Zahra Amir Ebrahimi, one of Iran's best known television performers, is facing social ostracism, a wrecked career and a possible lashing after police seized copies of the footage, which appears to show her having sex. The film, which has been distributed in street markets and posted on websites, has caused profound shock at a time when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Islamist government is trying to banish the "corrupting" effects of western culture. It has been given added impact by Ebrahimi's reputation for playing religious, morally upstanding characters in Iranian state TV soaps. Police interrogated Ebrahimi at length after being alerted to the film's existence. She has not been charged but investigations are continuing.