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‘Doctor Strange’ Actor Zara Phythian Accused of Grooming, Having Sex With a Child

Phythian and her husband, Victor Marke, denied abusing a 13-year-old girl for a period of three years beginning in 2005

Note: This article contains mentions of sexual abuse toward a minor.

Zara Phythian, an actress who appeared in a minor role in 2016’s “Doctor Strange,” and her husband Victore Marke have been accused of grooming and having sex with a 13-year-old girl for a period of three years beginning in 2005, per the BBC.

Now an adult, the unidentified woman told police in an interview played for jurors at Nottingham Crown Court that the couple, who were not married at the time, filmed most of the abuse. Phythian and Marke, who were around 21 and 43 at the time, have jointly been accused of 14 charges of sexual activity with a child. They have denied the allegations.

A representative for Phythian did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Phythian and Marke were martial arts instructors at the time, and the woman said she thought of the former as a role model because of her success in the field. The first offense reportedly occurred when the couple gave her alcohol and Phythian dared her to perform oral sex on Marke, who then had sex with both of them, she said.

“I knew it was wrong but I just didn’t know how to get out of the situation or say anything,” she told police. “I remember trying to copy Zara’s reaction at the time because I looked up to her and tried to be like her in every way.”

The woman detailed the intimidation she faced from Marke, who she alleged threatened to smash her kneecaps if she reported the abuse. “He just said nobody would believe me if I told them anyway,” she said. “They always had a power over me.”

Marke is separately facing four charges of indecently assaulting a child from another woman, who was 15 when she was allegedly abused by him. According to her, the abuse took place during Marke’s previous marriage, which fell apart when he began an affair with Phythian, who was also a minor at the time.

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