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Jennifer Hagel Smith Settlement with Royal Caribbean has caused a family feud with Smith’s

The minute Jennifer Hagel Smith signed her name to the Royal Caribbean Cruise Jennifer Hagel Smithsettlement; we were waiting for the other shoe to drop. It was only a matter of time before the family of missing honeymooner, George Allen Smith IV, went ballistic and after Jennifer Hagel. Personally, I do not blame them one bit. The once united Smith & Hagel family vs. Royal Caribbean cruise lines is over. Although it would appear that the Smith family may have had their suspicions regarding Jennifer Hagel as to what she may have known regarding their son’s disappearance; Jennifer’s actions of settling all but sealed the deal for this family feud to erupt.

They mourned together and shared anger at how Royal Caribbean responded after George Allen Smith IV disappeared in the Mediterranean last July after a night of heavy drinking. They sat together at a congressional hearing last year as they lobbied for changes in how cruise lines report suspected crimes at sea.

But quietly behind the scenes, Smith’s family harbored doubts about his widow, Jennifer Hagel Smith. Those doubts grew into suspicions that erupted after Hagel Smith reached a settlement with Royal Caribbean two weeks ago while Smith’s family sued the cruise line.

(Boston Globe)

George smith RC

The parents of George Allen Smith IV and his sister Bree Smith have been extremely skeptical of Jennifer Hagel Smith. Hagel was found passed out on a floor far from the couple’s cabin, says she has no recollection of what happened to her honeymoon husband. It was suggested that Hagel may have been drugged as to the reason why she was found in the manner she was.George allen_smith_cruise

“She’s definitely hiding something,” said Smith’s sister, Bree. “It’s not clear to us whether Jennifer is hiding behavior that is just embarrassing or of some greater importance to the investigation. We have reported all such behavior to the FBI as it occurred.”

The Smith family plans to depose Jennifer Hagel Smith in their law suit. The Smith family claims that they broke off communication with Hagel Smith last fall after she indicated she did not want to be deposed in a civil or criminal case.

What is truly most puzzling, sad and bizarre is the fact that Jennifer Hagel Smith agreed to a settlement with Royal Caribbean. This after she sat with the family of George Smith through out the Congressional proceedings in an attempt to enact change for how the cruise lines deal with crimes aboard their ships. One of the problems with the untold crimes that go unreported and that actually are committed is all too often their is a settlement and the crime is swept under the run in a shroud of confidentiality.

George Smith & wife 2

The parents of George Allen Smith and his sister Bree have been resolute in their fight against Royal Caribbean.  The Smith family wants answers, not money.  The beauty of the Smith family is that they have same strong qualities as Beth Twitty and Dave Holloway, who have fought to find answer to their daughter’s disappearance in Aruba. The Smith’s show the fight and determination that they want answers and they want change. Settlement does seem to be an option for this family. They are not going to let the cruise line off the hook so easily. Maureen Smith put everyone on notice last summer when she stated, “My son’s life is not going to be in vain.”

“We have truth on our side,” Mrs Smith says firmly. “My son’s life is not going to be in vain.”

That is what makes what Jennifer Hagel Smith did all that horrific. How long was she George smithactually married to George in that she would up in settle with the enemy vs. providing a united front with the Smith’s against Royal Caribbean. What was she really in this for? What did she want her husbands legacy to be? Money? Why would she have not honored her husband George Smith’s memory with the truth of what happened to him and laws which will dictate cruise ship standards for for how they handle and report crimes.

Jennifer Hagel Smith’s actions seem rather unfortunate. How really could blame parents for wanting to know the truth as to why their  son is missing and presumed dead? If that means going after his short term bride for answers who took the easy way out and settled with the agenda ridden cruise line, then so be it. She states she wanted closure as to why she settled after one year. However, how could one really have closure without knowing what really happened? She saw the blood stains outside her cabin and still she settles for money rather than for answers.

George smith blood

One thing is for certain … no change or truth will come out of Royal Caribbean if only settlements are reached with confidentiality clauses attached.



July 12th, 2006 at 12:14am Posted by | Crime/Murder, Cruise ship, George Allen Smith IV, Jennifer Hagel Smith, Missing, Missing Adult | 15 comments

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  1. It is really becoming tiresome reading articles such as the above with there wild speculation about this case. This was an accident pure and simple. There was no murder, sex or drugs involved.

    George apparently engaged in drunken behavior throughout much of his brief honeymoon. Carousing with people other than his wife into the early morning hours, even staying out all night. Brides expect their husbands to be attentive to them during their honeymoon. George acted like this was a frat-party. Six days into the cruise, Jennifer was totally fed up with this behavior. She retaliated with her own drunken behavior, setting in motion a tragic series of events culminating in George’s death George was no doubt a nice person with many fine characteristics. Tragedy can happen, especially when alcohol is involved.

    Jennifer is no doubt generally a very nice person, however she has refused to accept any responsibility for her behavior. Instead, screaming foul play and spending her time on talk shows attempting to salvage her reputation by shifting blame to the cruise line and others. Her phony “can’t remember ploy” is painfully obvious. She remembers everything very well. The Smith family has aided Jennifer in this subterfuge by screaming murder when no murder has occurred. The fact that Jennifer has settled the case is de facto recognition that George’s death was an accident. The cruise line has elected to give her a monitary settlement to get the case off it’s back. This is sad because they are no way at fault. Don’t expect anything to come out of the information the cruise line is supposed to turn over to Jennifer. This is just another face saving ploy. The cruise line’s information has already been for the most part made public. Any additional information is simply going to support the case for accident.

    I expect the FBI will soon close this case now that Jennifer has settled and moved on with her life. No charges will be filed. Any other disposition would be a miscarriage of justice.

    There was no murder involved with this case. Do you really think that these 4 young men, who escorted George back to his room, on vacation with their families, are going to kill someone? Of course not.

    As far as George is concerned, when left alone in his room, he simply became very distraught and angry, suspecting his new wife was having an affair in another man’s room. Remember, earlier in the evening, Jennifer was intoxicated and openly flirting with other men. She must have been very angery and frustrated with her husband to engage in this behavior. George noted this and confronted her at the bar. An angery exchange occurred and she kicked him in the genitals and stormed out of the disco. This behavior was witnessed by several people. Two of the men who escorted George back to his room believed that she had left with the casino manager and this was probably conveyed to him. To make matters worse, they were unable to find her after a brief search. While returning George to his room after the search, the couple in the next room heard someone in a kind voice asking George to “settle down”. You can bet that George was very concerned about his wife’s where-abouts and who she was with. He apparently was able to keep his anger in check while his friends were with him. However, when they left, his anger rose up and he began hitting his fist on the walls and furniture causing a minor injury and accounting for the small amount of blood found in the room. He probably looked in cabinets and drawers for a first aid kit or bandaids. The couples next door thought the room was being trashed and that furniture was being thrown against the wall, but later nothing was found amiss. Why? Because you don’t move walls. Mr. Hyman, next door, heard nothing that sounded like a struggle. No shouting or cursing, only some loud voices and arguing, probably discussing what happened to Jennifer. These people were highly intoxicated. George finally went out on the balcony to cool off, placed a chair near the railing, sat on the railing and fell over backwards in his intoxicated state. Probably landing on his head, causing a scalp laceration, serious bleeding, and eventually falling into the sea.

    It is really becoming tiresome reading articles such as the above with there wild speculation about this case. This was an accident pure and simple. There was no murder, sex or drugs involved.

    Here is an idea … don’t read it. No one forces you to. As for speculation … what the heck do you call your diatribe? Oh, thats right … you were there and know all that you stated above is fact.

    You actually have a lot of nerve to try and tell others what to think and that they are wrong, but then spread your agenda. You are tired of speculation … LOL … then I guess you should not re-read what you wrote yourself.


    Comment by RGEE | July 12, 2006

  2. I could hardly believe this when it became public knowledge! George Smith’s parents, blood relatives and friends need answers!
    Maybe she belongs on Ann Coulter’s list!

    Comment by justducky | July 12, 2006

  3. She must want this to quiet down for a reason?

    Comment by glad2bAmerican | July 12, 2006

  4. Oh… I must have missed which one of those six men (the two crew members, the two Russians and the two California men) that George was hanging out with was involved in his actual murder. Were they all involved??? What are their names???? Are they in custody??? What is happening in the ACTUAL MURDER CASE?????

    Maybe I am being a bit harsh — but that is what needs to be addressed. Going after the Royal Carribean Cruise Line is like saying — I don’t give a darn if Joran, Satish and Deepak murdered Natalee — I just want to bring down the Aruba. After all, Aruba had made the conditions ripe for these things to happen and then covered it up — so who cares who actually murdered Natalee.

    Now don’t get me wrong — I am grateful to the Smith’s — they are trying to make sailing on cruise ships safer for all of us. But I don’t think I could go after the Cruise Ship without pursuing the ACTUAL Murders!!!!

    I will be honest, I really don’t know enough about any of these people except what I have read here and of course the article in the “rag sheet” (the Globe, I think).

    There is something about Jennifer’s beauty in the photgraphs that is “different”. I am wondering if she is older than she claims to be???? It wouldn’t be the first time that a lady that looked younger — passed herself off as being the same age as the “perfect” guy to win him. That may be all that she is keeping “secret”. But of course — who knows???

    As for the family of George — well I am having very bad vibes from a family that is two-faced. The fact that they “continued to work with Jennifer” even though “Smith’s family harbored doubts about his widow, Jennifer Hagel Smith” — tells me and the world that they disliked George’s choice of bride. They have made it abundantly clear that they didn’t think a lowly school teacher was good enought for “their” son. They act like “she was a “party girl” and then ignore the fact that their son was “partying hardy” also. To me they seemed a matched pair!!!!!

    I’m interested in knowing what Jennifer is going to do with all the information she made the Royal Carribean turn over to her, as to what was going on, and where everyone was at the time of George’s murder — as part of her “settlement”. Let’s see if she takes this and runs with it in the pursuit of her husband’s killer — or if she just sits on it. I think that will tell a lot!!!

    Comment by NOT AS STUPID AS YOU THINK | July 12, 2006

  5. It doesn’t appear that she was married to George in any meaningful sense. Her husband was murdered while she was out sport screwing the casino manager. That’s where she was found, outside a door leading to a crew only area. And she wasn’t passed out, said the crewman who found her, just laying low. Like Ricky Ricardo used to say to Lucy, she had some “splainin’ to do.” Now she’s single and rich. In a few years, she’ll be married with kids, living in the burbs among the other “quality people.”

    Comment by david r | July 12, 2006

  6. This is a very interesting development. The article mentions how the Smith family intends to push on with their lawsuit, but I don’t know if that’s possible now. Jennifer, being George’s widow, is also his heir at law, and, unless George made other arrangements in his will (if he had one), she would be named Administrator (Executrix) of his estate. As Administrator, it would be Jennifer’s decision whether to prosecute or settle any wrongful death suit on behalf of George’s estate. Having lost her husband and his associated financial support and companionship, Jennifer would also potentially have a personal cause of action against Royal Caribbean. By contrast, George’s parents, depending on jurisdiction, might not have standing to sue at all, which means they would have no legal right to compel discovery in pursuit of the answers they say they want. This is a VERY disturbing possibility. By settling with Royal Caribbean, Jennifer might have denied the Smith family any legal recourse in this matter. It’s no wonder the Smiths are so angry!

    The most obvious question now is, “Why did Jennifer settle?” We might never know for certain, but we can draw some inferences. First, I tend to doubt that she settled out of financial desperation. Jennifer and the Smiths live in a very affluent area — I personally grew up there — so I doubt that financial hardship compelled her settlement. Second, it doesn’t seem as though Royal Caribbean would have, in any case, offered a very significant sum in settlement. Their liability seemed to be rather slight, all things considered, so I can’t imagine the company offering an amount much in excess of the “nuisance value” associated with the bad publicity surrounding the case. I think we can safely assume, then, that easy, vast wealth didn’t inspire Jennifer’s settlement, either. Why, then, DID she settle? The obvious motivation for Jennifer to settle the case would be identical to the motivation behind the Smith family’s determination to pursue it — ANSWERS. It might well be that the Smith family wants to discover the truth whereas Jennifer wants to bury it. Consider this; if Jennifer were somehow involved in her husband’s disappearance, she would be well motivated to prevent civil discovery, and she could be expected to settle with Royal Caribbean in order to avoid a lawsuit — the precise course she has taken.

    Did Jennifer have anything to do with George’s disappearance/death? I don’t know, but if I were investigating the matter, I’d be very interested in exploring possible motives Jennifer might have had to want George dead. For example, did George have any life insurance coverage? Was Jennifer seeing anyone on the side? I’d also be interested in exploring possible connections between Jennifer and other suspects in the case among the passengers and crew. In my mind, Jennifer has elevated herself into the position of undisputed prime suspect. If the Smiths want answers, Jennifer is the first place they should look.

    Comment by SteveDinMD | July 12, 2006

  7. I do have concerns ALL around in this case, but Jennifer will receive access to all of Royal Caribbean’s files as part of the settlement. That is important to remember, and the Smith’s would have the same access if they choose to settle. It does not matter how long Jennifer was married to George, because when one gets married they forsake all others. George and Jennifer chose to spend their lives together, a lifetime that was all to short.

    Comment by Mr. Justice | July 12, 2006

  8. I’m torn on this. First, I can understand believing that nothing is going to turn up evidence that has been swept under the rug and just a wish for it all to end. Maybe Jennifer has sucked into the belief that it was suicide or more probably a accident.

    Jennifer has to feel responsible in that if she hadn’t been drinking, she would have been there. There’s talk about her being drugged, but if reports are true of what they were drinking, no drugs would need be involved. Sadly, I can admit that I have also drunk enough that I didn’t recall parts of an evening. But yes, if something had happened to someone dear to me, I’d blame my behavior as being part of the scenario. So maybe Jennifer just “wants” the whole thing to go away because she partially blames herself.

    Any criminal investigation would still go on, settlement or not. When one has gone through immense tramma, it’s understandable that they might not be strong enough (or as strong as others) to push the way Dave Holloway and Beth Twitty have. I certainly respect what they both have done, but you also have to ask yourself – at what price? Have Beth and Jug broken up? Has this all cost Beth’s son?

    Understand that even if the answer are “yes”, that doesn’t mean Beth did the “wrong” thing. Rather there is an argument that the living do have to go on living. And so each person has to decide for themselves which is more important and which path will in the end allow them to continue life. Some people couldn’t live with themselves if they didn’t continue the course. Some may not be strong enough to continue.

    Yet on the other side, I can’t imagine not wanting to bring the responsible parties to justice. And, I can’t believe it was an accident IF reports are true that there was blood in the cabin. How does on sit on the railing and accidently fall while getting blood in their cabin? Also, if one accidently fell, I can’t imagine that the fall would cause that kind of blood on the awning below.

    So bottom line is that I can sort of see both sides.

    Comment by | July 13, 2006

  9. Jennifer settled this case because she does not want to be deposed and have her behavior revealed in public. She has told the Smith family about this months ago. The cruise line lawyer’s know that there is not going to be a criminal prosecution and have evidence to convince Jennifer and her lawyer’s of this.

    At the same time, the lawyer’s could remind Jennifer that they could make her look very bad indeed. Video and eye witness accounts of her intoxication, flirting and kicking. A multitude of embarrassing questions could be asked. She would be under oath and compelled to be truthful. Her “can’t remember ploy” may not hold up in court. If Jennifer’s lawyer’s tried to point out some of George’s flaws, they would be accused of victim bashing. Her trivial complaints against the cruise line would appear childish. All this played out on courttv.

    The Smith family will settle as soon as the FBI closes the case and rational thinking starts to be applied. Of course they are angry with Jennifer for not returning to the room that night and easing their son’s delusions. She probably did not want to face George so soon after the kicking incident. I do not think that Jennifer is responsible for George’s death. You simply cannot be so insensitive toward your bride on her honeymoon and not have repercussions. I have even heard reports that he was giddy over a photo taken with Tara Reid. I mean, really, this alone would be too much for most brides.
    SM: I do not think that the family will settle. They have nothing to gain by settling. They do not want nor need money.

    The Smith family’s motives are greater than they. They are not only a family of a missing son … they have become cruise safety advocates. I do not see them settling.

    This has already made it to Congressional hearings. There is a long way to go on this one.

    Settlement and letting RC off the hook is not an option.


    Comment by RGEE | July 13, 2006

  10. wow

    i used to read out here when this happened.
    i think sm should publish some of their own posts
    seems sm is into victim bashinbg these days
    ‘god forbid anyone questioned the VERY bizarre actions of Mrs Smith back a few months ago
    But now that Mrs Smiths settles….SM seems to think its ok to bash the wife
    SM: Victim bashing? How dare you. Shows how much you read this sight and understand its purpose. Get over yourself and read the post this time. George Smith is the victim, not his wife.

    What are you talking about? Of course the wife’s actions were bizarre. The nature of how she was found was weird. That was never in dispute. However, we have always been skeptical of the cruise line.

    Settlement in these types of situations is never the answer. All it does is play into the hands of the cruise line. Nothing is ever accomplished except the cruise line is allowed to further cover up their inaction.

    We wish Jennifer Hagel teamed up with the Smith family as she was doing for a year and presented a united front against Royal Caribbean. Thats how you get answers.

    You know what they say about a house divided … so if you think that is a change in attitude … well maybe its because Jennifer Hagel Smith changed her tune, not SM.

    Comment by vb | July 13, 2006

  11. >>>Jennifer settled this case because she does not want to be deposed and have her behavior revealed in public. She has told the Smith family about this months ago. The cruise line lawyer’s know that there is not going to be a criminal prosecution and have evidence to convince Jennifer and her lawyer’s of this. >>>>>

    The salesman for RCCL posts yet again. Jennifer was the FIRST person to take a lie detector test so she has already revealed all she can.

    Have you never been drunk enough that you truly didn’t remember what happened? Unfortunately, I have. I can remember one time when I could not remember driving home after a car almost hit me for driving in the wrong lane. It was 100 years ago, but something I will never forget. They were knocking back some pretty dangerous stuff according to reports.

    Jennifer was found on the correct floor on the opposite site of the ship from where her room would have been – again according to reports. That makes a lot of sense – that she merely attempted to go back to her room and took a wrong turn (something very easy to do on a cruise ship if you don’t have your wits about you) and at somepoint after not finding her room either laid down or fell down (passed out) and went to sleep.

    Trashing Jennifer without knowing what really happened doesn’t make sense and simply isn’t fair. She may be a very weak person with a lot of guilt
    simply because she got drunk enough that she doesn’t remember what happened and she wasn’t there for George. Bottom line, it’s pretty clear to me that this was NO accident and George was murdered.

    Believing that a person could fall over a balcony on to a tarp covering a life boat and leave a body sized residue of blood is believing in fantasy. I’ve looked on other cruise ships very carefully since this incident and it doesn’t pass the smell test. George had to be profusly bleeding when he fell to leave a spot like that. If he fell and hit the tarp and then rolled off, he would have had to really be covered in blood. Even if he laid there for awhile, this isn’t a spot from a wound in one place.

    Though if we try to put RGEE’s scenario into play, we would see that if George laid there, he could have grabbed something and held on if he didn’t quickly bounce off. Then we have no explanation for all the blood.

    Comment by | July 14, 2006

  12. I don’t agree with your reasoning. If George was bleeding profusely before going over the side, then there would be large amounts of blood in the room and certainly on the balcony. There were only small amounts of blood found in the room. There was only a bloody hand print on the railing from his minor hand injury.

    It has been well established that there was no blood evidence of a serious or fatal injury occurring in the room or on the balcony. The blood on the canopy had to be from the fall. Scalp lacerations bleed profusely.

    Comment by RGEE | July 15, 2006

  13. It is not true that once a person is married that their spouse is the executor of their estate. In fact, If the married person has put into place a special power of attorney, it is not null and void once they become married – the POA must be dissolved in favor of the spouse.

    If George had named a person in his family as executor of his estate (it does NOT have to be a spouse) or as their Attorney in absence, that person would represent George in any lawsuit or findings of information pertinent to his death. Jennifer is not automatically anything but his wife – that is unless he has no papers of any kind.

    Do not assume legal marriage voids all other contracts. My brother, lawfully wedded, has our mother as his Power of Attorney for child custody reasons. Very wise – especially if you suddenly become estranged. Your blood fanily is always your family – spouses can come and go…

    Comment by Crimsondove | July 18, 2006

  14. Crimsondove you are absolutely right the only problem is most young people think they are invincible so they don’t even think to have wills or any papers stating there wishes in case of death. I really hope the Smith’s will find there answers so they can get some kind of closure.

    Comment by pamela | July 25, 2006

  15. I personally think that something happened and it was not an accident. There was just too much blood on the tarp. Something is missing. The wife something is up with that too. If understand correctly the FBI was not notified of the crime right off. I believe the ship ported in a foreign country( i can’t really remember what country). I believe the cruise line is definitely covering something up. I think they don’t want this on their cruise line reputation. I think Jennifer settled because it has been about one year and eight months and she just wants to move on with her life. I also understand why that would be hard for George’s family to accept. If George’s family wants answers they should have the right to pursue the cruise line.

    Comment by jh | March 9, 2007

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