“Doctor Strange” actor Zara Phythian and her husband, Victor Marke, are accused of grooming and having sex with a 13-year-old girl.
Phythian, 36, and Marke, 59, face 14 charges of sexual activity with a child in the United Kingdom. In a police interview played at Nottingham Crown Court, the BBC reported, the woman alleged that the sexual abuse began in 2005, when she was 13, and continued until she was 15.
The woman, who has not been publicly identified by officials and is in her late 20s, testified in court Thursday.
Phythian and Marke have denied the allegations. The couple and their representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The woman looked up to Phythian, she said in the police interview, according to the BBC.
“I knew it was wrong, but I just didn’t know how to get out of the situation or say anything,” the woman said in the police interview. “I remember trying to copy Zara’s reaction at the time, because I looked up to her and tried to be like her in any way.”
The woman alleges that the abuse began when Phythian provided her with alcohol and persuaded her to have oral sex with Marke. She testified that she felt as though Phythian “coached” her to “get better at the sexual activity,” the Nottingham Post reported. In the police interview, the woman also said Marke threatened to harm her if she told anyone about the alleged abuse, the BBC reported.
Phythian and Marke were not married at the time of the alleged abuse. Phythian was 20 or 21, and Marke would have been 42 or 43.
The Nottingham Post reported that the woman said in her testimony that she would not have come forward with the allegations if the police had not approached her first.
“I could never had made a report,” she said. “I would have died with my shame.”
Having a child of her own pushed her to speak out, she said.
“At that time, I had just become a mum and had no option other than to speak my truth and never allow it to happen to anyone else again,” she said.
Phythian appeared in the 2016 Marvel film “Doctor Strange” as a minor character, and she has performed stunts in various movies and TV shows. She and her husband are martial arts instructors.
Morgan Sung is a trends reporter for NBC News Digital.