INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Katie McLaughlin, ex-wife of former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle, held a press conference on Monday at 2 p.m. to discuss the civil case she filed against Subway.
During her remarks McLaughlin talked about Fogle’s victims.
“First let me say, to the victims of my ex-husband, you are never far from my thoughts and prayers. 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. I know the healing process is lifelong.”
“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.”
McLaughlin then went on to discuss her reasoning for her lawsuit against the fast food chain.
“I filed this lawsuit because I have questions. Questions that someday my children will ask me and that I imagine the families of the 14 victims are asking. Questions to which I have no other way to get answers. Questions like what did Subway know and when did they know it? What investigations, if any, did they conduct? Did they ever notify the authorities?”
“I also filed this lawsuit because I am seeking damages from Subway. As the complaint alleges, there have been news reports that Subway received at least one complaint that Jared had sexual interest in children. Subway even took the step of marketing him as a family man and used my children’s and my likenesses in that campaign. I did not give them the consent to do this.”
According to court documents, Katie McLaughlin said Subway knew of Fogle’s actions and failed to act as a responsible corporation should.
She alleges that on at least three occasions, Subway received reports about Fogle’s sexual interest and activity with children. Court documents state that with two of those reports, Subway sent a public relations employee to ask Fogle about the allegations. For the third report, Subway said the complaint was “not properly escalated or acted upon.”
Court documents state Subway did not report any of the allegations to law enforcement.
In 2004, court documents said the Senior Vice President of Marketing at that time received a complaint that Fogle approached a young girl at an event in Las Vegas for a sex act. Subway then sent its Senior Public Relations Manager, at that time, to ask Fogle and the franchise owner about the complaint, rather than the victim. Subway did nothing else to fully investigate the allegations.
In 2004, Subway launched the national marketing campaign, “Jared’s School Tour.” It was a childhood obesity prevention initiative which required him to visit elementary schools all over the United States, including Indiana.
In 2008, Subway kicked off “Tour de Pants” campaign, sending Fogle to elementary schools around the country.
In 2008, court documents state a former Florida Subway franchisee, Cindy Mills, notified Jeff Moody, then CEO, that Fogle made disturbing comments about children. The comments she claims Fogle said include:
- He really liked them young
- Fogle had sex with minors from age nine to 16
- Fogle suggested Mills prostitute herself
Court documents state that Moody interrupted Mills and said, “Please don’t tell me any more. Don’t worry, he has met someone. She is a teacher and he seems to love her very much, and we think she will keep him grounded.”
Mills mentioned he had dealt with similar complaints in the past.
This was the second time Subway failed to investigate and report this type of complaint, court documents state.
Subway released a statement on Monday regarding the investigation.
“As this is pending legal action, we cannot provide comment,” Subway said.
In 2008, Mills also reported Fogle’s comments to at least two more Subway executives at a NASCAR event. According to court documents, Mills said she was scared she would see Fogle in person at the race. Executives assured her Fogle wouldn’t be at the race.
In 2009, McLaughlin and Fogle got engaged, and in 2010 they got married.
In 2011, Florida journalist, Rochelle Herman-Walrond, made a complaint on Subway’s website that she was concerned to have Fogle around children. Herman-Walrond publicly announced Fogle made comments to her about his desire to perform sexual acts with children. Court documents state Fogle asked Herman-Walrond’s help in getting him access to children. Herman-Walrond worked with the FBI to record conversations she had with Fogle.
In January 2015, Subway and Fogle signed a two year contract extension, which included “Jared’s Journey” campaign portraying Fogle as a family man began airing.
On July 7, 2015, FBI raided Fogle’s home and Subway suspended relationship with Fogle. This was the last day that the commercial aired for “Jared’s Journey.” Almost a month later Subway ended its relationship with Fogle. The next day, Aug. 19, Fogle was charged with possessing and distributing child pornography and commercial sex acts with a minor; Fogle pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
On Nov. 19, McLaughlin and Fogle’s divorce was finalized.
McLaughlin is suing Subway on five charges, which include:
- Invasion of privacy
- Despite its knowledge of Fogle’s sexual interest in children, in 2015 they ran a national commercial promoting Fogle as a family man with then-wife McLaughlin and their two children.
- The commercial ran nationally from March 2015 until July 7, 2015.
- Subway created and/or authorized the commercial.
- Subway’s unauthorized use of McLaughlin and their two children’s likenesses was willful and intentional because Subway knew it did not have their consent and knew of Fogle’s alleged criminal behavior.
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress
- Subway knew its market share, profitability and growth would be diminished if Fogle’s reputation was tarnished.
- Subway’s ambition for sales and growth came at the expense of McLaughlin and the two children.
- In 2008, Fogle began dating McLaughlin, and Subway knew and saw this as a positive development for Fogle and Subway, despite his (then) alleged criminal exploitation of children.
- Subway’s conduct intentionally or recklessly caused severe emotional distress to McLaughlin and their children.
- McLaughlin and the two children have suffered severe emotional distress.
- Subway was notified on multiple occasions of Fogle’s sexual interest in children and alleged criminal activity.
- Subway relied on Fogle for the company’s financial success.
- Subway was notified of Fogle’s behavior prior to McLaughlin marrying Fogle.
- One Subway executive responded to one of the complains that Fogle’s relationship with McLaughlin would lessen the likelihood that he continued his actions.
- Subway ignored and failed to report allegations about Fogle’s sexual interest in children and alleged criminal activity.
- Subway’s failure to warn McLaughlin or failure to report Fogle to law enforcement, McLaughlin would have never married Fogle.
- Negligence per se
- Subway owed a duty to McLaughlin, as well as Fogle’s and her children.
- Subway should have reported actual or potential child abuse to the Department of Child Services or law enforcement.
- Violation of Indiana code 31-33-5-1 is negligence of a matter of law.
- Subway failed to report.
- Had Subway reported, McLaughlin would have never married Fogle.
- Had Subway reported, McLaughlin and their two children would have never been exploited by Subway as part of the “family man” campaign.
- Right of Publicity
- McLaughlin has a personal property interest in her likeliness and therefore, a right of publicity.
- The two children have a person property interest in their likeliness and therefore, a right of publicity.
- Subway utilized the Plaintiffs’ rights of publicity without written consent.
- Subway created or authorized the commercial.
- Plaintiffs have sustained damages as a result of Subway’s unlawful actions.