Titanic centered on Rose and Jack's love story - but was it really a fictional tale? 20th Century Fox

Fans of the movie Titanic will be interested to know that there was a real life Jack Dawson. This is according to one man who is reportedly suing director James Cameron for allegedly ripping off his romantic love story about a couple aboard the ill-fated ship.

Released in 1997, Cameron's romantic drama recounted the 1912 disaster of the RMS Titanic, which sank during its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City, killing 1,517 people. Interspersed with the harrowing events is the love story of a young Rose DeWitt Bukater and Jack Dawson, played by Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, who become embroiled in a whirlwind romance aboard the "unsinkable ship".

According to Stephen Cummings, a Florida man working in the yacht industry, he is the original source of the story.

In a lawsuit, Cummings alleges that Cameron, 62, overheard tales of events which happened to the yacht master in Brevard County in 1988 and 1989.

Cummings also claims that the real life "Rose" and "Jack" were two relatives of his who were aboard the Titanic and suffered a similar fate to the movie characters – the husband drowned in the sinking while the wife survived.

Cummings is said to be suing Cameron for $300m (£230m) and also demands one percent of the film's royalties. Titanic won 11 Oscars in 1998, including best picture, and has grossed over $2.187bn to date after working on a budget of $200m. The blockbuster was previously the highest-grossing film in history but Cameron's Avatar replaced it in 2009.

Titanic, the movie, found its way back into headlines in January thanks to a much-talked-about theory which suggested that there was space next to Rose on the floating door, meaning Jack could have survived. However, Cameron, clearly frustrated by the two-decade debate, dispelled the theory in an interview with the Daily Beast.

Dave Cameron
Titanic director James Cameron is accused of ripping off the Titanic story Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

The director definitively stated: "OK, so let's really play that out: you're Jack, you're in water that's 28 degrees [minus 2 in Celsius], your brain is starting to get hypothermia. Mythbusters asks you to now go take off your life vest, take hers off, swim underneath this thing, attach it in some way that it won't just wash out two minutes later.

He continued: "Which means you're underwater tying this thing on in 28-degree water, and that's going to take you five to ten minutes, so by the time you come back up you're already dead. So that wouldn't work. His best choice was to keep his upper body out of the water and hope to get pulled out by a boat or something before he died."

Elsewhere, Celine Dion stirred nostalgia with her performance of Titanic soundtrack ballad, My Heart Will Go On, at the Billboard Music Awards in celebration of its 20th anniversary.

Watch Rose and Jack's famous "I'm flying" scene in Titanic: