As a typical American sports fan, you very well might not know who Coleen Rooney is. If you don’t, then you definitely have never heard of Rebekah Vardy. But I can assure you that this story of Rooney, a famous WAG, going fishing for a clout shark she suspected of secretly selling info culled from her private Instagram account to a notorious British tabloid, successfully nabbing the culprit who turned out to be Vardy, another prominent WAG, and then exposing the snitch on Twitter this morning, is the best beef you’ll read about today.
All of this started when Coleen Rooney, wife of former Manchester United and England national team star Wayne Rooney, and a genuine celebrity in her own right, tweeted the following message today, exposing Rebekah Vardy, the wife of Leicester City and England national team star Jamie Vardy, for stealing information from Coleen’s private Instagram account and handing it over to a tabloid:
While this revelation is juicy on its own, you can’t fully understand what’s going on without knowing the characters, so let’s get up to speed with a little background info.
As the wife of one of the most famous athletes on the planet, in a country manically obsessed with the lives of soccer players and their WAGs (wives and girlfriends), Coleen is a huge deal—and not only because of Wayne. Coleen is probably the most famous and beloved WAG in England this side of Victoria Beckham. Her story with Wayne is adorable—the pair first met in school when they were 12 years old, started dating at 16, and have been together ever since. The way she’s weathered the myriad infidelity scandals and drunken hijinks and tabloid rumor mongering inspired by her, uh, rough-around-the-edges husband, maintaining her poise and dignity throughout her 15-plus years in the spotlight, has endeared her to the British public. And with her dedication to her charity work, plus her stints as a TV presenter and a fashionista, she has earned respect for the things she’s chosen to do with all that money and fame. Coleen is known and loved for being the classy one.
Rebekah Vardy is, well, the opposite. Her husband Jamie is famous for his rags-to-riches story that saw him claw his way up from total obscurity in English soccer’s lower divisions to Premier League glory in his late 20s, when he helped Leicester win the most unbelievable championship in sports history. Rebekah’s appeal as a WAG is in some ways similar to Jamie’s appeal as a character. In public and especially on Twitter, Rebekah is brash, uncouth, not always politically correct, proudly blue-collar, hilarious, and utterly unconcerned with social niceties and decorum. To psychologize her from afar, it seems that her status as a late-comer onto the infamous WAG scene (the Vardys, both in their 30s now, have only been legitimately famous for about four years) means she revels in the newfound attention paid to her now that she’s an insider in a world she was probably fascinated with when she was on the outside looking in, while also wanting to keep her air of unpretentiousness.
And that’s why it’s so wild to see the picture of class Coleen Rooney blowing up Rebekah Vardy’s spot, accusing her of doing a crazy thing anyone familiar with the personalities in play could totally see happening. It would sort of be like Ayesha Curry accusing Teyana Taylor of posting fake rumors on a message board that Steph Curry was cheating. The staff of Media Take Out would spontaneously combust.
And there’s more. Right before tweeting the above message, Coleen retweeted an old tweet of hers to show how long this thing has gone back, and as an especially delicious spiking of the football since she’s now gotten to the bottom of it:
One response to those old tweets looks especially interesting in light of what happened after:
The Mirror helpfully dug into the archives and found the fake stories Coleen planted:
The so-called source claimed Coleen would love to have a daughter and so had flown out to Mexico where the controversial treatment is legal.
Next came a story on September 28 about Coleen eyeing up a return to TV by holding talks with the BBC about signing up for Strictly Come Dancing next year, which spun into more reports claiming Wayne had begged his wife not to do it.
And the third story concerned the Rooneys’ brand new £20 million mansion, which Coleen pretended had flooded in the recent wet weather.
And those weren’t the only times the mysterious Instagram leaker struck:
It didn’t take long for Rebekah to give her side of the story today. In a tweet of her own, Rebekah denied being the snitch and slammed Coleen for going public with the matter rather than handling it person-to-person:
Rebekah’s version of events is plausible ... but ultimately unconvincing. For one, her use of a variation of the “I was hacked” defense and the novel “I’m heavily pregnant” excuse don’t help her case. Plus, the simple fact that Coleen suspected Rebekah in the first place, even before Rebekah or whoever was using her account got caught, feels telling. And a truly innocent person would presumably be more empathetic with Coleen’s plight and mortified at her account having been the source of the leaks, even if the leaks didn’t come from her directly, and not so outraged and “disgusted” that Coleen made the completely understandable decision to tweet about the crazy behavior she’d uncovered.
While we already have a lot of information here, there are still so many questions I’m dying to get answers to. How did Coleen get the idea for this? Did she ever happen to run into Rebekah around town while the sting was ongoing? If so, was it hard to hold her tongue and play nice? Did Rebekah really do it? If so, why? For money? Quid pro quo with the paper? For the thrill of being involved with the news? A secret, simmering, long-standing hatred of Coleen? Has this or will this get to a point where Wayne and Jamie have to get involved?
The British tabloids may be trash, but they know when they have gold on their hands. So don’t expect this to be the end of the story. If Rebekah isn’t sitting down for a tell-all TV interview with her idol Piers Morgan by the end of the month, I’ll be shocked. God, I can’t wait.