Last month, the FBI raided the Indiana home of Jared Fogle, best known for having lost 200 pounds from eating Subway sandwiches, as part of an investigation into child porn. Initially, it appeared that the investigation was centered around the former executive director of his foundation. Nonetheless, Subway suspended its 15-year relationship with Fogle pending the conclusion of the federal investigation. On Friday night, however, this story took a disturbing turn. Business Insider reports that the FBI has subpoenaed a text message exchange in which Fogle reportedly admitted to paying for sex with a 16-year-old girl.
Business Insider reports that on June 19, 2008, Fogle sent a text message to a female Subway franchisee asking her to put an ad on Craigslist. According to an affidavit from the franchisee’s lawyer, the following exchange ensued.
Franchisee: Is this the same website you found that 16 year old girl you that you f*****? …I still can’t believe you only paid $100 for her.
Fogle: It was amazing!!!!
Franchisee: What part of her ad made you think she was selling sex?
Fogle: U will have to read them to see.
The woman and Fogle were in a sexual relationship at the time. However, she grew increasingly uncomfortable with the nature of her text message exchanges with Fogle. For instance, he repeatedly asked her to post ads to Craigslist, and tried to set up a tryst with her underage cousin. She retained a lawyer to find out if the exchanges violated the terms of her franchise agreement, and reported the exchanges to Subway. According to the woman’s lawyer, Subway determined that nothing improper occurred, since Fogle was not a Subway employee.
The age of consent in Indiana is 16. However, it’s hard to imagine that paying for sex, regardless of age, is at all legal. And even in the event that it is, just because something is theoretically legal doesn’t make it acceptable. The franchisee’s lawyer said his client was so uncomfortable with the situation that she got in touch with Subway’s parent company, Doctor’s Associates. She asked for permission to scrub all Jared-related marketing material from her stores. The franchisee also warned corporate officials that Fogle “should not be interacting with young people.”
The lawyer claims that his client spoke with two levels of management about her concerns. However, a spokesman for Doctor’s Associates/Subway says that it has “no record of this allegation.” According to Business Insider, the FBI has subpoenaed the affidavit of the text message exchange. Naturally, the FBI won’t confirm or deny any investigation.
It goes without saying that Fogle should be finished as a pitchman if it does turn out he tried to set up trysts with minors. As for Subway, I hope that this was a case of someone failing to pass this franchisee’s concerns up the chain of command. If that’s the case, everyone who knew about this and failed to report it up needs to be fired immediately. God forbid that Subway knew about this and did nothing.