Discover more from Never A Truer Word
Wagatha Christie: Vardy vs Rooney, their words analysed
Who’s being truthful?
This week in the UK, we’re expecting to see an eagerly awaited court case, Vardy vs Rooney. It’s a libel trial centred around two high-profile women and centres on some words posted on social media.
The court will decide the truth, but what can we tell from the words they both used at the very start, way back in 2019.
Let’s break it down
Coleen Rooney’s words
This has been a burden in my life for a few years now and finally I have got to the bottom of it......
This is the introduction to Coleen’s statement. The style of the words suggests a story is coming, not necessarily a fiction story.
For a few years now someone who I trusted to follow me on my personal Instagram account has been consistently informing THE SUN newspaper of my private posts and stories.
This is fairly straight and direct, indicators of a truthful recount of events. The liberal use of “me” and “my” suggest these are events which have affected her personally.
The only unneeded persuasive word in this paragraph is “consistently”, everything else is direct and to the point. Coleen doesn’t feel the need to embellish this to increase the severity of what she is saying.
Coleen owns the mistake of allowing someone the access to follow her private account, saying it was “someone who I trusted”. She doesn’t make any attempt to explain this further or downplay her part in it. Another indicator of truth.
Note the use, twice, of the vague “a few years”, it will be relevant later.
There has been so much information given to them about me, my friends and my family - all without my permission or knowledge.
We have more straight words here, once again low on persuasive language.
Coleen talks about the people affected being close to her (and also her) but doesn’t use any emotive words to describe any hurt, upset, or anger.
This makes me question if she is keeping to the facts as she sees them, or if this has been more of an annoyance than something that has caused deeper emotional troubles.
After a long time of trying to figure out who it could be, for various reasons, I had a suspicion.
We have more storytelling here, using suspense to good effect. She doesn’t expand on what reasons she has for the suspicions, but she doesn’t hide that she had reasons, so it doesn’t make me feel she is being deceptive, she is definitely holding something back.
To try and prove this, I came up with an idea. I blocked everyone from viewing my Instagram stories except ONE account. (Those on my private account must have been wondering why I haven't had stories on there for a while.)
The part she has written in brackets isn’t needed in terms of the story this is being told, but it does show detail, and perhaps that detail is not the kind of thing that would be easily constructed by someone who is lying.
The rest of the words are straight and to the point again. However, I still see a story being told, the suspense is being cranked up..
Over the past five months I have posted a series of false stories to see it they made their way into the Sun newspaper.
Earlier, Coleen said the problem had been going on for a vague “few years”. Now she is very specific with an amount of time, “the past five months”. This is consistent with an issue that grew to become bigger and more annoying, we don’t know how long it has been going on for, but once we take action we’re much more aware of the timeline.
And you know what, they did! The story about gender selection in Mexico, the story about returning to TV and then the latest story about the basement flooding in my new house.
Again, the words come with the flourish of storytelling, but they continue to be straight, factual and without any persuasive language.
It's been tough keeping it to myself and not making any comment at all, especially when the stories have been leaked, however I had to. Now I know for certain which account / individual it's come from.
There’s a change in this paragraph. It’s less direct and emotion comes into it. The language is more persuasive.
Twice, in this section, Coleen refers to someone leaking stories as a very distant “it”, “keeping it to myself” and “which account / individual it has come from”.
“It’s been tough” is the first emotion that is shown, and this isn’t about the experience of having private stories leaked, but about keeping her sleuthing secret.
And it’s persuasive. Instead of saying “now I know which account” she adds in “for certain” although it adds nothing to the meaning of the words.
I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them.
It's....... Rebekah Vardy's account.
This last part follows the pattern of most of the rest of this statement. It’s strong on storytelling, very strong on keeping the identity to the end. It’s low on persuasive words and very straightforward.
Conclusion on Coleen’s words
The words indicate this is a truthful telling of events, albeit told like a story. The lack of emotion or detail of any harm done suggests to me this was a low-impact experience. Coleen’s addition of “for certain” suggests to me that she wasn’t sure but strongly, strongly suspected who was responsible, so wanted to bolster her words to convince us she factually knew.
Rebekah Vardy’s words
As I have just said to you on the phone, I wish you had called me if you thought this. I never speak to anyone about you as various journalists who have asked me to over the years can vouch for.
Where to begin with this paragraph? If she wanted to say “I am not the source of these stories” she should have and could have just said that.
Instead, we get a non-denial. Vardy says, “I never speak to anyone about you”. The allegation is that she passed on stories to the press, not that she spoke to anyone. People don’t like lying, most will prefer to stick to the facts in a limited way rather than construct a fiction, so this could be true. However, she could have passed on these stories by email, text message, WhatsApp or via an intermediary and “I never speak to anyone” would still be true.
“I never speak to anyone” is in the present tense and these are allegations about the past, so “I’ve never spoken to anyone” would be more reassuring.
Finally, Rebekah goes for a bit of proof that is anything but proof. Just because “various journalists” have asked her to speak about Rooney, and she hasn’t spoken to them, doesn’t mean she hasn’t spoken to others.
Note that “just” and “never” are two of my words that indicate deception is happening, and both appear in this first paragraph.
If you thought this was happening you could have told me & I could have changed my passwords to see if it stopped. Over the years various people have had access to my insta & just this week I found I was following people I didn't know and have never followed myself.
This begins with a repetition of the concept that she’d rather Colleen had spoken to her privately than spoken publicly. Repetition indicates what is important to someone, and it doesn’t take a lot to conclude this is true.
Next we have a couple of “could”s. “Could have told me & I could have changed my password”. This only indicates what was possible, she doesn’t say if Colleen had called her she WOULD have changed her password.
Rebekah refers to “my password”, she is taking ownership of it. If the account was being accessed by others she may have used the term “the password” which would indicate wider ownership of it. She also says the account was accessed by others which is vaguer than “used” by others would have been.
Logically, this concept doesn’t hold together. If the stories stopped or continued, it would offer no proof that Vardy was or wasn’t behind the leaks. However, it’s interesting to see that she links being informed of the allegation and then changing her password with the leaking stopping, rather than with it carrying on.
We have a repetition of “various” again in the “various people” who have had access to Vardy’s account.
I'm not being funny but I don't need the money, what would I gain from selling stories on you? I liked you a lot Coleen & I'm so upset that you have chosen to do this, especially when I'm heavily pregnant.
Here is another paragraph ripe with hidden meanings in the words. There’s deflection and an attempt to move the discussion elsewhere by asking a question about motivation. Logically, there are many reasons someone would leak stories besides money.
But... who mentioned selling stories? It is not in Coleen’s words. Vardy is the person who has introduced the thought that these stories were traded in return for money. Is this revealing some knowledge of their sale?
We note that “I liked you Coleen” is in the past tense. We don’t know when she stopped liking her, it could be when she made the allegation, it could have been years ago. She doesn’t say.
Unlike the Rooney statement, we get emotion here, persuasive words like “so upset” instead of just “upset” and another attempt at deflection and sympathy with mention of “heavily pregnant” rather than just “pregnant”.
I'm disgusted that I'm even having to deny this. You should have called me the first time this happened.
Here Vardy seems to be accepting the main allegation that only her account saw Rooney’s stories and those stories ended up in the press as she says, “this happened” not “when you thought this happened”.
I’m interested in why Vardy owns the disgust saying “I’m disgusted” rather than socialising it more with “it is disgusting”.
And we have another repetition of the concept of wishing this had been raised in private, “should have called me”.
Throughout this statement, Vardy takes a lot of ownership of what she is saying using the word “I”. This is an indication of truthfulness.
Conclusion of Rebekah’s words
I find these words to be mostly honest. However, they are very limited in what they say. There is only a very qualified denial. The deflection and logic displayed is weak, if this is the best she can offer while being truthful, we have to ask why.
Vardy’s main concern is that this has been made public, not that she has been falsely accused of something. Again, we can see the honesty leak through.
Given I detect a high level of truth, I’m inclined to believe that she wasn’t the direct source of the stories (that is she didn’t personally take them to the press) and that it was others who also had access to her account that did.
However, given the very limited denial, and other observations, there is nothing in the words that could let me say with confidence that Vardy did not know this trade in stories was occurring