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GB News’ Ellie Costello recalls ‘circus’ of Wagatha Christie trial after ‘shock’ cameo in Coleen Rooney doc


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Ellie Costello has delved into her memories of reporting on the iconic Wagatha Christie libel case between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney in an exclusive interview with GB News.

Ellie, who regularly fronts a number of shows on the People’s Channel, had admitted she was “shocked” to discover footage of her reports from London’s High Court had been used to provide context in Disney’s hit new series, which is streaming now across the globe.

“I had absolutely no idea that was gonna happen. And I actually just got a few texts yesterday saying that I’m in it as much as Coleen!” Ellie laughed.

She continued: “So I had no idea that was gonna happen. But it makes sense because there are so few people that are actually in that courtroom, very few broadcasters as well and I was there each day.

“So it makes sense that they’ve used it to kind of narrate what was going on. But yeah, it was a total surprise.”

The 2022 libel case gripped the nation after Vardy was accused by Rooney of leaking private posts from her Instagram account to The Sun.

Vardy ultimately ended up on the losing side when a judge dismissed her claims, resulting in her having to pay a substantial proportion of Rooney’s legal fees.

Delving into her memory of reporting on the trial, Ellie said: “It kind of felt like it was the warring WAGs – a catfight on heat, basically.

“It was so bizarre to have a row that you’d probably see outside a nightclub or in a bar somewhere being played out in the High Court in London in front of the world’s press and the media.

“So for me, it was just so surreal sitting there for seven days seeing these two public figures who have been so huge in the Noughties, like I’ve grown up with them.

Ellie Costello

Footage of Ellie covering the case featured in Coleen Rooney’s new documentary


“I read some of Coleen’s magazine columns growing up, and watched them on TV at football games – to then seeing them in the High Court talking about their WhatsApps and what emojis mean and their personal lives was really quite surreal.”

Ellie went on to explain that one such instance included discussions with Judge Mrs Justice Steyn trying to decipher what emojis and acronyms meant in legal terms.

“I think the juxtaposition of one of the most prolific judges in the land trying to fathom what an aubergine emoji meant or what ‘FFS’ meant, for example, was just so ludicruous” she explained.

“The barristers were trying to apply ancient English libel law to this very modern era of the WAGs – it was just surreal for me to sit and witness that for seven days.”

Ellie admitted that she, like much of the nation, was gripped by the case given the fact both Rooney and Vardy’s husbands were former England teammates, spending much – if not all – their professional working lives in the spotlight.

And the GB News star was particularly intrigued by former England striker Wayne due to his conduct during the trial: “It felt like a privilege, if that’s a bit of a strange word, to watch the body language of the two high-profile women and their husbands.

“Obviously, Wayne Rooney and Jamie Vardy – Jamie Vardy was only there on one or two days, but Wayne was there every single day of the High Court hearing.

Coleen Rooney

Coleen Rooney shared her side of the story in the documentary


“And he was very much there as a supportive husband, but his eyes remained fixed to the floor the entire time.’

“But he was there every single day to be fair, and I did think, ‘Oh, surely he’s going to leave one day or go home early’, and he just sat next to her every single day.”

Ellie went on to further praise the Rooneys’ conduct during the case, despite 37-year-old Rooney revealing in the documentary series it was one of the hardest periods of her life.

“Coleen came across so well,” Ellie recalled. “She said on the stand that she didn’t actually want to be in court, that she was brought there by Rebekah…

“But you’d think somebody who didn’t want to be in court, they wouldn’t be interested (but) she had a notepad and pen which… a lot of people again (picked up on), that was so funny to the tabloids because she is so old school.

“She was like a true detective with her pen and paper – she was writing the whole time.”

Rebekah and Jamie Vardy

Rebekah and Jamie Vardy arrive at court during the trial


The global attention the case drew was unprecedented, with blanket coverage of Rooney and Vardy’s testimony sprawled across newspapers, social media, and panel shows throughout proceedings.

And as such, divisions among members of the public arose as more evidence emerged to sway the nation’s opinion.

“It was a media circus, the judge was aware of that as well,” Ellie admitted. “The judge did say at one point, ‘I’ve asked you, ladies, to settle outside of court several times and it hasn’t happened’.

“The judge very much saw it as being a big waste of time. Coleen echoed that when she was on the stand as well, she said she didn’t want to be here, she references that in the documentary.

“It was very much Rebekah Vardy bringing that to court, she wanted to have that day in court, she was obviously hoping that she’d be cleared and it would be a way of her cleaning up her reputation. But it didn’t turn out to be that way.

“It was extraordinary, the media circus around it. I mean, (with) Team Vardy and Team Rooney, (people picked up on) even what the women chose to wear.

WATCH HERE: Ellie Costello reports on Wagathe Christie result 

“Rebekah Vardy went for this Balmain jacket, she went with Chanel, she was wearing all of her high designer brands, and then Coleen was in Zara.

“She re-wore clothes she wore that week so she became this high street, everyday girl. And Rebekah Vardy stayed very true to her ‘WAG-ness’ if you like.”

Reflecting on how she feels now one year on from reporting on the case, Ellie admitted certain aspects were “horrible” but ultimately came away with fond memories of the once-in-a-lifetime trial.

“I’ve never been to a court case like this, from someone who spends a large proportion of their reporting life in a courtroom,” Ellie said.

“We were literally queuing outside the courtroom for an hour and a half before it started. They had to do ballots or tickets with journalists to get in in the end.

“They had they had 10 or 12 names they would call out and you’d be like, ‘Yes!’

Coleen Rooney

Coleen Rooney arrives at court


“It was similar to a lottery and you had to email a specific person to get into the courtroom. So I ended up on that list of 12 or 14 – It was very limited.

“Then you get called in and it’d be scrambling to get the best seat because you wanted to sit and face both women. I wanted to watch their body language.

“I remember the first day before that ticketing system, it was like a scrum at the door for journalists to get into that courtroom… it was horrible actually.

“It felt like we were like kind of shouldering each other way to get in – but it was the hottest ticket in town.

“Ridiculous, it was a circus! But it was a great case and I did feel like I really enjoyed covering it.”

Fans can see Ellie’s surprise cameos in the third and final episode of Coleen Rooney: The Real Wagatha Christie Story on Disney+ now.

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