Guest: Hilarie Cash, Lance Tracy, Rob Weiss, Susan Filan, Casey Jordan,
Jennifer Hagel Smith
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: Tonight's top headline, a SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY exclusive interview. Jennifer Hagel Smith speaks. They were married for just 10 days when her husband tragically disappeared from their honeymoon in the Mediterranean.
Now the widow talks about that wedding, what happened that terrible night, and the hell she went through the day she found out her husband was gone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNIFER HAGEL SMITH, WIFE OF GEORGE SMITH: They basically approached me and said, you know, your husband has gone overboard. And, you know, they told me about the blood on the awning.
And, at that moment, I just literally remember grabbing both of my arms and just squeezing so tight, thinking, I have got to still be dreaming. This has got to be a nightmare.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: And what a nightmare it was.
Friends, there were times in the interview that I—I can't tell you how heartbreaking it was to hear again the hell that she went through that day, and then when she, of course, came back home, to find out that the cruise industry was suggesting that maybe she had something to do with the murder, or maybe George threw himself overboard. It's a shocking interview. You are not going to believe what you hear.
And you are not—you're going to want to stick around and not miss any of this.
Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, no passport required, only common sense allowed.
ANNOUNCER: From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all. Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, I was back in the halls of Congress yesterday, talking again to Jennifer Hagel Smith, also going to a committee hearing meeting that we had been calling for here for months, demanding that the cruise industry be brought before Congress, demanding that they put some new restrictions on the way cruise industries investigate what goes on, on their ships.
I think we are going to see some real action on Capitol Hill, because a lot—I got to tell you, a lot because of what we did here, but, more importantly, because of what you have done, how you have actually spoken to your representatives, like we asked you to do for months now, and told them that you wanted answers.
Well, I will tell you what. It looks, friends, like we are going to get answers. Plus, we are going to have that fascinating exclusive interview with Jen in just a minute.
Also, a special SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY investigation, online addiction. Now, experts say there are roughly two million Internet sex addicts in this country. And it could be your neighbor; it could be your friend; it could be your spouse. Tonight, we are going to meet a man whose secret addiction almost cost him his marriage.
But, first, five months ago, George and Jennifer Hagel Smith were just starting their life together. They were married June 25 after a storybook romance. And, just days later, George Smith was gone. He disappeared from his honeymoon cruise in the Mediterranean, and, for five months now, Jennifer Hagel Smith has maintained her silence.
That is, until now. I sat down with her yesterday in Washington before that hearing I was telling you about. And I asked her to tell me all about the man she loved so much, George Smith IV.
HAGEL SMITH: George really was the all-American guy. George had it all. He was funny and romantic and handsome. And he was a good friend. He's a loyal person. He is the type of person that you are proud to bring home to mom and dad. My dad was so proud to say yes when he asked me for my hand in marriage.
SCARBOROUGH: Did George do that?
HAGEL SMITH: Yes.
SCARBOROUGH: Did he go ask your dad?
HAGEL SMITH: He did. Yes, he did.
SCARBOROUGH: Your dad is a big guy. I would be very polite when I went to ask your dad.
SCARBOROUGH: But he went and...
HAGEL SMITH: He did.
HAGEL SMITH: And my dad actually could barely contain himself.
He ended up telling a few people, not my mother.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes. Yes.
HAGEL SMITH: She was furious that she found out last.
But, yes, he was really proud of George and proud of us. And everyone was so excited for us and starting our life together. They were—both of our parents were just beaming at our wedding. And it was just the perfect day. It was magical.
Everybody just—that was there just said, this is something. You know, this is one of those once-in-a-lifetime days, and we are so happy to be a part of it. And it was. It was just that. It was the best day of my life. And George and I were so excited to even come home from our honeymoon, to look at wedding pictures and look at our wedding video and just, you know, talk to people and just say, didn't we have such a great time? And...
SCARBOROUGH: All right. So, talk about that day. You all were going around with your friends?
HAGEL SMITH: No, not on that particular day.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes. Oh, I got—no, I got that wrong. Go ahead.
HAGEL SMITH: OK.
So, that day was Mykonos. And this was one of our—it was going to be one of our best days. George was so excited. George loves Greece. And he just couldn't wait to get off the boat that day. So, the two of us had walked around for a little bit. And we stopped and had lunch. And we just sat, and, you know, watched people walking by.
And it was just such a breathtaking place that we were saying, God, I can't wait to come back here. And we had visited a couple of ports already, but this was definitely just breathtaking. I kept snapping pictures of George. And he was saying, you know, I think that 200 pictures was OK. We only are halfway through the trip.
SCARBOROUGH: And he was happy. You were happy.
HAGEL SMITH: He was so happy. And we just said, this is life.
And, in fact, we were talking about—we said, maybe we should buy a time share here, or maybe we should buy a—retire here.
HAGEL SMITH: This is great. And he said, well, maybe. He said, how would your—how would our parents feel about that? And George says, I really don't care. It's too beautiful.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, we covered a lot of ground in this interview. Jennifer was really open with me. But when we got to the issue of that terrible night, when George vanished, she was guarded. And she had to be guarded, because the FBI asked her not to talk about that part of the story while they were ramping up their investigation.
But Jennifer was very eager to shed some new light on what happened the night George disappeared from that cruise ship.
SCARBOROUGH: So, let's talk about that night. What can you tell us about that night?
HAGEL SMITH: I know you are doing your job and you have to ask.
But, again, my number-one priority—and I am going to say this again and again—is just, you know, doing what the FBI has told me. And, basically, you know, there's nothing that I am going to sort of release that—that happened to me that night. I am excited in the future to be able to talk freely and openly, because that will mean that the FBI has solved their case.
HAGEL SMITH: And that will mean, you know, that I have freedom to speak and say, you know, whatever.
SCARBOROUGH: How about leading up to that night, the afternoon, the early evening?
HAGEL SMITH: George and I probably got back to the ship, I want to say, around 6:00 p.m., or so.
Times are a little difficult to remember now. But we—you know, we were planning on meeting a friend of ours—or a couple. It was another honeymoon couple that we had became fast friends with, and we were spending probably most of our evenings with them. They had already eaten, so they said, you two go on, and, you know, we will catch up with you later. We will meet you at 11:00.
So, we had this just great dinner, a very romantic dinner. And we were just, you know, toasting to the future, toasting to life, and just saying, God, we are the two luckiest kids in the world. And we kept saying that. And it's ironic now.
HAGEL SMITH: We just kept saying, you know, knock on wood. This is -
· life is so good to us. We are so lucky. You know, we have had so many opportunities in life. And here we are in the Mediterranean, toasting to our future.
And it was, you know, a moment that I will—that I won't forget. And, of course, you know, we met our friends. And the evening goes on, of course, and, obviously...
SCARBOROUGH: At 11:00, did you meet in the restaurant or...
HAGEL SMITH: We all meet together. George and I go back to the room to—quickly.
And then we—on our way up, he wanted to just drop off his sport
coat, because, the other night, when we were—we would usually meet our -
· this other couple. You know, we would go to the casino, meet them, just play at the craps table or play Blackjack for a little while, and call it a night.
This particular night, we did our same routine.
HAGEL SMITH: We dropped off George's jacket and came back down, and...
SCARBOROUGH: What time was that, that you dropped off the jacket?
And, again, I know, it's hard to remember exact times.
HAGEL SMITH: Right.
SCARBOROUGH: It was, like, around midnight?
HAGEL SMITH: Around 11:00. Around 11:00.
SCARBOROUGH: Eleven? Eleven?
HAGEL SMITH: So—and that's the point where, you know, I—and I can't speak of. And I wish I could.
I know that there's a lot of questions that a lot of people have. And that's where sort of the FBI picks up the story.
SCARBOROUGH: So, you can't say what happened in the casino that night, from that point on?
HAGEL SMITH: Right.
SCARBOROUGH: Is that where the FBI tells you not to talk?
HAGEL SMITH: Right.
SCARBOROUGH: Tell you about—what about who you saw and...
HAGEL SMITH: Yes, that's all under that same FBI category.
SCARBOROUGH: Can you talk about the Russian guys? Because, at the beginning, everybody was looking at you, because—and, again, it wasn't just about you. It's...
HAGEL SMITH: Which I didn't even realize, yes. Yes.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, but, in any investigation—I think we talked about this.
HAGEL SMITH: Right.
SCARBOROUGH: If the spouse dies, the first thing they do, they just play the numbers. It sounds cold and callous.
HAGEL SMITH: Which they never tell you before you get married.
SCARBOROUGH: Right. Yes.
HAGEL SMITH: That if something was to—is going to happen to your spouse...
SCARBOROUGH: If something happens.
HAGEL SMITH: ... that—that you will be looked at.
SCARBOROUGH: That they look at you with suspicion.
But—and then we started hearing about these Russian guys and some teenager from California.
HAGEL SMITH: Yes.
And I will just say that for—I don't know when people learned of certain details surrounding the case. But I will say that I literally didn't watch any news coverage for the first two months. So, a lot of this information, I found out in only the past few months.
HAGEL SMITH: And, as George and Maureen have told you, they would take notes.
George's parents would literally take notes, watching your show and watching other shows. And that's—some of the information that we have come to know since what happened has come from that.
SCARBOROUGH: Can you talk about anything about these Russian guys?
Was that the first night you saw them?
HAGEL SMITH: I can't really—I wouldn't speak of those things, because I think that it's not appropriate. I think...
SCARBOROUGH: You say it's not appropriate because the FBI told you not to talk about them?
HAGEL SMITH: And they have families, too. And I am very sensitive to that. So, I think that I am very careful and guarded in anything I would say, just for—I am sure this is a tough experience for anyone who is involved in it.
SCARBOROUGH: Do you think the FBI is going to solve this case?
HAGEL SMITH: I hope so.
SCARBOROUGH: Let me ask you, do you think that—do you think George was murdered?
HAGEL SMITH: It's a good question.
SCARBOROUGH: What do you think?
HAGEL SMITH: I guess we will see.
I am looking forward to ending this investigation. I am hoping—the FBI said, initially, it will be months, not years. And I am going to remind them, they have six more months, because I am hoping that they will come up with something.
This is—I have been told that, you know, our case has more evidence, whether it be, you know, blood stains on the awning or things of that nature, that has more than any cases in the past. So, I think that this is—this is—this could be the one, you know? This could be the one for the FBI. I know that there haven't been many successful convictions in the past, but I am praying this is the one.
SCARBOROUGH: So, we get through the night. You wake up in the morning. And there are two different stories about where you woke up. And, again, one said you woke up in the room. The other said you woke up three flights up. Can you tell us where you woke up?
HAGEL SMITH: It's nothing scandalous. I can say that, if that's what people are wondering. It's not scandalous.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, but you can understand why they would...
HAGEL SMITH: Right.
SCARBOROUGH: ... why they would ask the question.
HAGEL SMITH: Right. Of course.
SCARBOROUGH: You're on your honeymoon.
HAGEL SMITH: Of course.
HAGEL SMITH: Sometimes—sometimes, you know, the answer, the truth is—is more basic or more simple than people like to think it is. So, people can, you know, read into that as they will.
SCARBOROUGH: But you have been told by the FBI not to talk about that?
HAGEL SMITH: Right. Right.
SCARBOROUGH: I will tell you what. There are a lot of people out there tonight that have a lot of reasons to be nervous, because we are not going to drop this until there is justice for George.
Now, I just got to talk to my friends in the cruise industry. I mean, a lot of you guys are based out of my home state of Florida. Just know, I am going to keep riding you every day, every week, until you guys start to clean up your act, until you take responsibility for your actions, until you have a transparent process that ensures that if I decide to send my mom and dad or my son on a cruise, that they are going to be safe, because I can't guarantee that right now because of the shameful way you have behaved in the George Smith case.
Now, we are going to have a lot more of my interview with Jennifer Hagel Smith when we come back right after these messages.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAGEL SMITH: I think I have just felt so numb, and I just was so shocked. And I really thought I was going to have a heart attack.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: And it's the horrible way Jennifer Hagel Smith says Royal Caribbean treated her in those first few hours after she was told her husband was dead.
And, later, online addiction, it's ripping families in two. We will tell you how you can recognize it if someone you love is hooked to the Internet.
SCARBOROUGH: A honeymooner wakes up to learn that her husband is dead. She is kicked off the cruise line by the captain. She is interrogated in Turkey. She is stripped-searched, and she is left there with her luggage on the docks.
We will have more of our interview with Jen when we return.
SCARBOROUGH: George Smith and Jennifer Hagel Smith celebrating what was to be the beginning of a long, beautiful life together with children, homes, big plans. But, of course, in the early morning hours of July the 5th, all of that changed.
As my exclusive interview continues, Jen shares the horrors of the hours after she found out from a group of Royal Caribbean employees that her husband was dead.
HAGEL SMITH: It was three men dressed in white uniform from Royal Caribbean.
They basically approached me and said, you know, your husband has gone overboard. And, you know, that—they told me about the blood on the awning. And, at that moment, I just—it's hard to remember, you know, my reaction to it at the time. But I just literally remember grabbing both of my arms and just squeezing so tight, thinking, I have got to still be dreaming. This has got to be a nightmare, because it's—it was too much.
Like, physically, emotionally, you're—you're—I couldn't quite comprehend what they were saying. It was just...
SCARBOROUGH: Did they tell you he was dead, he had gone overboard and died?
HAGEL SMITH: They said he had gone overboard, and they found blood, and over—actually, I had found out from them that they believed he went over in Greek waters. And here we are in Turkey.
So, as you can imagine, you just—you—you play back in your mind at that time just the wedding. And just—everything just flashes. And you think, like, this is a sick joke, right, because we just got married, right? You're kidding me.
You just can't—you can't fathom, like, the reaction. I think—I think I just felt so numb, and I just was so shocked. And I really thought I was going to have a heart attack. Like, my heart just—it just was—like, my chest just got so tight. And I just thought—I didn't know what to think. I didn't know what to do.
Everything just—everything I knew in that moment was just gone.
SCARBOROUGH: The world you knew ended.
HAGEL SMITH: Everything was gone.
If George is—we joked with each other, you are the center of my universe. And we would tell each other that all the time. And he really was. And when that is gone, what do I do? You know, what does my world revolve around now? It's everything we had planned together, our life, our future. I think I—like, my—literally, everything was just flashing, flashing, my parents, his parents. It was just, this can't be happening.
SCARBOROUGH: This was the beginning of, from what I have read, just an unimaginable, hellacious day.
HAGEL SMITH: I was taken to a cabin somewhere in one of the lower decks.
And I was told to take a shower. And I was then given Royal Caribbean T-shirt, Royal Caribbean gym shorts, and Royal Caribbean tank top, because they said, we cannot, you know, obviously give you any of your own clothing, which was all in our room.
I was eventually brought to a different meeting area, again, from Royal Caribbean. At this point now, there comes back the ship's officers, their—the security officers and the ship's captain now. And I have now the honeymoon couple that George and I used to, you know, hang around with. They were also, you know, around or at my side.
And they just basically said, you know, they want you to get off the ship in Turkey. They want you, you know, to come for some questions. I didn't realize at that time that I was a part of or even a focal point of an investigation or an interrogation.
I was taken, you know, away from the ship. So, now I am in town. I am the only one there of all the other passengers. I am the only one who is in Turkey, in a Turkish police station. And there I am with all of my, you know, Royal Caribbean logo attire, and just feeling—just falling deeper into just this feeling of shock.
SCARBOROUGH: Then they interrogate you. And then I understand they actually—and, at this point, when you were in shock, you—the next part is, they actually make you take your clothes off, or lift your shirt up and take your pants down?
HAGEL SMITH: Well, which, I wasn't told to get off the ship. They had then—the Turkish police officers had said, you need to now go. We are taking you to a hospital.
They had told, you know, somebody, not my father, not me—or maybe they had figured that out later. But they took me, drove me further into town to a hospital. And it was a really, for lack of a better word, seedy sort of area and place. And a man just very—you know, just lifted up my shirt and just looked down my pants.
And I, at this point, felt, you know, what does it matter? You know,
at this point, it's—modesty is out the window. At this point, you don't
· you don't care about anything.
SCARBOROUGH: And you're in Turkey. Obviously, you don't speak the language. Did they give you money?
HAGEL SMITH: No.
SCARBOROUGH: Did they give you transportation?
HAGEL SMITH: No.
SCARBOROUGH: Did they gave you any guidance at all?
HAGEL SMITH: No. And...
SCARBOROUGH: They just threw you in the middle—a young woman, in the middle of Turkey?
HAGEL SMITH: It was getting later in the evening.
I was aware that the ship was going to sail around 7:00, give or take. As I kept watching the clock in the Turkish police station, there came a point when, you know, I said, hey, I don't think they are really going to be holding this ship for me. So, I just—this day just kept going on and on. And then, finally, when I was taken back to the dock, where the cruise ship was, I had—it was getting time for the ship to sail.
One minute, I am sitting there, thinking, what now? No one is making any airport plans for me, that—the Royal Caribbean cruise line certainly wasn't. Then I see my bags. I see George's suitcases. I see my suitcases. And I see 10 Royal Caribbean logoed plastic souvenir bags on the dock, and I just froze.
As I am looking at all of our suitcases and gifts that were thrown into bags, and—just one thing stuck out. It was George's sneakers. George's sneakers were, you know, appearing out of one of the bags that were—that was just haphazardly thrown together, in an attempt to, I am sure, get me and anything having to do with George and I just off the ship.
And that moment, when I just, you know—just looking at somebody's sneakers, but looking at George's sneakers. And, you know, he was—he ran every day. And just the thought of him—it just kind of hit me at that moment, that that's it. He will never wear those sneakers again. He will never...
SCARBOROUGH: Is that the first time that you had time to just sit back and realize that he wasn't coming back?
HAGEL SMITH: Yes.
I think that, you know, there are certain things that remind you of
somebody or—that are personal. And I think, you know, it's a person's
clothes. It's a person's—we have so many memories in your own—every
· I remember when he wore that shirt. I remember when he did this.
And there I am, with all of his clothes, and without George.
SCARBOROUGH: I will tell you what. We are going to stay on this case. Jen was so abused by the cruise line. I mean, again, this newlywed finds out she is a widow. They throw her off the ship while she was in shock.
She is interrogated in two different locations by Turkish police officers. Then she is taken to a seedy hospital. She is basically stripped-searched. She is abused by this process. She goes back to the ship. She finds out they have dumped all of their worldly possessions on this dock, now, everything that they took with them, all of their memories.
And she is left there standing as the ship goes away. It is a terrible, terrible situation. We are going to hold Royal Caribbean accountable. We are. Trust me, we are. I mean, I just—if you work for Royal Caribbean, get ready, because you ain't seen anything yet. The hammer is going to come down on you.
We are going to find out why you behaved the way you behaved, and how many more times this happens throughout the year, and why—again, why I am afraid now for any family member to go on your cruise line or any other cruise line, until we find out what Congress is going to do about it. And we are going to find out what Congress is going to do about it, because Chairman Christopher Shays, who ran the committee hearing yesterday, is going to be here in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY tomorrow night.
We are going to be in Washington, going to continue getting to the bottom of it. And I will tell you what, also. If you want to help out here, you can play a big part. You already have, friends. And I want to thank you, and the Smiths want to thank you for everything you have done, putting pressure on politicians to step up to the plate.
They really have. And, Chris Shays, what an incredible job the chairman has done. But you can also help out by getting more information on what Jim has been talking about and also on the reward that is set up to get to the truth.
You can go to a special Web site Jen has set up at www.HagelSmith.com.
Now, we are going to have more of this interview tomorrow night. Jennifer is going to talk about what she wants George's legacy to be and what may have been, if he had only lived.
But, first, when we come back tonight, holding these cruise lines accountable. We are going to be talking about experts about what needs to be done to make sure that you can be sure you will be safe on the high seas, and also how to keep the heat up on this case—that and much more when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: Coming up, a silent epidemic that could be invading your home, online addictions to everything from porn to gambling. What you need to know to spot trouble.
But, first, here's the latest news you and your family need to know.
SCARBOROUGH: Sex and gambling just a click away, and it's literally tearing families apart. Of course, a lot of those families are families of MSNBC cameramen, but that's another story.
Coming up, a man whose online addiction almost ruined his marriage.
He shares his story, how anyone can get hooked and how to help.
Sorry about that, guys.
SCARBOROUGH: Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY—those stories in just minutes, but first, back to missing honey honeymooner George Smith IV. He vanished on July 5, while on his honeymoon, but it was only yesterday we finally got some action on the hearings on Capitol Hill.
Jennifer Hagel Smith didn't testify, but she submitted this statement:
“The ship sailed without me that evening. I was left with no money, no plane ticket, no food, nothing. The cruise line did not offer to help with the flight, hotel arrangements or anything. I couldn't speak the native language. And I felt abandoned.”
That brought an angry reaction from Connecticut Congressman Christopher Shays.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. CHRISTOPHER SHAYS ®, CONNECTICUT: I am wrestling with how we can trust any statistic from any cruise line that would do what they did to a young bride.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Tomorrow night, we have Congressman Christopher Shays in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, and we will be asking him about the tough questions he asked Royal Caribbean.
Question number one, will Royal Caribbean finally come clean about what happened in their investigation with George Smith? Also, will witnesses finally start talking, and will anyone be brought to justice?
And right now, let's bring in our panel of experts.
With us tonight, former Connecticut prosecutor Susan Filan and criminologist Casey Jordan.
Susan, let me begin with you. You have been following this case so closely. You—you won't tell us who you know on the inside of the investigation. It's very obvious, though, that you know a lot of people in this investigation.
Let's talk about the cruise lines and what happened on Capitol Hill yesterday. People out there want to know that when they send their families on cruises, or when they decide to go on cruises themselves, that they are going to be safe. Studying this case, and knowing this case the way you do, what does Congress need to do to ensure that that happens?
SUSAN FILAN, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Congress needs to make sure that a cruise ship cannot engage in a CYA cover-up to protect its bottom-line dollars and cents.
There was a human life at stake on this ship. Blood, forensic evidence, key critical evidence to a prosecutor's case was hosed down. Congress needs to make sure that ships know that they are going to be held accountable when there's American citizens on board.
SCARBOROUGH: Let me ask you this, because I was in the hearing yesterday, and the cruise line said, well, we waited until the Turkish officials looked at the blood, and then we washed it off—obviously, as the chairman said, a big difference between the standards that Turkish officials have and FBI agents have.
Shouldn't we make them secure these crime scenes when an American is involved?
SCARBOROUGH: Until the FBI gets to look at it?
If there's an American on board that ship, there should be some kind of legislation enacted that there's concurrent or shared jurisdiction, from the ship, maybe from where its next port of call will be and the United States government, or maybe the ships, the flag that it sails under and the United States government. But if there's an American on board a ship who goes missing and there's foul play suspected, this ship must be concealed; it must closed off as a crime scene.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, Casey, let me ask you this question. Obviously, everybody loves watching these “CSI” shows, but it's kind of hard to figure out what happened when you have a crime scene that, in effect, is scrubbed down before the FBI gets there.
Is there any way you can ever do anything to piece together what happened that night and who killed George?
CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: Well, it's going to be extremely difficult.
Even 24 hours later, once the blood on the canopy had been cleaned, we don't know the extent of any video or photography that was taken, other than passengers who took pictures of the bloody print.
SCARBOROUGH: So, what do you do if you're Christopher Shays, who is going to be here tomorrow night? I know a lot of people on that committee are watching this right now. What do you tell Congress they have to do to make sure that if my loved one gets hurt or injured or, God forbid, killed on a cruise ship, that I at least know that they are going to preserve the crime scene, so we can hold the murderer accountable?
JORDAN: You are going to have to establish industry standards that all cruise lines agree to.
And because they all sail under different flags, you are going to probably have to threaten them with economic sanctions or diplomatic relations if they don't comply with the established standards.
SCARBOROUGH: And you can do that, because they are based, like, for instance, Royal Caribbean, based out of where? Miami, Florida. Tell them you either protect American citizens and make sure that we can find out, bring justice, like justice for George, or else we are going to hit you with sanctions.
The guidelines aren't even going to be hard to establish. It's going to be hard to enforce them. That's the trick.
So, Susan, let's—we don't want to get too far down in the weeds in this investigation, but you heard Jennifer talking on the tape, I mean, some fascinating information there. What can you tell us about the state of this investigation right now, as these hearings go on?
FILAN: Well, first, I think you did a fantastic interview with Jennifer Hagel. That was groundbreaking. That's the first time we have heard her speak, and your interview was really masterful.
The FBI is all over this case. They haven't for one minute let up. And I remind you that they didn't necessarily have to come on board the ship. They weren't invited. They had to elbow their way in after evidence had been destroyed.
They have never forgotten George. They have never let up. They are working very, very hard on an extremely tough case. And they will ensure that there is justice for George. They have tightened up their information. They just can't go public with what their investigation is. But they have never let up for a minute. And any criticism of the FBI's investigation would be far, far off the mark.
SCARBOROUGH: And we hear that there are videotapes out there now, because the Smiths are threatening a lawsuit, and they turned over quite a few tapes to the FBI.
It looks like there's a possibility that we will at least be able to get a timeline of movement, about these Russians, about this California kid, right?
FILAN: But isn't it awful that we haven't had it up until now? Isn't it awful that it takes the threat of a civil lawsuit on behalf of the bereaved family of George Smith, threatening a lawsuit to get the tools of discovery, depositions, videotapes?
What is the ship doing? I for one cannot understand how they can live with themselves, the way they botched and covered up what happened that night on their ship.
SCARBOROUGH: As a criminologist, would you feel comfortable going on a cruise line now or sending your family on a cruise line in the future?
And I absolutely believe that the statistics that the cruise industry presents are completely off base. It's apples and oranges when they compare that data to the FBI's UCR, uniform crime report. So, a lot of crime does go on, on cruise ships. We know this anecdotally. We know this because people come forward and say, I tried to get someone to pay attention and take a report, but nobody would, sexual assault especially, theft particularly.
We are focusing on a potential homicide right here, but there are plenty of other crimes that go on, on these ships that never come to attention.
SCARBOROUGH: Apparently, a lot of sexual assaults, from what we have heard anecdotally.
SCARBOROUGH: A lot of sexual assaults occur on these ships, but, again, because there aren't investigations, proper investigations, people aren't held accountable, right?
JORDAN: And no one knows what to do. They don't know who to go to when no one will listen to them. By the time they get back home and try to raise a complaint, it's too late.
JORDAN: There's no evidence. There's no one who is interested in the case.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Thank you all so much.
We are going to continue on this tomorrow night and hope you can come back.
FILAN: It's a pleasure.
JORDAN: Good to see you.
SCARBOROUGH: All right.
Now, coming up next, is your home computer tearing your family apart?
Next, how to spot and stop online addiction.
That's when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: An estimated two million people are addicted to Internet pornography. And it affects more than just addicts, as marriages and families crumble.
With me now to talk about the virtual epidemic is Rob Weiss. He's clinical director of the Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles.
Rob, thanks a lot for being with us.
ROB WEISS, THE SEXUAL RECOVERY INSTITUTE: Joe...
SCARBOROUGH: Talk about the scope of this problem.
WEISS: Well, it's a huge problem.
Millions of families are affected. There's no question about it. You know, I work with guys who are getting up in the middle of the night once their wives have gone to bed, and getting online, and racing home to get online before their families get home, just so they can catch a little bit of porn. It's really a problem.
SCARBOROUGH: Talk about some of the stories that you have heard day in and day out as you try to help these guys.
WEISS: I hear a lot of sad stories.
Being a sex or a porn addict is not a fun thing. It sounds like it might be, but it really isn't. It's a very painful thing. I hear wives who send their kids up to knock on the door to make sure that daddy hears somebody coming, or they are opening and closing the garage door to let them know that the kids are about to come in, to make sure that daddy is not online while—looking at porn as families—or as the family is coming home, that kind of stuff, and dads racing to get the kids to bed, so they can get online, rather than interacting with their kids, and all kinds of problems that—that are created.
SCARBOROUGH: Talk about the time, because I have read some stories and, in your pre-interview, heard about guys that spend hours upon hours on the Internet. Talk about that the scope of that.
WEISS: Well, Joe, I...
WEISS: Most of the patients we work with are sitting four to six hours a day online looking at pornography.
And you can imagine, like, how do you find four to six hours a day to do that? And, of course, they're doing it in the middle of the night; they're doing it early in the morning; they're doing it at work. They are getting in trouble at work. They are getting written up at work.
But it's not unusual, for the time somebody comes in for treatment, to be looking at porn three, four hours a day, five, six days a week. I mean, that's not unusual at all.
SCARBOROUGH: Wow. Now, you gave us five signs of a pornography addict. What are they?
WEISS: Well, certainly, somebody whose behavior is escalating.
They're doing—looking at more and more porn, or they're spending more and more time looking at the porn, or the kind of porn they are looking at is increasingly more disturbing to them. It's all about getting a high or getting into the excitement. It's very similar to compulsive gambling.
So, escalation is a piece of it. People find that their lives are affected because of their porn use, so that they are not available for their families, as I was saying, or they have work problems. So, it affects their lives in different areas.
Time. If you are spending four or five hours a day online looking at porn, it tends to affect how the rest of your life is functioning. One really clear sign is if your spouse says, I don't like you looking at it or I'm uncomfortable with you looking at it, and you find yourself getting angry and denying that it's a problem or lying about it or pushing it away, that kind of irritability around stopping, that's a definite sign.
And, like with any addiction, the fact that someone might say, I am going to stop, this is really a problem, I really see it, and then they cannot stop. They still find themselves going online for pornography, even though they say they don't want to anymore.
SCARBOROUGH: Let's bring in Lance Tracy. He's a recovered porn addict.
Lance, as an addict, tell me just how much this impacted your life.
LANCE TRACY, RECOVERING PORNOGRAPHY ADDICT: Oh, quite, pretty intense, actually. From the age of 11, I was looking at pornography.
The men in my life that I looked up to at that age were using it a little bit, looking at it. And they were womanizers and whatnot. So I sort of equated that with being manly and being grown up. So, that's how I got into it.
Before the Internet, I was looking at porn magazines, renting DVDs, etcetera, things like that. And then, once the Internet came out in the mid-'90s, when I started using it, that's when things really took off for me.
And I can relate to what Rob said, where I would be using it, on a good week, maybe once a day, once every other day, on a bad week, maybe four hours a day. It goes through cycles, because I would sort of feel guilty about it. You would use it, and then, all of a sudden, to relieve that guilt and shame of doing it, I did it again and again and again.
And it is sort of a daily cycle. So, I can relate.
SCARBOROUGH: You did it while you were married. Did your wife have any idea?
TRACY: Not at first.
When we were—before we were married, she didn't know about it. I didn't really know it was that big of a problem. I didn't put a label on it.
After we got married, she didn't know about it either. And then, she accidentally fumbled onto something on my computer, where I was journaling about it, and she discovered a pretty intense time that I was on there. And so that's when it broke loose in our marriage. Respectfully, she just said, look, it's either our marriage or you continuing this porn. And, so, that's when...
SCARBOROUGH: And you chose the marriage. How did you stop doing this?
TRACY: Well, I mean, this went on for a while.
I went through different recovery groups that really didn't work out that much. And then I finally went to something like Rob Weiss' group, where it was an intensive, almost an inpatient type of program for five days. And I got the help I needed there, came back, and I was a whole different person.
Before, when we were having sex, things like that, the only way I could get aroused in our marriage during intimacy was to imagine pornography. She is a beautiful woman. She is a—she was a captain of the swim team at Dartmouth.
But because I was using this porn, she was feeling insecure about her own body as a result. And I think a lot of women feel that way, and I made her feel that way. But, afterward, things changed, and I have started taking control of the household again. And we are doing great now. I actually started helping other guys with it now.
SCARBOROUGH: And you have also—you have done a film about this also. Can you tell us what made the difference in that recovery process? Was there one special thing that helped you get cured?
TRACY: Well, it was almost an interventive process.
That's something that I think most guys need to go through, including myself. You can't just sort of join a group. I think you need to go through quite an intense process to get your behavior difference, to change and to understand the whole addiction before you can actually, you know, do things and change things.
And now I am actually—I have been, you know, clean for about two-and-a-half years now, a little over. And I attribute it to that original conference I went to, as well as a daily accountability group and process that I go through, so, not unlike an Alcoholics Anonymous, something like that.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Thanks so much, Lance Tracy.
Thank you, Rob Weiss.
Greatly appreciate you all coming on and talking about this problem.
And, when we come back, a college student who seemed to have everybody going for him accused of bank robbery. Now it looks like he may have been hooked on online gambling. What we can learn from this stunning story is coming up next.
SCARBOROUGH: He's a sophomore class president in college and the son of a Baptist minister. and now 19-year-old Greg Hogan is accused of robbing a bank. Why?
Well, some say because he was thousands of dollars in debt due to an online gambling addiction. Now, this is just the latest example of the dark side of the Internet.
And with me to talk more about horrible tales from the Web is co-founder of Internet Computer Addiction Services, Dr. Hilarie Cash.
Doctor, thank you for being with us.
How big of a problem is this on the Internet today?
DR. HILARIE CASH, INTERNET COMPUTER ADDICTION SERVICES: It's a huge problem.
And they estimate 6 to 10 percent of the online population might be addicted.
SCARBOROUGH: And who are the most prone to fall to these sort of addictions? Is it one certain group, young males, or does it go across all demographic lines?
CASH: It really does cross all the different demographic lines.
People used to think it was just young males, but we know that women are getting into it, and younger and younger children as well.
SCARBOROUGH: Talk about some of the horror stories that you have heard.
CASH: Well, for instance, there was a young man who came to me because he was suicidally depressed. And it was his wife who came. He had been on scholarship at an Ivy League university and had dropped out because of his video game addiction, his multi-user video game addiction online.
And, when he came to Seattle, he just got a job, because he was a smart guy and very capable, and was going to work and not gaming. But, then after about a year, he got back into “EverQuest” and hid that from his wife. When she—she didn't know anything that was going on. He actually stopped going to work and didn't tell her about that and paid the mortgage using their credit cards.
SCARBOROUGH: It sounds like alcoholism.
CASH: Very similar to that, indeed.
SCARBOROUGH: So, do you have to go to a sort of an AA group to get cured of this addiction?
CASH: There are AA groups—well, AA-type groups for many of the different addictions, like gambling and sexual addiction, but there is not an AA group at this time, or a 12-step group for Internet gaming, video gaming.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Thank you so much, Dr. Hilarie Cash. We greatly appreciate you being with us.
CASH: My pleasure.
SCARBOROUGH: And we are going to be right back in a minute.
SCARBOROUGH: You can help out with Operation Phone Home and reach out to our guys and gals overseas by going to USO.org/Joe.
And, also, coming up next, the excitement builds. If you feel tingling in your extremities, it's because “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON” starts in a minute.
SCARBOROUGH: Thanks So much for being with us, but stick around, because “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON” starts right now.
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