Marina Sirtis was born in Hackney, London, the daughter of working-class Greek parents, Despina, a tailor's assistant, and John Sirtis. She was brought up in Harringay, North London. When she was three years old, Sirtis says, the teenage sons of her babysitter sexually molested her. Sirtis suffered from an eating disorder which emerged due to the trauma of the assault. After suffering from the disorder for 20 years, she went into therapy in the 1990s and was able to manage the trauma and learn to eat healthily again.