Ex-Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle was the toast of the town when he first made headlines for losing a significant amount of weight back in 1999, and particularly when he first started his role as the Subway guy. However, Fogle is now making news for a more sinister reason: his guilty plea as part of a plea bargain on child pornography charges.
Jared Fogle had parlayed his fame into a foundation designed to raise awareness about childhood obesity called The Jared Foundation, which was established in 2004. The former executive director of the Jared Foundation, Russell Taylor, was charged by both federal and state authorities with possession of child pornography, production of child pornography, child exploitation, and voyeurism. Like Jared, Taylor is also a father.
Under the terms of the plea agreement that former Subway Guy Jared Fogle is accepting, he will plead guilty to one child pornography charge and one count of traveling to engage in illicit sexual contact with minors. The guilty plea means that the government agrees that Jared will face less than 13 years in prison for the crimes, and his lawyers are planning to ask for no less than five years in prison for Jared. He is also to receive treatment for sexual disorders and have no unsupervised contact with minors.
While it would be quite easy to blame the negative attention that Subway is now getting solely on Jared Fogle, it is important to realize that Subway has been faced with a myriad of issues lately. One of the biggest problems seems to be that Subway is the victim of a shift in healthy fast food chains, known as the fast-casual restaurant. There has also been a steady decline in customer satisfaction — Subway has seen its customer satisfaction dip six percent over the last three years. McDonald’s successfully outperformed Subway, as well, which was 2.2 percent behind the fast food giant.
Regardless, Subway could not cut ties with Jared fast enough. As soon as word of the child pornography plea deal began to spread, Subway hit Twitter to cut ties with Jared, who had been the restaurant’s spokesperson for most of the last 15 years.
We no longer have a relationship with Jared and have no further comment.— SUBWAY® (@SUBWAY) August 18, 2015
As for Jared’s account, there seems to have been no activity since early July.
For someone who once seemed so wholesome, with that ear to ear grin and his earnest approach to speaking, Jared has not only shown that even the most clean-cut among us may be suspect, but he has also further solidified a belief that everyone has a dark side. Regardless of the lessons learned from the Jared Fogle plea deal that is currently being heard, Subway will forever have Jared’s shadow lurking in the background of their wholesome history.
[Photo courtesy of the Washington Weekly News]