Subway knew their spokesperson Jared Fogle was a pedophile about 10 years before he was convicted of the crime by authorities, a lawsuit from Fogle's ex-wife alleges. The suit from Katie McLaughlin claims the company continued to promote him despite knowing he was sexually interested in children and ignored multiple allegations, according to media reports Monday.
Subway reportedly learned of the allegations in 2004 when its vice president was notified that Fogle spoke with a young girl about participating in sexual activities while at a promotional event for the sandwich chain in Las Vegas. Fogle's ex-wife insisted she would have never married him in 2010 if Subway had reported his actions when they became aware of them. McLaughlin's lawsuit accuses Subway of negligence, right of publicity, invasion of privacy/misappropriation of likeness, negligence per se and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
In her lawsuit, McLaughlin states that Fogle's "sexual interest in and activity with children" was brought to the sandwich chain's attention at least three times but the company continued to feature him in ads and never contacted authorities, Business Insider reported. Instead, Subway would send senior employees to ask Fogle about the allegations, but nothing more was ever done.
McLaughlin said Subway used her and her children's likeness for an animated commercial ad in 2015 in which Fogle was portrayed as a family man despite their knowledge of his pedophilia. She said the ad caused her and her children extensive damage, TMZ reported.
Fogle was convicted last year of having sex with minors and receiving and distributing child pornography. He was sentenced to 15 years and 8 months at a federal prison in Colorado.
Fogle became Subway's spokesman in 2000 after claiming the deli sandwiches helped him lose more than 200 pounds. He earned more than $15 million, while Subway's American sales went from $3.1 billion to $11.5 billion.