As Rebekah Vardy’s former agent, Caroline Watt found herself at the centre of the Wagatha Christie trial but has been conspicuously absent from public view since the legal saga began.
Mrs Vardy, 40, wife of Leicester City striker Jamie, sensationally blamed Mrs Watt, a former Virgin Atlantic flight attendant, for selling stories about Coleen Rooney, 36, to the Sun newspaper, but claimed to know nothing about the deals.
Mother-of-two Mrs Watt, whose husband Steve is an ex-professional footballer, was also the owner of a mobile phone filled with evidence that ended up at the bottom of the North Sea – or ‘Davy Jones’s locker’ as it was famously dubbed in court.
Yet the PR expert and agent, once part of Mrs Vardy’s inner circle, has maintained her silence and did not appear at the High Court.
A consultant forensic psychiatrist concluded Mrs Watt was not fit to provide oral evidence. A friend subsequently suggested she had been left with mental health issues as a result of the legal drama and was feeling ‘suicidal’.
Today Mrs Vardy’s reputation lies in tatters after she sensationally lost the libel case with Mrs Rooney – saddling her with an estimated bill of £3million for both sides’ legal costs.
The bombshell verdict from Court 13 of the High Court was handed down remotely online at noon by Mrs Justice Steyn just over two months after the hearing in May.
Rebekah Vardy’s former agent Caroline Watt found herself at the centre of this year’s most high profile legal case, yet she has remained largely out of the spotlight. Pictured, Rebekah (right) and Mrs Watt at an event in 2019
Mrs Vardy, 40, wife of Leicester City striker Jamie, sensationally blamed Mrs Watt, a former Virgin Atlantic flight attendant, for planting the stories about Mrs Rooney, 36, claiming to know nothing about the goings-on with the Sun newspaper. Pictured, Coleen during the trial
Mrs Watt acted as Mrs Vardy’s agent for seven years, helping to build her profile in the national media. There was confusion during the trial as to whether they have maintained a professional relationship, but it is understood they have parted ways.
The agent and PR expert is married to former footballer Steve Watt, who played for teams including Barnsley, Swansea City and Inverness Caledonian Thistle before retiring in 2017. He also played briefly for Chelsea, making one Premier League appearance for two minutes in 2005.
After retirement Watt went into management and was working at Kent non-league side Hythe Town until his resignation in November last year. It is thought the family continue to live in Kent.
Meanwhile Mrs Watt left behind a career in the airline industry to enter the world of entertainment.
She began working as an agent, quickly developing a reputation for her communication skills and ability to network.
JANUARY 2019: Ms Vardy texts Miss Watt and is said to have described Coleen as a ‘nasty b****… I’ve taken a big dislike to her! She thinks she’s amazing…Would love to leak those stories’
FEBRUARY 2019: Ms Watt and Ms Vardy realise Rooney has unfollowed them on Instagram. In a series of messages, Rebekah, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie, 35, is said to have described Coleen as a ‘nasty b****’ and a ‘c***’, while Ms Watt brands the wife of former Manchester United star Wayne Rooney as ‘trash’ and ‘up her own ar**’
OCTOBER 2019: The pair discuss their response to Coleen’s now infamous Wagatha Christie claims. The text messages are said to show Rebekah describing Mrs Rooney as a ‘b***’ and a ‘c***’
The rising star began representing Mrs Vardy in 2015 when her husband, Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, shot to fame. Mrs Watt was working with Mrs Vardy at the time of the 2018 World Cup that was also central to the libel case.
Mrs Watt was formerly employed by talent agency The Frontrow Partnership but left in 2019 to go it alone and took her main client and close friend, Mrs Vardy, with her.
Mrs Watt has been credited with building Mrs Vardy’s public profile by ensuring that she regularly featured in the national media and also brokered the deal for her to appear on the hit reality TV show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2018.
The Frontrow Partnership Instagram page, which has been inactive for a number of years, is filled with posts celebrating Mrs Vardy’s appearances on the likes of Loose Women and This Morning.
Mrs Watt was a regular visitor to the Vardy’s Lincolnshire home and also socialised with Mrs Vardy, attending glitzy parties and bars.
Another exchange, the court heard, showed Ms Vardy complaining how Ms Rooney ‘thinks it’s me that’s been doing stories on her’
In one message between Ms Vardy and her agent, it was claimed, Ms Vardy declared ‘It’s war’ after Ms Rooney publicly named her as the source of the leaks in October 2019 (left). The pair then discuss a story on The Sun about Ms Rooney crashing her car, with Ms Vardy referencing a tweet (see message, right) in which she claimed someone had leaked the story from her private Instagram
Ms Watt allegedly planned to blame ‘one of the girls in the office’ if it became ‘undeniably obvious’ she leaked Ms Rooney’s private information to the press, according to texts shown to High Court
The pair posed for photos together at a showbiz party just months before Mrs Rooney accused Mrs Vardy of leaking stories to the Sun.
Ms Vardy and Caroline Watt were invited to a VIP box the newspaper had hired for the National Television Awards at London’s O2 Arena in January 2019.
A photograph from the night – one of the showbiz events of the year – shows the two women posing with the late Love Island star Mike Thalassitis and socialite Lizzie Cundy in the box, which is thought to have cost about £10,000 and usually comes fully stocked with champagne and high-quality food.
Mrs Watt’s other clients include the former Page 3 girl Nicola McLean but it is Mrs Vardy that has been the biggest asset in her career as an agent.
Ms McLean defended Mrs Watt in a GB News TV interview, referencing the countless jokes and comments that had been made about her claims her mobile was washed into the North Sea.
Rebekah Vardy and her agent Caroline Watt (far and second right) pose with the late Love Island star Mike Thalassitis and socialite Lizzie Cundy (left)
‘Everyone is making light over the situation but Caroline has ended up suicidal,’ she said in a TV debate. ‘I think it’s unfair to bring her into it.
‘She’s known lots of things about people that haven’t ended up in the papers so I don’t think we should start dragging her through this as well. She’s in a very fragile state of mind.’
It was reported that Mrs Watt tried to talk Mrs Vardy out of legal action and urged her to move on with her life.
Friends of Mrs Watt said she was initially supportive of Mrs Vardy after Mrs Rooney accused her of leaking stories, but became alarmed when the row escalated into legal action.
One said: ‘Caroline saw this all running away in front of them and wanted it to stop. She tried to stop Becky but she was just not having any of it.
‘She was determined that she was going to get her apology from Coleen at any cost, so she just kept going and going. Becky was warned it was going to get expensive and there was a lot of damaging correspondence between Caroline and herself, but it was like Becky was on a runaway train and there was nothing Caroline could do about it.
Mrs Watt has been credited with building Mrs Vardy’s public profile by ensuring that she regularly featured in the national media and also brokered the deal for her to appear on the hit reality TV show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2018, pictured
‘It all got out of control. It was quite extraordinary for Caroline to see. She spent years advising Becky and being her friend, so she hoped that, on this one, she would listen to her. Alas, she didn’t.’
WhatsApp messages emerged during the case showing that Mrs Watt admitted giving the newspaper a story about Mrs Rooney crashing her 4×4 car in Washington DC.
Mrs Watt also had a conversation with her about selling details about ex-Leicester City footballer Danny Drinkwater being arrested for drink-driving in 2019.
However other text exchanges between Mrs Vardy and Mrs Watt that were central to the case were lost.
Mrs Vardy claims her messages were lost when she tried to transfer them to her solicitor. Mrs Watt said her phone ‘dropped in the North Sea’ after a boat she was travelling on off the coast of Scotland was hit by a wave.
When the bottom of the sea was referred to as Davy Jones’s Locker in court, Mrs Vardy admitted she didn’t know what the phrase meant.
Mrs Rooney’s lawyer, David Sherborne, described the explanation as ‘fishy’.
On the final day of the trial in May, Rebekah Vardy blamed Mrs Watt for selling stories about Coleen Rooney and admitted she regretted ever trusting her agent.
Making his closing arguments on the final day of the trial, Hugh Tomlinson QC, for Mrs Vardy, said: ‘Mrs Vardy has obviously made mistakes. One of them, the most serious, was to trust someone she shouldn’t have’ [referring to her agent Caroline Watt].
‘Another is the way she talked in private conversations with Ms Watt. She accepts she said things which, had she known they would come out in public, she would not have said.’
Mrs Rooney’s lawyer, David Sherborne, disagreed, claiming there was a ‘hand-in-glove’ between Mrs Vardy and her agent.
He said holding the trial without Mrs Watt was like ‘Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark’.