How 'Dr Strange' star Zara Phythian 'became a slave' at 14 to martial arts coach

According to reports, Phythian was 'groomed' by Marke from when she was 14, after allegedly swearing allegiance to him through a Shaolin ceremony


                            How 'Dr Strange' star Zara Phythian 'became a slave' at 14 to martial arts coach
Zara Phythian and husband Victor Marke and Zara as Zealot in 'Doctor Strange' (Instagram/zaraphythian, Marvel)

This article contains information about sexual assault that could be traumatic for some readers. Discretion is advised.

'Doctor Strange' star and martial artist Zara Phythian was found guilty today of sexually abusing a girl for 3 years (from 2005 to 2008), starting from when she was 13. Phythian and her husband, martial arts coach Victor Marke, were jointly found guilty of 14 counts of sexual activity with a child.

The couple had denied all charges but were found guilty by a jury following a trial at Nottingham Crown Court. Recent reports have revealed that Phythian was "groomed" by Marke from when she was 14, after allegedly swearing allegiance to him through an ancient Shaolin ceremony. 

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Phythian, according to a former training partner who spoke to Daily Mail, allegedly swore allegiance to Marke after bowing before him and saying some traditional verses. She also vowed to do everything he asked of her, even if it was something against her values. "Once you accept somebody as your master, you have to completely accept what they ask you to do or say," said Bob, a martial arts aficionado who once trained with the couple. He added that "the ceremony is taken very seriously" and that "it's like being a slave" to a "master" who is "your God." Bob also revealed that Marke "groomed other victims" along with Phythian and that he "used his power and influence as a master of martial arts to dominate and control young girls." 

Paul, another martial arts lover who once trained with the couple, shared that Marke "took an instant shine" to Phythian after she joined his academy. "He devoted a lot of time and energy on her development," he said, adding that it was "obvious" that Phythian was Marke's "favorite pupil" who "worshipped the ground he walked on." Paul opined that he found their relationship "very odd" due to the difference in age and Marke's superiority as a martial artist. He also claimed that Juliet, Marke's ex-wife, "was devastated because she was left alone to bring up their baby."

Victor Marke was also found guilty of four counts of indecently assaulting a 15-year-old girl between 2002 and 2003, which makes him guilty of 18 sexual offenses in total. Zara Phythian and Victor Marke have been remanded into custody and will be sentenced on May 16. 

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