There is a well-known saying; keep your friends close and your enemies closer. It’s a lesson that Coleen Rooney seems to have learned the hard way this week.
She announced in a scandalous post on Twitter that she had allegedly discovered who had been selling stories about her to The Sun newspaper based on information from her private Instagram posts.
She claimed that, by process of elimination, she thinks the culprit is her friend and fellow footballer’s wife, Rebekah Vardy.
The sleuthing involved in this epic expose is incredible.
In the accusation – which Rebekah has since denied – Coleen says that she has ‘saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them. It’s…… Rebekah Vardy’s account.’
Whether the claim is true or not – what we can take away from this juicy mess of a situation is that friendships can be tough. And sometimes, people who you think have your back can be the first to stick a knife into it.
Most of us will, at some point, have experienced that hollow, sickening feeling of being betrayed by somebody close to you. And you don’t have to be a celebrity with thousands of followers to know how much that hurts.
We asked people to tell us the stories of their worst friendship betrayals – including toxic jealousy, boyfriend stealing and all-round snakey behaviour. Strap in.
Emily* – ‘She sold my story to a national paper for £3,000’
I was seeing a minor celebrity for almost a year.
I was getting calls from a couple of newspapers asking to ‘clarify’ my relationship with him. I didn’t tell them anything and the guy I was seeing told me to ignore them but I was suspicious. Why would they care?
So I did some digging and finally found out that he was married by looking through his Instagram followers. I’m rarely on Instagram so I genuinely had no idea.
Julia*, a friend for 30-odd years, was dating someone who had a link with the ex-wife of the guy I had been seeing. And he convinced Julia to get evidence of our relationship.
One night she borrowed my phone, telling me she had run out of credit, and took screenshots of loads of text messages between the married guy and I. Some of them were very steamy
She sold the story to a national paper for £3,000!
I was accused by his wife of selling the story but I didn’t.
I lost my home, my job and was followed by reporters and made out to be a gold-digging, marriage-wrecking w****.
Isobel* – ‘She told me she had kissed my boyfriend’
I had been friends with Rosie* for about six months and I invited her to my boyfriend’s birthday meal.
She got really drunk and was making conversation at the table but it was all of a sexual nature.
Me and my other half were sat with her, trying to be friendly but also change the conversation.
My boyfriend then went to buy us all drinks and Lucy decided to follow him up to the bar and was chatting to him.
Next thing I know, she comes back and tells me that my boyfriend kissed her! She said she felt really bad, but that he wanted to take her home and she didn’t know what to do.
My boyfriend then comes back to the table – completely unaware – and s*** hits the fan.
The next week at work she basically blanked me and starts bitching about me not being a good friend to everyone in the office!
Greg* – ‘I would have taken a proverbial bullet for them’
The male group of friends I made at uni were my closest mates, and I would have taken a proverbial bullet for them.
When my mental health issues came to a head and I finally had to address them, they were amazing with me, checked in on me regularly and made sure I was okay on nights out when I broke down or when I did CBT in final year when I was in a very dangerous mental state.
A year after university, when we still saw each other once every so often for nights out and reunions, I suggested we all do a holiday together.
I was renowned in the group for being the organiser, but I didn’t want to be a keeno and put people off going, so I left it to them. But I always said – just let me know when things are sorted and I’ll pay everything straight away.
A few months went by and nothing seemed to progress. It seemed like the opportunity was lost, which I was a bit annoyed about as I had turned down another holiday with different friends to try and make it happen.
It transpired a few weeks later that, unbeknownst to me, all the group (except for one who refused to be involved) had created a separate group-chat and had ‘debated’ taking me on the holiday with them.
I’m not sure how long it had gone on for or how the conversations went.
I was told that no decision could be reached so they put taking me to a vote, which went against me 3-2.
I only found this out months after it happened and it crushed me, especially my mental health, as I didn’t have any friends in secondary school and all the anxieties and paranoia I had back then about not fitting into groups came flooding back.
I began to think; did they ever really like me in the first place? Was my personality so divisive and toxic that it needed to be debated whether I could be taken on a holiday?
At the start, I stayed in the original Whatsapp group as I felt too torn about leaving these friends I had thought were going to be life-long and always with me.
None of the boys reached out to me to apologise straight away or try to make an effort to make it up to me. Conversation in the groupchat just carried on as normal.
Eventually, I realised that even if I was to stay in the group, I could never trust them again, so I left the group.
At the time I had a range of emotions about it – sadness, anger, pain but now I just feel sorry and sad for them that they felt they had to do this and sacrificed my friendship for £600-800.
Aleesha* – ‘I don’t know what she planned to do with the screenshots’
I come from a religiously conservative family (although my immediate family aren’t as strict).
One of my cousins – who is a gossip queen – would stalk our social media profiles and screenshot pictures of us in ‘revealing’ clothes and keep them stored on her phone.
We don’t know what she planned to do with them, but perhaps she was planning to spread them so she could have a gossip about how ‘slutty’ we were.
Dana* – ‘She was always jealous of me at school’
I was on a night out with a friend from school – Tasha*.
She always loves trying to belittle me – she was always jealous at school when we were younger if a guy fancied me and not her).
One of the guys who we met on the night out said to me (purely platonically) I was alright and that I was ‘super funny’, to which she immediately jumped in and replied; ‘She’s not funny at all, I’m the funny one!’
Jenny* – ‘It felt worse than an actual heartbreak’
Bella* was my best friend. We lived together for years, held wild parties, went on nights out and had movie marathons together.
The problems started when she moved out and I moved in with my boyfriend. Suddenly she didn’t want to come over any more or hang out.
I get that it can be tough hanging around with a couple if you’re single – but my boyfriend and I were always very chill and I tried to make time to hang out with just her.
I could feel that we were drifting slightly, but I still thought of her as my best friend. So when I was unwell and in a lot of pain – I called her, expecting her to come over and help me out – as I would have done for her.
Instead, she made an excuse and didn’t come and see me at all. When I called her out on it, she sent a string of awful messages on WhatsApp, screamed at me on the phone and then proceeded to blank me for an entire year.
It felt worse than an actual heartbreak. I tried so many times to reconcile and figure out what was going on – but ultimately I had to just leave it to protect myself from being hurt any more.
Eliza* – ‘She had told the teachers that I was bullying her’
When I was 14, my year group was massive so they split us into two halves, and the separate halves never saw each other- separate breaks, lunches, lessons.
Literally all of my friends were put in the other half of the year, bar one girl, my best friend, who was in my class (I should add that my friends were also her friends, we were the nerdy, drama crew)
It was annoying, but at least we had each other.
At the beginning of the next school year, she’d been moved to the other half as well. We had begged for both of us to be moved, together, so many times, but we were just told there was no space.
So I was like – how on Earth is she over there if there’s no space?
I was all by myself, and she was making better and better friends with our friendship group – I started to feel really excluded.
I found out one day – because the head of year finally decided to talk to me about it – that she had told the teachers that I was bullying her so they had to move her!
I was categorically not bullying her, she was my best friend.
Absolutely no one believed me that she was lying, even my godmother – who was a mutual friend of my mum and her mum. They said things like; ‘they’re teenage girls, they’re both as bad as each other’.
It affected our parents’ whole friendship group as they were mates too.
I even ended up moving schools because I just felt so alone.
Eventually, it came out that she was a compulsive liar – she had been ringing another friend up and telling her that her dad was abusing her and that her step mum had cancer, none of which was true.
So finally, everything came out.
Faye* – ‘She didn’t say anything, she didn’t defend me’
My best friend at the time Alice* was dating this guy – we were at a festival and she had an argument with him. I had jumped in to defend her and he had a go at me.
He was awful, he called me a c***, he said that I was a privileged idiot and had no right to talk to him. He was horrific to me, basically.
She just sat there silently, she didn’t say anything, she didn’t defend me.
Then, a few months later, on New Year’s Eve we went out to a club in town. I was meant to be staying at her house that night. It turns out, that awful guy she was seeing was working at the bar we were going to – which she knew but didn’t tell me.
So really, what we were doing was going to meet him, because she stayed with him.
She then dropped it on me that the plan was we were all going to stay at his house that night – we had such a huge fight about it and she went off and stayed with him, and left me.
So she essentially made me get a ridiculously expensive taxi all the way home, because I wasn’t about to stay at that guy’s house.
*All the names in these stories have been changed.