London — The wife of one of Britain's most famous soccer players has carried out an elaborate, long-term investigation to find out who was leaking fake stories about her family to the British press. After months of detailed work on social media, she published her findings online, accusing the wife of one of her husband's former teammates. The revelation went viral in Britain, even knocking Brexit out of the headlines.
"WAGs," as they are known in the U.K., are the "Wives and Girlfriends" of famous male soccer stars. They frequently appear in gossip magazines and British tabloid newspapers. Both of the women involved are considered members of this group.
Coleen Rooney is the wife of Wayne Rooney, a DC United and former England team player. She alleges that a fellow "WAG" was the source of the countless leaked stories that appeared about her in The Sun, Britain's most read newspaper.
The fake stories included one about the basement of her house flooding, which was featured as an exclusive on the front page of the Sun.
To discover the leaker, Coleen planted fake stories on her private Instagram account for months, blocking everyone but one person from seeing them. She then posted a statement on Twitter outlining her investigation, which ended by dramatically naming the leaker: "It's……….Rebekah Vardy's account."
Rebekah Vardy is the wife of Jamie Vardy, a former teammate of Wayne Rooney on England's national soccer team.
Vardy released her own statement on Twitter, claiming that the allegations were false and that her account had been hacked. She added that various people have access to her Twitter account and that there would have been no benefit to her in selling the stories.
The internet went wild for Coleen's detective prowess, with some calling for her to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize. The spat went viral and was imaginatively labelled #WAGathaChristie, a play on the term "WAG" and the famous detective novelist Agatha Christie.
Christie's Wikipedia page received a number of tongue-in-cheek edits, with one fan writing that the author was reincarnated as Coleen Rooney after her death.
The streaming service Netflix got on board, joking that they were going "have to make a documentary about this." Twitter users began to cast actors to play each of the characters, with suggestions that Killing Eve's Jodie Comer could play detective Rooney.
Even politicians got on the bandwagon, with U.K. International Trade Secretary Liz Truss mentioning the incident in a speech.
British news broadcasters, including BBC News, aired whole segments dedicated to the ins and outs of the spat.
Some Twitter users suggested Coleen Rooney could even solve the ongoing Brexit saga.