Roz Sheldon, Managing Director of Igniyte and an expert in reputation management, has been quoted in widespread national media including The Daily Mail, reacting to the libel case loss and reputational damage of Rebekah Vardy, following the high-profile Wagatha Christie case.
The 40-year-old wife of Leicester City star Jamie Vardy faces paying off a £3.7million legal bill (including the money she owes to The Sun) following the loss of the defamation case she launched against Coleen Rooney. The public loss of the case proved that Rebekah did leak personal information of Coleen’s to the press.
On Tuesday night, Rebekah further taunted her rival Coleen Rooney with a series of Instagram posts saying she should donate the money she owes to charity.
Rebekah’s approach to the crisis needs altering to show an honest admission of mistake, and there needs to be a careful consideration of further communication and press activity.
Speaking to both The Daily Mail and Mirror Online, Roz commented:
“The devious leaking of Coleen’s private information by Vardy to the tabloid press (identified by Coleen’s accurate process of elimination) was something the public already found hard to stomach. Then Vardy’s attempt with the defamation case was a desperate look that shared loads of ugly private and personal details around the case.
“It, of course, wasn’t a wise move from a reputational point of view for Vardy to launch the case against Coleen in the first place. Vardy seemed to have been hell-bent on blowing up her reputation by going to court and going public. It seemed to have been about creating a bigger story, even at an incredibly high reputational and financial cost.
“The best way to try to start improving public perception and repairing her reputation would be to firstly show humility, by issuing a detailed public apology to Coleen, followed by some honest admission of misdoings. This would soften people’s perception of her, and ultimately make her more likable again.
“She needs to get honest in a personal long-form video explaining honestly what went on from her side and that she never meant to harm anyone – this type of content would resonate hugely and encourage the public to talk about her online in a positive way. Then, it would be beneficial to her to keep the promotions and media interview rounds on the back burner, in an attempt to be less of a celebrity and more of an empath.
“Vardy must also stop making cryptic and snide Instagram stories towards Coleen (she has already lost this battle) – such as the Instagram post she made along with the words: ‘It’s always the ones with the dirty hands pointing the fingers.
“Whether the case and the outcome will leave a permanent dent in her career and reputation remains to be seen.”
Read both pieces in the national media: How Rebekah Vardy can rehabilitate her reputation (Daily Mail).