Rebekah Vardy has claimed a partial victory in her ongoing libel case with Coleen Rooney, after a judge threw out some of Coleen's defence arguments.
The two WAGs have been going head to head after Coleen publicly accused Rebekah's Instagram account of being the source of leaked "false stories" which appeared in the press, something Rebekah denies and is now suing Coleen for libel over.
At a hearing in June, Rebekah's lawyers asked the High Court to throw out some of Coleen's defence, saying they were "irrelevant or peripheral" to the case.
And in a judgement delivered by Mrs Justice Sten today (July 7), some of the defence elements were dismissed, while others were kept in.
The judge has thrown out a claim from Coleen's camp that Rebekah had shown "publicity-seeking behaviour" when she sat behind Coleen in someone else's seat at the 2016 Euros.
She said that, even if the allegation was true, it would not help Coleen's case.
"The fact that a person seeks media coverage of their own attendance at a football match does not make it more probably that they would disclose private information about another person to the press," Mrs Justice Sten said.
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She added that "it would be a waste of time and resources" to continue with the claim.
The judge also threw out an allegation that Rebekah was leaking information about the libel case to The Sun.
"While this is an allegation of leaking confidential information to The Sun, the nature of it is very different to what was alleged in the post," she said.
"Notably, the defendant has pleaded it in support of the contention that there is a close relationship between the claimant and The Sun, rather than as an instance of the claimant disclosing another person’s private information."
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And the judge threw out a claim regarding to Rebekah writing a statement for press regulator IPSO after a complaint was made about The Sun.
However, Mrs Justice Steyn did say that the alleged close relationship between Rebekah and the newspaper was "one of the building blocks" of the case.
"I accept that an exceptionally close relationship between the claimant and the newspaper or journalists to whom the defendant’s posts are alleged to have been disclosed is probative of the plea of truth, albeit on its own it would not take the defendant far."
She continued: "It can, at least, be said to be less likely that a person with no such relationship would regularly disclose private information about others to that newspaper or those journalists and, perhaps, less likely that the disclosure would, on its own, result in a published article."
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Rebekah has denied that she is the author of The Secret Wag column, and her lawyer argued that her alleged link to it was irrelevant.
But Coleen's team argued that it allegedly showed Rebekah's "history and practice of publicly disclosing private information about other people she was friendly or associated with".
Mrs Justice Steyn said that the short-lived column was relevant, telling the court: "While these paragraphs do not go to the core issues, the allegation that the claimant had, or was the primary source for, a gossip column about professional footballers and their partners in The Sun is logically probative similar fact evidence."
She also refused to throw out a part of Coleen's defence referring to Rebekah's alleged close relationship with the publication and its journalists, including her interaction with some of them on social media.
"The claimant’s engagement on social media with these journalists is relevant in considering the defendant’s case that she had an exceptionally close relationship with them, which I have accepted is one of the building blocks on which the defendant seeks to build her defence of truth," she said.
Mrs Justice Steyn later dismissed Rebekah's bid for summary judgement, which would have seen that part of the case resolved without a trial, about Coleen's claim that she leaked a story about her returning to television presenting.
She concluded: “It is one of many factual issues to be resolved at trial in determining whether the truth defence is made out.
“It seems highly unlikely that resolution of this issue would assist the parties to settle the claim.”
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