(Image: Getty)

Rebekah Vardy's libel battle with Coleen Rooney took a step forward today as a judge ruled in her favour in the first stage.

Vardy is suing her fellow WAG for libel over the Wagatha Christie row last year in which Rooney accused Vardy's Instagram account of leaking stories to the paper.

Judge Mr Justice Warby today handed down a judgement ruling Rooney's social media post – which accused Vardy of leaking stories to the papers – pointed to Vardy being the source of the leaks.

Rooney must now prove it was Vardy, 38, herself who leaked the stories rather than someone else who had access to her Instagram account.

Vardy has denied being the source and claimed other people had access to her account.

Rebekah Vardy has sued Coleen Rooney for libel
(Image: EMPICS Entertainment)

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The case now looks likely to be delayed until 2021 to give the pair more time for mediation.

The wrangling kicked off yesterday with a preliminary hearing which wasn't attended by either Rooney or Vardy, who was pictured heading to Dancing On Ice training.

Coleen Rooney has vowed to defend herself
(Image: Getty Images)

During the hearing, Hugh Tomlinson, QC, for Vardy, asked for a stay until February 8 in a bid to "finally attempt to resolve" the case.

The delay would allow both sides more time for talks to potentially avoid a trial.

If mediation is unsuccessful, a trial would take place at the High Court next summer and go on for around five days.

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Last year, Rooney sensationally accused Vardy's account of being behind stories that were leaked from her private account – earning her the nickname Wagatha Christie for her online sleuthing.

Vardy vehemently denied she was behind the leaks and sued for libel in a bid to clear her name.

Wayne Rooney's wife had set up her own sting operation to catch whoever had been passing on information from her private page to the press.

She said she posted a series of fake stories, blocked all her followers apart from Vardy's account and then sprung a gotcha post online when the hoax posts made their way into the papers.

(Image: PA)

Vardy denied she was behind the leaks, insisting a number of people had access to her Instagram page.

After the post in October 2019, Vardy released a statement to strenuously deny she was behind the leak.

She wrote: "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.

"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."