Coleen Rooney said she "had suspicions" that Rebekah Vardy was responsible for leaking stories to the press as she gave evidence for a second time during the so-called "Wagatha Christie" libel trial at the High Court in London.
In a viral social media post in October 2019, Mrs Rooney, 36, said she had carried out a "sting operation" and accused Rebekah Vardy, 40, of leaking "false stories" about her private life to the press.
Mrs Vardy, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, denies leaking stories to the media and is suing her fellow footballer’s wife for libel, while Mrs Rooney is defending the claim on the basis her post was "substantially true".
On Friday afternoon, Mrs Rooney began giving evidence in Court 13 of the Royal Courts of Justice, facing questions from Mrs Vardy’s barrister Hugh Tomlinson QC.
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Asked what she set out to achieve with the widely shared post, Mrs Rooney replied: "I wasn’t achieving anything, what I wanted was to stop the person who was leaking my private information to The Sun."
Mrs Rooney added that she had given out warnings "many times" but "it didn't stop", adding that the post was her "last resort".
On Monday, Mrs Rooney told the High Court she "had suspicions" Rebekah Vardy's Instagram account was responsible for leaking information to journalists when she unfollowed her on the social media site.
As her cross-examination by Mrs Vardy’s barrister Hugh Tomlinson QC continued on day five of the high-profile libel trial, she accepted it would have been obvious to Mrs Vardy in March 2019 when she texted Mrs Rooney that she had been unfollowed.
Mrs Rooney said the pair were "not good friends" and that if someone had unfollowed her she would "probably just forget about it and not message" the person, adding: "I wouldn’t have been that bothered really."
She said: "I felt it was suspicious. Obviously, I had suspicions in other ways, so this just added to the suspicions that I had."
Mr Tomlinson put it to Mrs Rooney that she had lied in her reply to Mrs Vardy by saying she had not realised she had unfollowed her and that it might have been one of her children that had done it by accident while playing with her phone.
She replied: "Yes, it was a cover-up for what I was investigating."
Mrs Rooney continued: "I had my suspicions that Mrs Vardy could be doing this from her account and when I received that message it made me realise even more that it was suspicious, and I did tell a fib."
Mrs Rooney told the court it was initially "quite hard" keeping her so-called sting operation of posting fake stories on social media to herself.
"If I wanted to find out who was doing it to me I had to keep it to myself," she said.
Asked why she did not tell her husband, Mrs Rooney replied: "One thing I don't do is put my troubles or my worries on anyone else.
"I didn’t like to put pressure on anyone."
Mrs Rooney also told the court that the fallout from her October 2019 social media post about her so-called sting operation was "way bigger than I ever thought or what I intended to do".
She acknowledged, under questioning from Mr Tomlinson, that it was possible other people could have had access to Mrs Vardy's Instagram account and were leaking information without her knowledge.
"It’s a possibility, but I didn’t think it was," she said.
Her evidence comes after Mrs Vardy spent around 10 hours being cross-examined in the witness box over the course of last week.
Asked about her time being questioned, Mrs Vardy described it as "exhausting, intimidating", adding: "I feel like I’ve been bullied and manipulated."
Mrs Rooney is defending the libel claim brought by Mrs Vardy on the basis of truth and public interest.
The libel battle comes after Mrs Rooney publicly claimed that an account behind three fake stories in The Sun that she had posted on her personal Instagram account was Mrs Vardy’s.
The fake stories Mrs Rooney planted on her Instagram during the sting operation featured her travelling to Mexico for a "gender selection" procedure, her planning to return to TV, and the basement flooding at her home.
In the post on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, she 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."
Source: Press Association