A British actress was at the “height of her success” when historic allegations of sexual abuse against her and her husbands came to light, a court heard.
Martial arts expert Zara Phythian from Nottinghamshire, is on trial accused of 14 charges of sexual activity with a child along with her husband Victor Marke.
The 2016 Marvel superhero film Doctor Strange, in which Phythian, 36, featured, had just been released when a young women approached police with the allegations of abuse, that were alleged to have occurred years earlier.
Barrister Francis McGrath, who is representing Victor Marke, told Nottingham Crown Court that Phythian – who now uses her married name Zara Marke – would have been "at the height of her success" when she appeared as one of the villain’s disciples in the supernatural-themed movie.
McGrath said: "Throughout 2016, you would be aware from national media and social media posts, she (Zara Marke) was enjoying unprecedented personal and professional success in a motion picture starring Benedict Cumberbatch. On December 4, 2016, at the height of her success, you made a complaint".
The sexual abuse is alleged to have taken place between the period of 2005 and 2008.
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Jurors were told that the victim – who would have been 13 at the time of the alleged offence – was given alcohol to drink and persuaded to perform a sex act on Mr Marke, after being shown how by his wife.
The court heard that the abuse was repeated over the course of several months and it was claimed that many of the sex acts being recorded on video by the couple in an attempt to recreate their favourite scenes from porn movies.
Both defendants have denied all charges and the case continues.
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