Monday, June 27, 2022

Day five of Wagatha Christie – and the dark heart of the case is laid bare

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Somewhere in a landfill site in Wales is a hard drive that, even as of this week, still contains a hoard of more than £100m worth of Bitcoins. But that’s certainly nothing compared to the sacred artifact we now know must exist somewhere – most likely in some kind of rubbish dump near Alderley Edge.

I’m talking about the document that we didn’t even know existed until now. It’s a handwritten note, fresh from the pen of its author, Coleen Rooney. It contains the 13 seismic phrases, each one note perfect, one bar perfect and commanding in its economy, that lead to the four words and nine dot-dot-dots that shook the world: “It’s …… Rebekah Vardy’s account. ”

On her second day of cross-examination, Rooney revealed that she first hand-wrote the post, as she likes to do, before typing it on WhatsApp and sending it to her brother to post on her Instagram, while doing the same on Twitter.

The note, she said, is now lost. And even the possibility of some sort of Wagatha Christie NFT seems unlikely now that the WhatsApp message was “cleaned up” by her brother and she can’t access it either after switching phones. (Rooney’s brother appears to regularly “clear” his WhatsApp — a practice that, if this case shows anything at all, is eminently reasonable for anyone.)

It’s technically day five of Wagatha Christie’s trial, but the time took on a more plastic feel a few days, or maybe years ago. There are only so many hours one can spend listening to very well paid old men discussing how Instagram works on behalf of a judge whose recent cases include a Saudi arms trade and the fate of inmates at Guantanamo Bay before the own mind of reality begins to warp a little at the edges.

And that’s probably the ultimate madness of it all. At the dark heart of this third-year and reportedly third-million-dollar case is this one, exciting, deliciously short piece of news. Does the world need to hear her full backstory? Must we witness the magician’s curtain being drawn back? Do we have to explain to Rooney in excruciating detail that “you go to settings and then you go to ‘hide my story’, then you have to select all the people you want to hide it from”?

It is still suspected that Rooney lacks the evidence needed to prove Rebekah Vardy definitely knew that her account was used either by herself or someone else to provide information about Rooney’s personal life The sun.

Vardy’s defense — or more accurately, attack, since she filed this lawsuit herself — appears to be based on the notion that her agent, Caroline Watt, did all of this without her knowledge. They seem to expect Rooney and the wider court to believe that there was no way Vardy could have known that someone with access to her account could have done something improper with it.

And they also seem to expect nobody to get too bogged down in, say, the thousands of WhatsApp messages between Watt and Vardy, in which the two work together to leak information to journalists The sun over subjects like Riyad Mahrez not showing up for practice and Danny Drinkwater coping for drunk driving. That Vardy never messaged Andy Halls, the author of the stories at the heart of this case, even though she sent a message to Watt that simply said, “Messaged Halls.”

For most of the fifth day, the court became philosophical rather than strictly factual. Rooney said she didn’t expect her Instagram-based investigation to make as much impact as she did. “It was way bigger than I ever imagined,” she said, adding that she “hated every minute of it.”

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This, Vardy’s lawyers suggested, couldn’t possibly be true, citing as evidence the happy memes that were on her phone, including one in which her face had been photoshopped on Scooby Doo when he removed the mask from the one or other malefactor to reveal the face of Vardy.

It may need to be pointed out that a person does not always have full control over what they receive on WhatsApp, as anyone who has been to a bachelorette party can no doubt attest, although this point has not been made in mitigation. Clearly, the intricate workings of Instagram were more than enough for the court. Even WhatsApp could have pushed it over the edge.

Where this will lead next is unclear, although day six, Tuesday, will see the most inscrutable face of the case yet. Wayne Rooney, record goalscorer for England and Manchester United, has spent a full 25 hours staring at the oak panels two meters from his face, breaking the monotony every hour or so by giving a brief examination of his cuticles in strict left-after -Right state legal command.

Pretty much what he’ll have to say about that, well, who knows. But we’re about to find out.

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