A Hollywood actress and her husband have been accused of sexually abusing a child after grooming her, the court has heard.
The pair deny the allegations.
Zara Phythian was at the “height of her success” when a separate woman went to police and claimed Phythian’s husband Victor Marke had sexually abused her as a child, Nottingham Crown Court heard yesterday.
Marke faces four allegations, all denied, of historic indecent assault on a woman who was then 15 between 2002 and 2003. He is jointly charged with his wife of 14 denied allegations of sexual activity with a different woman between 2005 and 2008, when the girl was aged between 13 and 15.
A jury heard at the Nottingham Crown Court trial of experience martial artist Phythian, who goes by her married name of Zara Marke, that in 2016 she starred in Marvel Studios movie Doctor Strange – an American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name.
The former martial arts instructor, who portrayed Brunette Zealot, was “at the height of her success,” said barrister, Francis McGrath, who is representing Marke, the film star’s husband. Mr McGrath made reference to the actress’s climb to fame as he cross-examined the woman who alleges that Victor Marke repeatedly indecently assaulted her as a teenager.
This woman’s claims only relate to Zara’s husband – she told police she was groomed and sexually touched by Marke. After she turned 16, he is alleged to have had sex with her.
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