Last June everyone wondered why Jennifer Hagel Smith settled with Royal Caribbean. I guess there were over 1 million reasons why Jennifer Hagel Smith settled the law suit with Royal Caribbean following the disappearance of her fiancee, George Allen Smith IV.
Royal Caribbean Cruises has agreed to pay more than $1 million to the estate of a Connecticut man who vanished from his honeymoon cruise of the Mediterranean in 2005.
The Florida-based company will pay $950,000 to the estate of George Allen Smith IV and reimburse his widow, Jennifer Hagel Smith, for legal costs up to $110,000. Hagel Smith will start a fund in memory of her husband with an initial donation of $25,000 that the cruise line will match, according to a copy of the settlement obtained by The Associated Press. (Fox News)
Dana Pretzer interview with Bree Smith on Scared Monkeys radio (Dec. 7, 2006), sister of missing George Smith. (Play podcast, go to time stamp: 66:30)
It is hard to believe that is what one’s life is worth. The rush to a settlement had raised the eyebrows of many who followed the case. What is most puzzling is the continued admissions that some how Jennifer Hagel Smith will be able to use any records that she gains from Royal Caribbean against them in the future. I am sure their is very fine and legal print that Royal Caribbean attorneys put in this settlement that states otherwise.
Hagel Smith noted that the settlement also gives her access for the first time to records kept by the cruise line, including vessel logs, security reports, door activity records, photographs, witness statements and correspondence with the FBI.
“My single goal continues to be to find answers regarding how George died,” Hagel Smith said in a statement. “Reaching a settlement in this case in no way shuts down the investigation.”
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Jennifer Hagel-Smith lashed out this week as the misguided anger that the family of missing honeymooner, George Smith. George Smith’s family has many questions of Jennifer, namely what is she hiding by settling with Royal Caribbean so soon.
“The quick settlement is concerning,” said Bree Smith, in an exclusive interview with the Green-wich Citizen. “We feel comfortable in saying that in our opinion, she is hiding something.” Added Rivkind
Bree Smith, George Smith’s sister, found many of Jennifer Hagel-Smith’s actions and comments rather strange.
“Jennifer said several times in our house, before we cut off contact with her last October, that she did not want to be deposed in a civil or criminal suit,” Bree Smith said.
“I thought that was a strange statement to make. Why wouldn’t she want to testify, to help bring to justice the people who murdered my brother? It is suspicious, in my opinion.”
The circumstances in how George Smith disappeared is bizarre. We all now the many actions of those involved that are less than normal behavior that one would do aboard a cruise ship, let alone the actions that the cruise line took following the disappearance. What we find most disappointing and strange is Jeniffer Hagel-Smith’s 180 degree turn in dealing with the Royal Caribbean and her statements .
In Hagel-Smith’s press release, she also praised “the cruise line president and leaders who heard our voices and began this civilized, informative, and productive dialogue.”
This marked a sharp contrast to Hagel-Smith’s previous claims that she had been “thrown off” the Brilliance of the Seas after George Smith disappeared, and left to fend for herself in Turkey without financial resources or assistance.
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.
In a rather stunning development Jennifer Hagel Smith, the wife of missing honeymooner George Allen Smith IV has reached a settlement with Royal Caribbean Cruise line. The terms of the settlement are subject to approval by a Connecticut probate court.
Royal Caribbean International and Jennifer Hagel Smith have reached an agreement settling any potential claims regarding the death of her husband George Smith IV. The company entered into this agreement to provide closure and move forward.
The terms of the settlement are subject to approval by a Connecticut probate court. Royal Caribbean will continue in its good faith efforts to ensure Ms. Hagel Smith has access to all information regarding her husband’s disappearance. (Yahoo News)
What a crock this settlement is on both the part of Royal Caribbean and Jennifer Hagel Smith. This nonsense occurs constantly on cruise ships and nothing is ever done because the victims of crimes or families of the victims settle for monetary amounts rather that effecting change. Maybe Jennifer Hagel Smith can explain to George Smith’s family how a settlement honors her husband. Royal Caribbean in typical fashion come out with a BS PR statement:
“She has handled herself well under the most trying of circumstances and we applaud her constructive approach to resolving this matter — so much so that our company will also match a contribution by Ms. Hagel Smith to a charity of her choosing. We believe this agreement will help Jennifer to move forward in her life, while honoring the memory of her beloved husband.”
Funny, Royal Caribbean was not saying this same comment when Jennifer Hagel Smith sued them. I can only imagine how the family of George Smith is taking this news. I can almost count on the fact that they will not settle for a financial gain. They will honor their son by helping pass legislation so this does not happen again to others.
Statement form Jennifer Hagel Smith
Does anyone else have a problem with the wording, “Jennifer Hagel Smith is pleased to announce that she has reached a comprehensive settlement”? Is please? Its a grim settlement to the death of your husband, not your wedding announcement. Geez.
Jennifer Hagel Smith is pleased to announce that she has reached a comprehensive settlement with Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. following the disappearance of her husband, George Allen Smith IV, on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in July 2005.
Royal Caribbean has agreed to provide Jennifer with additional access to substantial information and documents in order to assist her in obtaining answers regarding George Smith’s disappearance last summer. She will be permitted to review all relevant vessel logs, security reports, door activity (“lock- link”) reports, photographs, security tapes, correspondence to and from the FBI and other law enforcement authorities, as well as all statements of passengers and crew members obtained by the cruise line. This information will be provided upon completion of the settlement. A similar offer is readily available to the Smith family. (News Flash to Royal Caribbean … I hardly doubt the mother and father will want money for their dead son.)
Royal Caribbean will pay a financial settlement. The proposed settlement will be presented to the Court of Probate, District of Greenwich, in the State of Connecticut for the Court’s consideration and approval.
“This has been the most difficult and challenging year of my life,” said Jennifer. “I will always love George and cherish our time together. I feel blessed to have such a strong network of loyal family, friends and supporters who have provided me with such tremendous strength and encouragement. They have walked and sometimes carried me through this heartbreaking time. I am forever grateful.”
“My discussions with Royal Caribbean have been very open, as well as extremely productive and informative. This journey has always been a matter of principle for me, and I know that George would be proud of what has been accomplished thus far, in good faith, as we continue to seek answers. I appreciate Royal Caribbean’s cooperation, sincerity and efforts moving forward, which I believe will play a major role in helping all of us find closure. The memory of George will always live on in my heart, that of our families and everyone who knew him.”
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Brett Rivkind, the lawyer for George Allen Smith IV’s parents, is suggesting that Jennifer Hagel-Smith may have been drugged. The same night that George Allen Smith went missing, Jennifer Hagel-Smith was found in a corridor, unconscious and far from their cabin.
Brett Rivkind, the lawyer for George Allen Smith IV’s parents, said he does not have any evidence to prove his theory about why crew members found Jennifer Hagel-Smith sleeping in a corridor July 5, the night her husband disappeared on their Mediterranean honeymoon cruise between Turkey and Greece.
Rivkind said at a news conference that it has been difficult to get information about the case because Royal Caribbean has not been forthcoming. But William Wright, the cruise line’s senior vice president of marine operations, said in his own news conference that the company has cooperated with investigators, including the FBI.
Here are some of the latest allegations from the different sides in the disappearance of George Smith.
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