It started off as a story about British football ace Wayne Rooney nabbed by police on a drink-driving charge.
Saturday’s probing tabloids cascaded the story into a real life drama centered on 31-year-old Rooney, his pregnant wife Coleen and brunette office worker Laura Simpson, who was a passenger in the car when Rooney was pulled over by police early on Friday.
Most tabloids, particularly the mass circulation red-tops, devoted pages to the Rooney story, with extensive photographs of the 29-year-old woman who has been propelled into the media spotlight, reports Xinhua news agency.
The 10-year-old black soft-top VW Beetle Rooney had been driving when he was stopped by police was owned by Simpson who was in the passenger seat at the time.
The Sun newspaper reported that a furious Coleen Rooney jetted in from Majorca to confront her husband after he was arrested for being drunk behind the wheel of a car owned by another woman.
Rooney’s four-month pregnant wife has been holidaying with their three kids on the Spanish island when the news broke of his arrest.
The 31-year-old wife was said by the Sun to be “livid and embarrassed”, adding that Coleen Rooney went “berserk” after hearing the news.
The Daily Mail, who had a team journalists working on the story, said the 29-year-old brunette who partied with Rooney before he drove her in her car admitted to them she would have spent the night with the married football star.
Simpson, a single mother-of-one, told the Daily Mail that she and Rooney hadn’t discussed whether they were going back to his mansion “but they wanted to be away from prying eyes”.
She told journalists: “I allowed him to drive my car, my black soft top, because I was too drunk to drive. Was I going to spend the night with him? Yes, perhaps, we hadn’t really discussed it. We just wanted to be away from all those prying eyes.”
Simpson said she was on a night out with friends at a cocktail bar called Bubble Room in Cheshire when she spotted Rooney.
She told the Daily Mail: “I’m a single girl and I’m allowed to have some fun. I was swept away with the moment but I wasn’t awestruck. I’m not a marriage wrecker, it was all playful fun and I’d had loads to drink.”
Police confirmed they have charged Rooney with driving while over the prescribed limit after being stopped by officers on Altrincham Road. He has been given police bail to appear before Stockport Magistrates Court later this month.