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It's a Titanic court battle.

Byline: NICOLA PITTAM in Los Angeles

TITANIC director James Cameron has been sued by his former assistant who claims he tried to buy her silence after firing her.

Deneen O'Neill alleges that five-times married Cameron ordered her to find her own replacement before sacking her because she became pregnant.

In return for keeping quiet about the sacking, Ms O'Neill claims she was offered more money and extra medical benefits. The revelation came in a 13-page document filed in a Los Angeles court.

Ms O'Neill also alleges that Cameron paid $45,000 to a previous assistant to keep quiet after she was fired for adopting a baby.

Ms O'Neill had originally worked for the Aliens and Terminator 2 director as an assistant but left in mid-2000 to "pursue other career opportunities".

According to the lawsuit, Cameron then wooed Ms O'Neill to return as an executive assistant for $75,000 a year.

This approach happ-ened, she claimed, despite the fact that she made it clear that she was planning to get married and have children.

Ms O'Neill claims Cameron was happy with that so she quit her job and went back to work him.

But after a year in the job, things turned sour when Ms O'Neill found out she was pregnant.

Ms O'Neill is asking for damages including lost wages and medical benefits.

No date has yet been set for a hearing.

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OSCARS: Award-winning director James Cameron
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 20, 2002
Words:238
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