A devastated Becky Vardy faced a huge financial blow last night after her defamation defeat left her with a £3 million court bill.
Negotiations are expected to take place behind closed doors with lawyers from both camps to reach a settlement by September.
But legal experts said it was highly likely that Becky would have to pay almost all of Colin’s £1.5 million legal fees.
She will also have to pay for hers – which are said to be in the same region.
Jack Ridgway, chairman of the Cost Bar Association, said: “In general, the winning parties recover about 70 percent of their costs.
“Given the money at stake, this is unlikely to be a quick process, even if an agreement can be reached before the bill has to be challenged in court.”
But Becky, 40, wife of Leicester City striker Jamie, 35, will also be counting the cost of her reputation, which was in tatters last night.
Media lawyer Jonathan Code described the result as “an absolute disaster” for Becky and said it was “as devastating as it gets”.
Her hopes for a career in television – after starring in “I’m a Celebrity” and “Dancing on Ice” – remained hanging in the balance.
Mr. Code said, “It couldn’t get any worse. But of course, it was made worse by the fact that she was a volunteer in it, and she was an applicant, so she brought it.
“It turned out to be as devastating as it could have been because the judge also found that her testimony was unreliable, which is a judicial euphemism for ‘that’s not true’.
Meanwhile, another lawyer said Becky “regrets the day she ever filed this case.”
Mark Stevens said that she would “forever be branded as a fish and a gossip as a judge”.
He added: “It would be very wise for her to lead a quiet life somewhere on a remote island, because whenever she appears in the media, she will always be branded with the epithet “gossip Rebecca Vardy”, “traitor of secrets Rebecca Vardy”. ‘.
“That kind of epithet will live with her for a considerable time.”
Becky turned down three offers to settle out of court before the blockbuster battle finally began in London’s High Court.
Mum-of-four Colin, 36, wife of England and Manchester United legend Wayne, also 36, said she repeatedly tried to give Becky the “olive branch” but her efforts were “in vain.”
Colleen’s last offer of a settlement would have meant the couple had made a “substantial donation” to charity.
They would also commit to paying their own expenses and would “agree to disagree” with the key statements made by Colin in her Wagatha Christie post.
Their battle is expected to be televised. Channel Four has already ordered a two-part documentary-drama film.
Colleen signed up with streaming giant Netflix for a documentary about the case, while the BBC commissioned a competing program featuring Rebecca’s take on the fight.
As for Colin, her shares will rise and lucrative brand deals are expected to boost her net worth from £15m to £5m.
She could also earn another £1 million by selling her story.
But popular culture expert Nick Ede said she’s more likely to shun the spotlight.
He said: “Colin is a winner in the eyes of everyone. Knowing her, she will want to move on with her life and may not use her newly refreshed fame for monetary gain or television fame.”