In his first public comment on this tragic event, Adam Goldstein, president of Royal Caribbean International, says: "This is my first opportunity to say how sorry we are that this happened. It's a horrible loss. I can't pretend to understand the magnitude of your loss as you've described it. It's impossible for me and for my colleagues. But I do want to express our sympathy to you in person."
In the swirl of rumors surrounding this case, Goldstein says Royal Caribbean has been accused of having covered up evidence. To this, Goldstein responds, "There certainly is no cover-up."
He continues: "Within 20 minutes of the guests reporting that there was apparently a blood stain on the canopy, we had commenced a complete search of the ship. ... We notified the Turkish authorities and the U.S. Consulate before we even had found Jennifer. So the full search was under way immediately. We looked all over the ship and eventually found Jennifer, as she has said, in the spa and asked her if she was aware of her husband's whereabouts."
Goldstein says Jennifer and George's stateroom was sealed until after Turkish authorities completed a forensic investigation. He also says a rumor that Royal Caribbean preemptively cleaned or painted over the bloodstain on the awning is "completely false."
"As soon as we sealed it off, it was guarded," he says.
Only after receiving two assurances from the Turkish authorities did the cruise continue on, Goldstein says. "Then we cleaned off [the blood-stained awning] with a pressure hose [at 6:15 p.m.]. We never painted over and still have not today painted over that area."
Within an hour of removing the bloodstain, the ship departed Turkey.