COLEEN Rooney carried out a "dummy run" before she launched her Wagatha Christie mole-hunt, we can reveal.
New court documents outline the extraordinary lengths she went to in a bid to identify the leak within her inner circle.
She began her clandestine operation in January 2019 after a series of personal stories appeared in the Press.
Coleen, 35, wife of Manchester United and England legend Wayne, identified her private Instagram account as the source.
She sifted through 300 accounts of "trusted friends and family" and drew up a list of possible suspects.
Coleen focused on those who had "a track record or reputation" for leaking private information to the Press or "courting close links".
She then invented fake posts which were "interspersed with true or mundane ones" to give the impression that the account was operating normally.
All but five of the posts were only seen by Becky Vardy, 39, wife of Leicester City striker Jamie, 34.
Mum-of-five Becky is suing Coleen for libel after she was publicly accused by Coleen of betraying her trust in her now infamous Wagatha post.
As part of their libel battle the court documents detail the five exceptions – and include two dummy run posts in April 2019.
Another was seen by former Manchester United midfielder, Tom Cleverley, 32, whilst two others were seen by unidentified individuals.
None of those posts led to a story being printed in the Press, according to the documents.
They go on to read: "This led to her belief that it was the Claimant who was responsible for the leak, given her established history and habitual practice of providing private information to journalists and the Press.
"The Defendant had also heard rumours that the Claimant was responsible for similar leaks or disclosure of private information from other so-called WAGS or celebrities."
Coleen claims Becky leaked information "for the purposes of self-promotion and for financial exploitation of her public profile".
After the test run she says she blocked anyone from seeing her account – except for Becky.
And she insists only she knew about the faked posts. Even her Derby County manager hubby Wayne, 35, was kept in the dark.
In her now infamous Wagatha post in October 2019 she told her millions of followers: "It's … Rebekah Vardy's account."
Their libel battle is expected to kick-off next April as costs spiral.
Becky has budgeted to spend a staggering £837,735 fighting the case – in comparison to Coleen's £537,029.
Lawyers for Coleen – who has previously described the escalating costs as "grotesque" – said they were "stark".
The warring wags have previously met for mediation but failed to reach an agreement.
Coleen's most recent offer would have seen both her and Becky each making "a substantial donation" to charity.
They would also commit to paying their own costs, a move known in legal circles as a 'drop hands' settlement.
And they would "agree to disagree" on the central claims made by Coleen in her social media post.
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