Royal Caribbean to Pay George Smith Estate Over 1 Million Dollars in Settlement


Last June everyone wondered why Jennifer Hagel Smith settled with Royal Caribbean. I George smith RCguess there were over 1 million reasons why Jennifer Hagel Smith settled the law suit with Royal Caribbean following the disappearance of her newlywed husband, 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)

It is hard to believe that is what one’s life is worth. The rush to a settlement had raised the George_Smith5eyebrows 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.

Dana Pretzer interview with Bree Smith (Dec. 7, 2006), sister of missing George Smith. (Play podcast, go to time stamp: 66:30)

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.”

Since the settlement by Jennifer Hagel Smith there has obviously been a strain in the relationship with George Smith’s parents and sister. They are suing Royal Caribbean in a separate lawsuit, that was initially dismissed but since amended. The bizarre situation that exists in the Hagle Smith settlement is that according to CT State law, the parents of George Smith are entitled to some of the proceeds. Hopefully they can use that in their quest against Royal Caribbean for real answers. As we have discussed with Bree Smith in the past, she and her parents want answers to George’s disappearance not settlements.

Under state law, Hagel Smith will be entitled to the first $100,000 and 75 percent of the balance of the settlement after estate bills are paid, according to her attorney, Elizabeth Byrne. Smith’s parents will be entitled to 25 percent of the balance after the initial $100,000 is paid to his widow, Byrne said.

Cross posted at Missing & Exploited

If you liked this post, you may also like these:

  • Jennifer Hagel Smith and Royal Caribbean Reach Settlement in Missing Honeymooner George Smith case
  • Smith – Hagel Family Feud has Developed after Jennifer Hagel Smith Settled with Royal Caribbean
  • The Widow of Missing George Smith aboard Mediterranean Sea Cruise Ship Jennifer Hagel Smith to Remarry .. 29 Year Old Financial Analyst Jeff Agne
  • Royal Caribbean Profits Fall 37 Percent; What impact did George Smith Disappearance play?
  • Judge Dismisses Amended George Smith Family Law Suit again Against Royal Caribbean … Its no Hagel-Smith Settlement

  • Comments

    30 Responses to “Royal Caribbean to Pay George Smith Estate Over 1 Million Dollars in Settlement”

    1. Miss-Underestimated on January 4th, 2007 2:36 pm


    2. Terry on January 4th, 2007 3:28 pm

      Thought they were married prior to the cruise?

      Nobody wins here…

    3. Scared Monkeys on January 4th, 2007 3:58 pm


      This was their Honeymoon.

      Nobody does win when one dies. All the moer reason to “why settle”?

      The only thing that can come out of this is the true answers as to what happened to George.


    4. Richard on January 4th, 2007 4:30 pm

      It may be that this is a “divide and conquer” strategy wherein the cruise ship company is trying to use this woman as a tool to fend off what it sees as a greater threat … the determination of George Smith’s ‘natural’ family to find answers. Right now Jennifer Hagel is making the remarks, but it won’t always be so.

    5. Sue on January 4th, 2007 5:51 pm

      this whole case is sad from beginning to end
      reguardless of what jennifer is doing now she still lost
      a husband and his family lost their only son
      So sad

    6. Patti on January 4th, 2007 8:21 pm

      Sounds like a pretty good deal. She gets the money PLUS the records kept by the cruiseline? I just hope that she knows what to do with them. His family wants ANSWERS!

      IMO the cruiseline is no more responsible for his death than I would be if I owned a hotel and someone was murdered in one of the rooms. He didn’t just fall off the balcony. The fall onto the tarp wasn’t far enough to cause an injury that would produce that much blood shed.

      I just hope that she wasn’t the one that did it ?!?!?!?!??

      I wonder, will we ever know?

    7. MOLLY on January 4th, 2007 8:47 pm

      She slept with a crew member while drunk. He got jealous and
      they killed him. She should be in prison. She is a slut. She
      got paid well for assiting in his death.

    8. Richard on January 4th, 2007 8:47 pm

      Part of the problem, though, Patti, is that the cruise lines are incredibly negligent in security. When confronted with a crime … for example, a sexual assault … their initial response is to destroy the evidence, sanitize the scene, and do what they can to persuade the victim to be quiet.

      As a member of International Cruise Victims, I have heard of many such cases. In one, the captain of the ship threatened to confine a woman who had been assaulted by a crew member to her cabin.

      The assailant was allowed to roam the ship as he wished….

      Another point is that under present law, cruise ships are required to report felonies that occur on board to the FBI (that is, if they are out of U.S. territory).

      HOWEVER, the disappearance of a passenger from the ship is NOT CONSIDERED A FELONY. So at present they are not required to report it.

      Sound ridiculous? Sound impossible? In the case of Kendall Carver, who vanished from a cruise ship off Alaska, the cruise ship company concealed her disappearance from the family. When the ship got to port, some of her belongings were thrown away (without the family being asked), others were stored, and the company said nothing.

      The family had to pay tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees just to get the company to admit that their daughter was missing. There are many more lies, but I don’t think it proper to go into them here and now.

      Never forget the case of Amy Bradley.

    9. Richard on January 4th, 2007 8:56 pm

      Mea culpa in extremis … it was MERRIAM Carver who disappeared from the ship. Kendall Carver is her father.

    10. chloe on January 4th, 2007 8:57 pm

      It’s terrible for the family, but I’ve read a lot about this case and I think the media is trying to sell a “mystery”. It seems pretty obvious that he fell backwards off the balcony, hit his head on the tarp and then rolled or fell into the sea. I do not think the cruise line should be responsible, be it murder or an accidental fall. It was not through any negligence on their part that he died.

    11. Patti on January 4th, 2007 9:19 pm


      We should never forget the case of Amy Bradley…..

    12. Big Lou on January 4th, 2007 9:24 pm

      they pay 1 million for the cover-up. sounds like a good deal for the cruise lines. Why would anyone in their right mind go on a cruise?

    13. david r on January 4th, 2007 9:46 pm

      Jennifer Hagel is second only to Joran & Co. as most despicable characters of 2006. It is pretty clear she got drunk, fought with her husband, boinked a crew member, then declined to discuss the matter with his poor family. It won’t be long before some other shallow fool marries her. I hope the paparazzi hound her until she dies.

    14. Patti on January 4th, 2007 11:18 pm

      No… Richard is right.

      While it is true that the Cruiselines cannot avoid having crimes committed on their property, much like a hotel; if they do anything or fail to do something that deters an investigation, they should be sued and sued and possibly boycotted.

      I was not aware of the cases that he mentioned. Nor was I aware of the laws that have to do with their responsibility in reporting crime. If these cruiselines are deliberately and intentionally using a loop-hole in the law to avoid the publicity that these things happen on a cruise, I want to know why.

      I go on cruises and always assume that I’m safe. But this case with Merriam Carver has me wondering if I should reconsider.

      Anyone can be raped anywhere. If the cruiseline thinks that they are doing me a favor by keeping a victim of an assault quiet so that I can enjoy my cruise, they are wrong. That is totally unacceptable and disgusting. Don’t they care about people? What if that person happens to be me or my daughter? Is that the way they choose to treat us?

      Business as usual?

    15. Mortella on January 4th, 2007 11:32 pm

      I think that both the Smiths were drugged and then under the control of other passengers and crew members for whatever happened that night. One of the side effects of date rape drugs is the inability of the victim to remember what happened.

      They can be given to males as well as females for the purpose of separating them and any sort of criminal intent at all. The rape of a female is not the only use for this and it was reported Smith was supplied absinthe by other passengers, a drink once notorious for producing hallucinations.

      Even with cooperation of the cruise line, it is likely we will never know what really happened but without it, guess just about impossible to put the events of that night back together.

    16. Patti on January 4th, 2007 11:53 pm

      Scared Monkeys have posted a couple threads to their website for the family of Amy Bradley.

      Amy Bradley is a very bright and beautiful young lady that was abducted from a cruise ship that was docked in Curacao, the sister island to the ever-so-famous Aruba. Beth Holloway was on the Dr. Phil show with Amy’s mother as the circumstances of their disappearances are similar.

      I have looked up the information on that case and have posted it here for your help.

      The case of Amy Bradley is one that haunts me everytime I step foot on a cruise ship.

      Business as Usual? I certainly hope not!!!

    17. nurturer on January 5th, 2007 12:20 am

      The wife creeps me out.

    18. Patti on January 5th, 2007 1:13 am

      Nurturer: Yeah, she creeps me out, too, but probably not for the same reason. Think that she is just young and has no experience with dealing with tragedy. Besides, she has no children and has no idea what the parents are going through.

    19. Patti on January 5th, 2007 1:19 am

      Think about Amy Bradley’s mom:

      How would you like to be on a ship, knowing that your daughter is missing and not get any help?

      Have you read the story?

      Her parents report her missing after they look everywhere they know to look and what do they do?

      Yep… Business as Usual

    20. Patti on January 5th, 2007 1:44 am


      I posted the thread to America’s Most Wanted wrong and the reason that I posted it, first, was because I believe that it was the most informative.

      Please, read this:

      Once you are at the brief, click for the full story.

    21. Patti on January 5th, 2007 2:49 am



      Isn’t it true that Ann Bradley was invited to Carlos and

      Charleys by employees of the cruiseline the night before

      her disappearance?

    22. Richard on January 5th, 2007 8:28 am

      It’s also known that crew members on these cruise ships, for the most part, are picked up at the lowest possible cost and with no investigation into their background.

      I’m not trying to imply that poverty or being from the Third World, as many of the crews are, is in any way a negative. But the treatment of the crews, as opposed to the (usually white male) officers is discussed in, for example, “The Devils and the Deep Blue Sea,” a recent book on the industry.

      It’s also known that cruise ships are used as a way of moving drugs. And according to statements that I’ve read, at least some crew members are known to target young women. They see them boarding on the gangplank and make their choices.

      It sounds incredible, I know. But the image of “glamour” that the cruise industry has wrapped its offerings in is only now, and slowly, being dispersed. The real tragedy is not that there are crimes on cruise ships … there are crimes in the Boy Scouts, I gather … but that the industry has managed to hide the true rate of crime for so long. International Cruise Victims has proposed a bill to alter this state of affairs.

      One would think the cruise industry would embrace all calls for reform, as a way of demonstrating its concern for its clientele. The opposite is true.

    23. Patti on January 5th, 2007 6:40 pm

      Well, Yeah… I know that I wouldn’t want to be the one that is making that decision on whether or not to open the bridge to port, knowing that there is a missing girl and the parents are frantic.

      This girl was NOT supposed to disappear. She was simply

      sitting on HER deck, smoking a cigarette with her shoes

      off, barefoot, in the middle of the night.

      Someone or something got her.

      They never found her.

      I know, from the cruises that I’ve gone on that the ship arrives in Curacoa very early in the morning.


      I’ve always known that they have an employee entrance and exit. Is that bridge opened at the same time as the bridge for the tourists?

      I’ve met people that work for the cruise lines. They hop from island to island on these ships… did you know that? They do their gig, and get off… and wait for the next one. They also have ample opportunity to slip in a box or two here and there as the ship is taking on its fresh produce or whatever other items that they may need. Do they do that work in the wee hours of the morning?

      They change shifts, too. Don’t they, Richard? One person leaves work, while another comes on. I wonder how “EASY” (as in the words of the ever-so-famous Kal Kan the dimwit) it would be to sneak an unconscience person that you just socked in the head (much like Natalee) off the ship? Mind you the ships are hoppin’. Everybody is busy, up bright and early, to eat their breakfast and get ready for their next excursion. They got the food a’cookin, the dishes a’washin’, and the tourists a’hoppin…

      Nobody is looking…

      Busy, Business as Usual

    24. Patti on January 5th, 2007 6:45 pm

      And…. they ALSO smuggle:


      (Shhhhhhhh…. It’s a secret)

    25. Dan in Tx on January 6th, 2007 2:55 pm

      The article states ‘in no way does this shut down the investigation’ implying criminal investigation, not civil lawsuits.

    26. Scared Monkeys Missing Persons Site on July 8th, 2007 10:07 pm

      [...] Cross posted at Scared Monkeys. [...]

    27. Catherine on November 21st, 2007 4:31 am

      I 1st saw the case of george and Jennifer Hagel Smith on Oprah today. I was overwhelmed by strong instinctual gut feelings that Jennifer is not telling the whole truth. As a recently married and honeymooned women I can tell you that there is no way honeymooners would not know where eachother is and simply go about their morning as normal, OR sleep in some corridor and not find your way back to your other half, no matter how drunk. The scuffles and voices heard coming from their room and fights people saw them having are a red flag of foul play.

    28. Jennifer Hagel Smith, Widow of Missing George Smith Says He Mixed Alcohol & Prescription Drugs the Night He Went Missing | Scared Monkeys on July 19th, 2008 3:20 pm

      [...] Jennifer Hagel Smith was in Superior Court responding to a legal challenge by Smith’s relatives to a nearly $1.1 million settlement she received from Royal Caribbean cruise line. [...]

    29. New Details in Death of of George A. Smith IV Who Died on Honeymoon Mediterranean Royal Caribbean Cruise … FBI Russian Organized Crime Agents Join Investigation … Could it lead to Justice for George? | Scared Monkeys on January 7th, 2012 8:28 pm

      [...] what happened to George Smith on that fateful night in 2005. Much of the information comes from the legal settlement with Royal Caribbean cruise line where they also agreed to hand over its investigative file on Smith’s disappearance, which [...]

    30. The Widow of Missing George Smith aboard Mediterranean Sea Cruise Ship Jennifer Hagel Smith to Remarry .. 29 Year Old Financial Analyst Jeff Agne | Scared Monkeys on January 7th, 2012 9:13 pm

      [...] Jennifer Hagel Smith following the mysterious disappearance of George. Made worse by the fact that Jennifer Hagel Smith settled with Royal Caribbean and had some less than kind words regarding the deceased George [...]

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