Fast-food chain Subway was sued by Kathleen McLaughlin, the former wife of Jared Fogle, for allegedly looking the other way after hearing that Fogle was having sex with underage kids.
McLaughlin filed for divorce from Jared Fogle after he pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography as well as having intercourse with minors.
She claims that Subway received at least three complaints about the perverse behavior of their executive but did nothing to notify the authorities. She added that the food retail chain has known about it since 2004, according to People‘s report of the lawsuit.
Meanwhile, a representative of Subway told the magazine that it could not comment as of this juncture in the lawsuit. Fogle’s legal counsel did not immediately reply to People’s request for comment.
The fact that Subway portrayed Jared Fogle as a “family man” only aggravated the already distressing situation, the lawsuit added. Furthermore, McLaughlin said, “[they] used my children and my likeness in that campaign. I did not give them consent to do so.”
McLaughlin claimed that she and her two children suffered emotional distress because of the media reports concerning their father.
“Finding out that your husband and the father of your children is a child predator, and knowing that his job involved him visiting schools on a regular basis is devastating,” she said. “To the victims of my ex-husband, you are never far from my thoughts and prayers.”
The lawsuit alleges that Subway knew that Fogle had approached a young girl for a sex act at an event for Subway in Las Vegas as early as 2004. It contends that Subway sent a senior public relations manager to talk to him about the allegations but never spoke to the young girl.
Twelve years ago, Cindy Mills, a Subway franchisee, reported Jared Fogle to CEO Jeff Moody when the former told her something quite disturbing. According to the lawsuit, Mills had heard Fogle telling her that “he really liked them young.” He also admitted to having sex with a girl as young as nine.
Instead of a reprimand, however, Moody allegedly told Mills to shut up about Fogle’s sexual behavior and said that it’s all in the past.
“Don’t worry, he has met someone,” Moody supposedly told Mills. “She is a teacher (McLaughlin) and he seems to love her very much, and we think she will keep him grounded.”
According to USA Today, the lawsuit claimed that Subway put profits and bottom lines over the victims of Jared Fogle and his family.
Prior to the pedophilia charges, Jared Fogle became the face of Subway for about 15 years after losing a tremendous amount of weight, from a peak of 425 pounds, through a special Subway “diet” when he was still an Indiana University student in 1998. He credited his weight loss by eating subway twice a day and exercising.
In just under a year, he dropped about 200 pounds. After becoming the talk of the campus, Subway took notice and hired him to become the face of the retail sandwich chain. In 2000, he made his first commercial for the franchise.
Before the sex scandal, the Subway campaign featuring Jared Fogle reportedly increased sales immensely for Subway.
Addressing the underage victims, McLaughlin said, “I can only imagine what you have been going through. A mother’s most basic instinct is to protect her children, and this is one of the most horrific of crimes.”
McLaughlin’s legal counsel is still in the process of deciding how much damages they will demand from Subway.
For pleading guilty to federal charges, Jared Fogle was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison. In addition, he was ordered to pay $100,000 to the 14 victims.
[Featured Images by Michael Conroy/AP Images]