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Following a loss during her recent libel trial (dubbed 'Wagatha Christie' on social media) against Coleen Rooney, who accused her of selling stories to the press, Rebekah Vardy has spoken out about the major toll the incident has taken on her mental health. She has also said that she felt 'slut-shamed' during her cross-examination.
Speaking to The Sun, the same newspaper that Coleen asserted Rebekah and her agent, Caroline Watt, were leaking information to (something the judge deemed 'likely' after the high-profile trial), Rebekah said she believes she has been left with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and, sadly, shared that at one point she was experiencing suicidal thoughts.
She also added that despite everything that has gone on between her and fellow footballer's wife Coleen, that she would still offer her the olive branch of going for a coffee should they ever cross paths in the street.
Recalling a time that she was shopping in Dubai with her husband, Jamie Vardy, when the social media furore first began, Rebekah shared that she felt like jumping off of the top floor of a mall, knowing that when she returned home she would face a barrage of hate.
"I just thought, 'I don’t want to go through this, I don’t want to live like this'. For a split second, I said to Jamie, 'I feel like I just want to jump off this top floor," Rebekah said, adding that it was 'devastating' for her partner to witness her go through that.
Since Coleen's now infamous 2019 public accusation that Rebekah had been selling stories, following an investigation that took her fourth months to conduct, Rebekah says she has been hospitalised twice due to mental health concerns.
"I was having serious panic attacks. I had kidney stones which were brought on by stress, and I just felt like my life was falling apart. Physically, emotionally and mentally it was exhausting," she explained. "I had to go to hospital a couple of times because they were really worried about my mental wellbeing."
Although she has not received a formal diagnosis, Rebekah adds that she now believes she is "probably suffering with PTSD — I feel physically sick when I talk about the trial and what happened, I have nightmares".
Part of this, she says, is to do with the way she was cross-examined by Coleen's legal team. "I have never felt so bullied and manipulated and shamed in my whole, entire life over things that had no relevance whatsoever to do with this case. I was slut-shamed. I was shamed for things that I had done 20 years ago or more. I felt bullied."
Moving forward, Rebekah says she is trying to maintain a positive outlook on life and will be seeking more therapy.
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
According to the NHS website, PTSD can occur following 'very stressful, frightening or distressing events'. Signs to watch out for include:
Psychological therapies and medications can help to treat PTSD.
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