An Imperial Beach woman named Princess Samantha Kennedy claims the script of the movie Titanic unlawfully draws from her unpublished biography and family history, and last week filed a lawsuit against Paramount Pictures for copyright infringement.
For the alleged infringement she wants all copies of the movie destroyed, and to be awarded all money made by the movie. The second highest grossing film ever, according to IMDB.com Titanic made $1.8 billion in worldwide box office sales alone after its premiere in 1997.
Kennedy claims the family history and biography was written between 1990 and 1992 and covers generations dating back to the 1800s.
Her sister is Rose, Kate Winslet's character, and her father is Jack, Leonardo DiCaprio's character, she said. Other characters in the movie mimic other members of her family though none were passengers on the ship that sank 100 years ago.
The Princess in her name is because growing up in Memphis, her mother told her she is related to the queen of England.
"They have exploited me. Their actions are willful, willful. I will suffer the rest of my life," she said in a handwritten complaint filed in the United States District Court in San Diego.
"I have not been in a movie theatre since 1995 and recently discovered the infringement. I have hundreds of pages of side by side comparisons that a school grader, a child could easily read to see infringement, that I will present to the court. I have proof that Paramount Pictures had access to my work in writing from them," she said.
Kennedy claims she only recently saw the movie on television within the last year.
The complaint also requests a preliminary injunction against the studio benefiting from the movie while the matter is being disputed.
Titanic 3D is expected to premiere April 4.
The movie studio received a copy of Princess' bigoraphy she said when she filed another copyright infringement suit against Paramount in the early 1990s.
Paramount Pictures was contacted for comment but did not respond before this story was published.
Part of Titanic was filmed at studios especially made for the movie just south of the U.S.-Mexico border in Rosarito.