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Witnesses: Cruise Couple Argued Before Husband Vanished

A man who disappeared from his honeymoon cruise last summer argued in the ship's bar with his wife, who kicked him in the groin hours before he vanished, two witnesses said Friday.

The witnesses told The Associated Press the FBI has interviewed them about the July 5 disappearance of George Allen Smith IV of Greenwich.

"I was very surprised by their behavior, that a honeymoon couple would act that way," said Margarita Chaves, a 29-year-old teacher from Phoenix.

Smith disappeared from a Royal Caribbean ship in the Mediterranean Sea between Turkey and Greece. Blood stains were found running from the balcony of Smith's cabin to life boats. No one has been charged and no body has been recovered.

Smith's wife, Jennifer Hagel-Smith of Cromwell, was found sleeping on a floor in a corridor far from the couple's cabin the night he vanished, the cruise line said Wednesday.

Hagel-Smith and her attorney say she was unconscious and has no recollection of what happened. Hagel-Smith said she passed an FBI polygraph test. Federal authorities have said she has cooperated with their investigation.

Hagel-Smith called the accounts that she kicked her husband "ridiculous" and "outlandish."

"That's the epitome of what I've had to deal with," Hagel-Smith said. "That's not something I would do to my husband."

Chaves said she was in the bar with her friends when another group introduced them to Smith and his wife. She said the couple was heavily intoxicated and Hagel-Smith was leaning on a male passenger.

"We were afraid a fight was going to start," Chaves said. "She was flirting with him."

Dominick Mazza, a 24-year-old auditor from New Jersey, said Hagel-Smith was leaning on him because she was drunk, but he did not believe she was flirting.

Smith then began calling his wife names, the witnesses agreed.

"She kind of pushed him away lightly and suddenly stood up and kicked him in the private and stumbled out of the bar," Mazza said.

Smith "bent over for quite a while," Mazza said. "You could tell he was in pain. I thought the kick was hard. That was not fooling around."

Chaves said Smith eventually returned to drinking with a group of men. She said the group was drinking absinthe, a highly potent drink.

"His pupils were dilated," Chaves said. "I'll never forget that look in his eyes."

James Walker, Hagel-Smith's attorney, said the accounts are not relevant to Smith's disappearance.

Brett Rivkind, attorney for Smith's family, said the argument might explain why Hagel-Smith left the bar and was later found in the corridor.

"I don't know what to make of that," Rivkind said. "We heard rumors of that. It doesn't seem that serious of an argument to go that far."