Rebekah Vardy trademarked the phrase “Wagatha Christie” following her failed libel case against Coleen Rooney, it has emerged.
Vardy unsuccessfully sued Rooney at the High Court last year for dramatically claiming on social media that Vardy had been leaking stories about her to the press. In July, a judge ruled that Rooney’s accusation was “substantially true”.
The case was dubbed Wagatha Christie, a catchphrase that comedian Dan Atkinson claims to have invented when he Tweeted what appears to be its first public usage back in October 2019:
Coleen Rooney: WAGagtha Christie.
— Dan Atkinson (@Danatkinson) October 9, 2019
The phrase is a nod to both women’s status as wives and girlfriends (Wags) of footballers, and the mysteries of Agatha Christie.
Inventing a phrase doesn’t mean you own it, however, and while its safe to assume that, had Atkinson known how widely the phrase would come to be used in common parlance as well as documentaries and news reports, he may well have looked into trademarking it himself, he didn’t. So he didn’t.
Vardy did, however, and appears to have registered the phrase for trademark in the UK in August last year through the company London Entertainment Inc Ltd, which made the registration on her behalf. The trademark reportedly covers a range of uses from broadcasting to beauty lotions, as well as non-alcoholic drinks, jewellery, stationery and fashion design.
The move could go some way to helping with Vardy’s legal costs from the trial. In October, it was reported that she had been ordered to pay 90 per cent of Rooney’s legal fees, estimated at around £1.5m – a final figure for Rooney’s costs hasn’t yet been submitted to the court, but the last running total was £1,667,860.
The trademark now means that anyone wishing to use the phrase commercially in the UK will have to seek Vardy’s permission and, if requested (which seems likely), pay her for the privelege. The story around the case has already been told in a BBC TV documentary, a Channel 4 drama and even a West End play, Vardy V Rooney: The Wagatha Christie Trial, the producers of which said earlier today would “continue as planned” this summer.
It seems that Vardy didn’t have it all her own way with the trademark application, however. The BBC reports that trademark for certain items of clothing and household items was denied following opposition from Welspun UK Limited, which owns towel and bedding brand Christy.
The new source of income could be a double relief to the Vardy family given that husband Jamie’s wages could be set to take a dive in the, increasingly likely looking, event Leicester City are relegated from the Premier League in May.