Paschal Donohoe knows what side he’s on. Appearing on Ireland AM last Friday, Pascal pinned his colours to the mast.
“Like the rest of the world, I think I’m Team Coleen,” the Finance Minister said. “Coleen has been keeping me going.”
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Coleen Rooney, wonderfully dubbed Wagatha Christie when she took to Twitter with her accusations of treachery last Wednesday, kept us all going all last week.
In a bleak week of Brexit, the Budget and Extinction Rebellion, it seemed that what we needed to perk us up was a public spat between two women with buckets of cash and, possibly, too much time on their hands.
It all began last Wednesday when Coleen Rooney, wife of footballer Wayne, took to Twitter with a message that opened in the ‘it’s with a heavy heart’ style.
“This has been a burden in my life for a few years now,” she tweeted, “and finally I have got to the bottom of it…
“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.”
She went on to describe months of detective work. She had her suspicions about who the culprit might be, and so she blocked everyone but this person from her Instagram. Then, Coleen posted some false stories, one by one, and watched to see if they turned up in the newspaper.
And they did. The stories were that she was going to Mexico for gender selection before having a new baby, what with having four sons already. Then there was the flooding of the basement of her house, although it’s unlikely Coleen referred to it as her “Morrisons’ mansion”, as the newspaper did, and there was news of her planned return to TV presenting.
Daft stuff, that only merited column inches because Coleen Rooney is top of the pops in the footballers’ wives. Long gone are the days of Cheryl and Posh in their short-shorts at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, when there was as much public interest and glamour around the wives and girlfriends as there was around the soccer.
No, these days, Coleen, in her athleisure gear and her signature scraped-back ponytail, is queen bee, and that makes her activities worth knowing about, by any means possible, it seems.
“I have saved and screen-shotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them,” Coleen wrote. “It’s…..Rebekah Vardy.”
Maybe you follow Leicester, or even England, or maybe you saw Rebekah Vardy on the 2017 series of I’m a Celebrity…, but most of us wouldn’t have been aware of her until last Wednesday.
Now, we know that she’s Vardy’s wife, mother of his two children and pregnant with a third. She was married twice before, we learned during the week, and has two older children from previous relationships.
She married Vardy after a quick courtship, and neither of their mothers attended the wedding.
They were dubbed the “new Posh and Becks”, though this has never really taken off. Most of what we learned about Rebekah Vardy seemed selected in order to cast her in a poor light.
Rebekah Vardy was on holiday in Dubai when this broke and came back early, “distraught”. She maintains she is entirely innocent.
Her first online response made clear that she’d spoken to Coleen in person before posting. She also said, again in a ‘with a heavy heart’ style, that she wished Coleen had rung her to discuss these suspicions before going public. Lots of people have access to her Instagram login and passwords, Rebekah said. It could have been anyone, she said.
If Rebekah was guilty, and lying in her denial, she was being brazen as hell. If she was innocent, it was clear, Rebekah wasn’t taking this lying down.
Last Thursday, she said the whole thing was “bollocks”. Further, she had IT experts on the case to discover who could have hacked her Instagram.
By last Friday, Rebekah, back in the UK from her holiday, had an interview in a UK newspaper.
Rebekah repeated that she’d phoned Coleen the day of the accusatory tweet, pointing out that she’d been “annihilated in public”. Fair point, and it kept her on the moral high ground of lamenting that this hadn’t been handled privately. She said that Coleen claimed she hadn’t been “pointing the finger” and “had always really liked [Rebekah]”. A bit lame, perhaps.
The women had not argued, however. Again, some dignity for everyone. “That would be like arguing with a pigeon. You can tell it that you are right and it is wrong, but it’s still going to s**t in your hair.”
At this point, was Coleen wishing she had handled this privately after all?
Meanwhile, the opposing “Teams” swung into action. Danielle Lloyd, former wife of footballer Jamie O’Hara took to Twitter to make a swipe at “negative people”, before going on This Morning to claim “similar run-ins” with Rebekah. To which Rebekah replied that this was all down to Lloyd’s fury that she hadn’t got Jamie Vardy “recruiting” for her. She means finding her a footballer man post-divorce, in case you’re confused.
Nicola McLean, wife of footballer Tom Williams, also went on This Morning, but on the Friday, to berate Coleen for such a public attack on pregnant Rebekah.
There was a huge dose of “on your head be it” aimed at Coleen, should anything befall Rebekah, who is seven-months’ pregnant.
Further, said McLean, Coleen should have known better, as she knows the pain of public exposure, given she’s “used to being betrayed”.
That is undeniable. Wayne Rooney, with his confessed dalliances with prostitutes, other indiscretions, drink-driving conviction, and general messiness, has taken the gloss of their childhood-sweethearts love story, over and over again.
And Coleen has stuck with him, had her kids with him, and kept smiling. She has never been able to publicly lash out at Wayne for hurting and humiliating her, but now, with this online take-down of alleged treachery, Coleen got her chance.
She got it and, boy did she go for it, to great applause.
It was just what we needed, as Paschal said, while Rebekah’s ripostes kept it rollicking along and kept us volleying back and forth in support of one or another.
A bit of fun, you might say, and nobody really got hurt.
The husbands have been noticeably quiet. Jamie Vardy liked Rebekah’s initial tweet denying any wrongdoing, but Wayne Rooney hasn’t said a word as yet. Neither has explicitly said which team they’re on. Though they are on opposing teams in the Premier League and are bound to meet.
Maybe Coleen should have made that private phone call after all.
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