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15 Oct 2019 19:00
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  •   Home > News > International

    Coleen Rooney and her months-long #WAGathaChristie Instagram sting against Rebekah Vardy

    One footballer's wife has accused another of leaking stories about them to the media. But it's the stunning way it happened that set Twitter alight.


    The boring way to tell this story is to simply say that one high-profile footballer's wife has accused another of leaking stories about them to the media.

    But what's gripped the internet is the stunning way Coleen Rooney, wife of former Manchester United star Wayne Rooney, carried out a months-long Instagram sting to get to the bottom of her suspicions, and the public fallout when she pointed the finger at her (former?) friend in a Twitter post that was written like a thriller.

    The intrigue around #WAGathaChristie has more than just football fans madly refreshing Twitter:

    Let's start from the beginning, in January, when Rooney, a favourite target of the tabloids given her husband is one of English football's most successful players, shared her suspicions that someone following her private Instagram was leaking stories to the press:

    One tweeter had a savvy suggestion for eliminating suspects until one was left:

    And so, it seems, began the investigation that would lead to the stunning conclusion that sent the internet into meltdown.

    Rooney's post to her million-plus Twitter followers demands to be read in full, with the most explosive line left till last:

    The long and the short of it? Rooney said she knew for certain that only one account had seen the posts whose contents had found their way into The Sun newspaper.

    "It's... Rebekah Vardy's account," she said, a line which quickly went viral.

    For her part, Rebekah Vardy, wife of Jamie Vardy (whose rise with Leicester City to Premier League champion in 2016 made him another of English football's biggest stars), quickly denied the allegation.

    She said she was "disgusted" she even had to address it and others have had access to her account.

    "I liked you a lot Coleen and I'm so upset that you have chosen to do this, especially when I'm heavily pregnant," she said.

    The Sun says it checked every one of the stories with representatives for Rooney before publication.

    "[It] only went ahead when she made it clear she did not dispute the details," the newspaper said.

    In any event, Twitter had a field day.

    There were a couple attempts to start a serious discussion about tabloid newspapers and privacy in the 21st century:

    But for the most part, it was all about the memes:

    And for a day at least, it captured the UK's attention more than the looming Brexit deadline:

    © 2019 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved


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