'I'm no paedophile': Husband of Marvel actress claims sex abuse victim 'jealous' of wife

4 May 2022, 01:29 | Updated: 4 May 2022, 01:36

Zara Phythian's husband has claimed the couple's 'victim' is 'jealous' of his wife's success.
Zara Phythian's husband has claimed the couple's 'victim' is 'jealous' of his wife's success. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

The husband of Hollywood actress Zara Phythian, who is accused of sexually abusing a schoolgirl, told police he was not a paedophile and that the victim was "jealous" of his wife's successful career, a court has heard.

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Victor Marke is accused of grooming a girl along with his wife, who starred in Marvel's Doctor Strange in 2016.

It is alleged that they carried out the sexual offences between 2005 and 2008 on a girl aged between 13 and 15, with Marke occasionally filming the incidents.

Nottingham Crown Court heard how Marke denied being a paedophile during a police interview, suggesting the girl instead made the allegations because she was "jealous" of Phythian's success.

The court was told Marke branded the allegations "paedophile s**t" when quizzed by officers after his arrest.

Read more: Doctor Strange star accused of child sex charges 'threatened to burn victim's belongings'

Read more: Dr Strange actress and husband accused of 'repeatedly having sex with 13-year-old girl'

He said: "I do not want to say anything bad about her [the alleged victim] because I am really angry.

"I know I play it close to the border with banter. I always have done. I chat like I am 18 myself.

"But if you are trying to say I am a paedophile, I am not.

"I am fully aware of the rights and wrongs, if that is what you are trying to say."

Asked if he knew why the allegations had been made, Marke went on to say: "No, no, no, I do not know where they have come from."

The alleged abuse began after the couple plied the girl with rum, jurors at the court were told.

Phythian then "dared" her to perform a sex act on Marke, with the assaults progressing to include full sexual intercourse, it has been said.

Marke and Phythian - whose legal name is now Zara Marke - are on trial accused of 14 charges of sexual activity with a child, which they deny.

The trial continues.