The minute Jennifer Hagel Smith signed her name to the Royal Caribbean Cruise settlement; 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.
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.
“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.
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 actually 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.
One thing is for certain … no change or truth will come out of Royal Caribbean if only settlements are reached with confidentiality clauses attached.