Titanic Drugging During Blockbuster Production Gets Reinvestigation

By Christopher Isaac | Published


Titanic is a movie remembered and beloved for many reasons. It is a heartfelt romance that won Best Picture, it skyrocketed Leonardo DiCaprio’s star power, and it became one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. But one detail that you might not hear about as much is that during the process of creating Titanic, there was a drugging incident that saw around 80 crew members hospitalized. Now, authorities have finally been authorized to share the details.

The Crew’s Food Was Laced With PCP

The story has been shared numerous times over the years, with it commonly being something the crew is able to laugh about at this point since everyone wound up okay. But during the filming of Titanic in 1996, someone wound up drugging many people during a break for food by lacing lobster chowder with PCP. The results caused such panic that many of those who were dosed went to the hospital, fearing food poisoning.

VIctim Statements No Longer Private

The culprit behind the Titanic drugging was never discovered. The case was officially closed in 1999, but now, the Nova Scotia information and privacy commissioner has told the Halifax Regional Police to release the details of the report to the public.

The commissioner has made this decision after apparently receiving a freedom of information request complaint due to the initial report from the ‘90s redacting a great deal of victim statements. While identifying information is meant to be withheld to protect people’s privacy, it has been determined that the statements themselves fall under public consumption.

Nova Scotia information and privacy commissioner Tricia Ralph shared the reasoning for this change in position regarding what to release about the Titanic drugging, saying in her report, “Names, pronouns, contact information, and work history of third party witnesses meet the definition of ‘personal information.’ In contrast, some of the information withheld consists of factual observations made by third party witnesses. With personal identifiers … removed, this information does not meet the definition of personal information and so it cannot be withheld.”

When The Public Can Expect To Find New Info About The Case

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It is not clear as of yet whether Halifax Regional Police will be releasing the additional information or if they will have an objection to doing so. Thus far, they have made no statement on the subject. However, if they do release more of the documents on the Titanic drugging, that information could become publicly available as soon as next month.

It likely would not lead to anything changing legally at this juncture since the incident is nearly 30 years old, and the culprit is unlikely to identify themselves. But fans of the movie would no doubt still be interested to learn more about this unusual tangent in the filming process.

James Cameron Was Among Those Drugged

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Even the director of Titanic, James Cameron himself, was one of the victims of the drugging. The reaction of the crew to the experience reportedly varied widely. Some supposedly enjoyed the feeling and were laughing and being playful, while others found the feeling so upsetting that they were crying. Others became physically ill and were throwing up from their consumption of the PCP. Neither Leonardo DiCaprio or Kate Winslet were victims of the incident.

A More Serious Incident Than Once Thought?

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If further details on the Titanic drugging do wind up getting released, it is hard to judge what the response might be. While filmed interviews with James Cameron and other crew members have largely seemed to find the humor in the situation, it is possible other crew members might still want the culprit found. With the original incident transpiring in 1996, there are many more tools in 2024 for those affected to share their story if it caused them long-term distress.

Source: CTV News