The ex-wife of disgraced former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle has filed a lawsuit against the restaurant chain, claiming that the company knew about Fogle’s sexual interest in minors as far back as 2004 and failed to adequately address or investigate it.
In the suit, filed Monday in Hamilton, Indiana, Superior Court, Kathleen McLaughlin claims that Subway received at least three reports of Fogle’s interest in children but, eager to retain its cash cow, did little about it.
The suit claims that, in 2004, Subway’s then-senior vice president of marketing was told that Fogle approached a young girl for sex at a Subway promotional event in Las Vegas, but “did not thoroughly investigate the report and did not alert the authorities as they were legally required to do so.”
A later complaint against Fogle was similarly brushed aside, the lawsuit claims.
“As this is pending legal action, we cannot provide comment,” a spokeswoman for Subway told TheWrap on Monday.
Despite knowing of Fogle’s then-alleged tendencies, the suit says, Subway sent its pitch man on a nationwide tour of schools, putting him in contact with children.
McLaughlin also claims that, after Fogle’s weight-loss story began to lose steam with consumers, Subway launched a new campaign to paint Fogle as a family man, using her likeness as well as their kids’ in a 2015 ad that ran more than 2,300 times.
“Subway exploited his family despite knowing of allegations that Jared was a pedophile and failing to properly investigate the allegations,” the lawsuit reads.
McLaughlin, who married Fogle in 2010 and divorced him in 2015, said that she never would have wed the sandwich pitch man if Subway had told her about his tendencies. The now-divorced couple have two children together.
Fogle is currently serving more than 15 years in prison for conspiracy to receive child pornography and traveling to have sex with a minor, following a July 2015 raid on his Indiana home.
Alleging invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and other counts, the suit is seeking unspecified damages.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.