of lies at the time," he told the court.

The barrister said it was "particularly telling" how Mrs Vardy and Caroline Watt reacted when Coleen Rooney said she suspected someone had leaked an incorrect story about a car crash, arguing they were "spooked".

"It is Mrs Vardy's reaction to this that shows she was responsible for the leaks," Mr Sherborne said.

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