Vardy filed legal proceedings against Rooney on June 12, court documents show, months after Rooney posted a lengthy message on social media accusing someone using Vardy’s account of leaking stories about her to tabloid newspapers.
The alleged subterfuge of one of the UK’s leading “WAGs” — a term used to describe the wives and girlfriends of professional footballers — against another quickly became something of a national obsession.
It will come to a head in Vardy vs. Rooney, with the claimant suing Rooney for defamation.
Vardy is the wife of Leicester City and former England striker Jamie, while Rooney is married to England’s all-time leading goalscorer Wayne. Both women are also television personalities.
CNN has contacted both Vardy and Rooney’s legal teams for comment.
What is WAG-gate?
The court case follows a dramatic spat that unfolded in October 2019 following a social media post by Rooney.
“This has been a burden in my life for a few years now and finally I have got to the bottom of it,” she wrote.
Attached to the post was a lengthy and gripping tale, in which Rooney described months of amateur detective work she conducted on Instagram to find out who was leaking stories about her to a British tabloid.
“Over the past five months, I have posted a series of false stories to see if they made their way into the Sun newspaper,” Rooney explained. “And you know what, they did! The story about gender selection in Mexico, the story about returning to TV and then the latest story about the basement flooding in my new house.”
“I have saved and screenshotted the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them,” she went on.
Then, in a jaw-dropping twist delivered at the end of a tantalizing ten-dot ellipses, Rooney wrote: “It’s ……….Rebekah Vardy’s account.”
The allegation went viral and prompted countless column inches in the UK, quickly becoming known as the “WAG wars” and “WAG-gate.” Rooney’s sleuthing also earned her the nickname “WAGatha Christie.”
Vardy subsequently denied the allegations and suggested someone else may have used her account.
But the fight turned brutal as celebrities and members of the public alike started taking sides.
Vardy was asked in an interview by the Daily Mail whether the two women have argued about the incident. “That would be like arguing with a pigeon,” she replied. “You can tell it that you are right and it is wrong, but it’s still going to s**t in your hair.”
It is unclear when the court case will take place, or even whether it will bring an end to the drama.