Jared Fogle's ex-wife is suing Subway, alleging that it ignored complaints about his sexual interest in children
The ex-wife of former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle is suing the fast-food chain, alleging that the company has known about Fogle's sexual interest in children since 2004 but never did anything to address it.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Kathleen McLaughlin, claims that Subway was notified at least three times about Fogle's "sexual interest in and activity with children" but kept featuring him in ads and never notified authorities.
"As early as 2004, Subway's then-senior vice president of marketing received a complaint that Jared had approached a young girl at a promotional event for a Las Vegas Subway franchise for a sex act," the suit alleges.
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Subway sent its then senior public-relations manager to ask Jared and a franchisee owner, rather than the victim, about the incident, the suit alleges. "Subway did not thoroughly investigate the report and did not alert authorities as they were legally required to do," it reads.
Then in 2008, a Subway franchisee from Florida notified the company that Fogle had made disturbing comments about children, as Business Insider first reported. Again, the company sent its senior public relations manager to ask Fogle about the complaint, and nothing was done, the lawsuit alleges.
Subway did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Fogle was convicted and sentenced last year to nearly 16 years in prison for having sex with minors and receiving and distributing child pornography. He's serving out his sentence at a federal penitentiary in Colorado.
He married McLaughlin in 2010 and they had two children together. She filed for divorce last year after Fogle pleaded guilty to child pornography charges.
McLaughlin's lawsuit also alleges that Subway "provided a platform for [Fogle] to prey on children by sending him to elementary schools all over the country."
"Despite knowing of Jared's sexual interest in children and the then-alleged sexual acts he committed with them, Subway continued to promote their star spokesman," the lawsuit reads.
The company launched a campaign known as "Jared's School Tour" which required him to visit elementary schools all over the US, according to the lawsuit.
He was also required to spend significant time in elementary school for his "Tour de Pants" campaign, in which he traveled around the US with the pants he once wore when he weighed 425 pounds.
By 2015, Fogle's weight loss story was "getting stale" so "Subway saw Jared's family as a marketing opportunity," according to the lawsuit.
Several months before an FBI raid on Fogle's home that resulted in child pornography charges against him, Subway announced a new marketing campaign promoting Jared as a family man.
The company began airing a commercial that depicted animated versions of Jared's family, including his wife and children, according to the lawsuit.
McLaughlin is now suing Subway for allegedly depicting her in the ad without her consent. She is also suing the company for negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress, alleging that the company's "ambition for sales and growth came at the expense" of her and her kids.
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