It’s never a good day for Subway when its incarcerated former pitchman dominates a news cycle, but today promises to be especially lousy: In a new lawsuit, Jared’s ex-wife Katie McLaughlin now claims the chain was aware he was a creep as early as 2004 — for 11 years, in other words — and shrugged off at least three complaints about his “depravities.”
The suit charges that the company “failed every
test of corporate responsibility” by putting children at risk basically just so it could keep raking in billions of dollars in profits. “The safety of kids was not a priority but Subway’s bottom line was,” it argues. McLaughlin adds she’s suing really for no other reason than she has “questions that someday my children will ask me” and “to which I have no other way to get answers. Questions like, ‘What did Subway know and when did they know it?’”
The document lists three specific incidents — one from 2004, four years before McLaughlin started dating Fogle, when the chain allegedly received a complaint about him propositioning a “young girl” in Vegas for a “sex act.” Second is the now-infamous 2008 conversation Florida franchisee Cindy Mills says she had with Subway’s CEO, where she warned that Fogle “really liked them young” and was pressuring her to prostitute herself. Third is the “serious” 2011 complaint Subway got from journalist Rochelle Herman-Walrond, who spent four years secretly recording her conversations with Fogle for the FBI.
McLaughlin argues that, despite all of this, Subway kept paying him loads of money; it created a “Tour de Pants” in 2008 that literally put Fogle (and that giant pair of jeans) inside scores of elementary schools, then later tried rebranding him as a “family man.” The suit contends Fogle was “so inextricably linked” to Subway’s fortunes that the chain was willing to brush off “allegations that Jared was a pedophile,” and is now demanding unspecified damages for its alleged negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and the extreme stupidity of depicting Fogle as a “family man.”
After Fogle’s arrest, Subway did conduct an internal investigation that involved reviewing “more than a million” online comments and interviewing dozens of past and current employees. It claims nobody knew enough about their pitchman’s sexual proclivities to have stopped him. The company isn’t commenting on McLaughlin’s actual complaint since it’s pending legal action.